The seven high school students are aged 13-16 and many of their shows are at venues with an R18 age restriction.
“We’re really looking forward to playing at Gardens Magic,” the band says. “It’s our biggest gig yet and the family atmosphere suits us and our friends well, as we can’t really get our friends to come to the pub gigs we do.”
Mel Stevenson will take the stage at Gardens Magic, Wellington City Council's iconic summer event, on Friday from 8pm at the Botanic Garden Soundshell.
The band first formed five years ago. Founding members Louis Holland plays trombone, Miro Holland is on trumpet, and Jack Harris is on saxophone. Later to join was Max Ware who plays bass guitar, Nico Buhne who’s on piano, Harry Lentell the drummer, and guitarist Theo Thompson.
They all attend Wellington High School, except Theo who goes to Hutt Valley High School, and are all in Victoria University of Wellington’s Young Musicians Programme.
All band members are multi-instrumentalists and despite their young age, many have known each other for a decade or more and have been playing music for just as long.
“We all got into music in different ways,” the band says. “Listening at home and around town, being inspired by the Wellington Music Centre in Island Bay, and prompts from family, neighbours and friends.
“A couple of us are from music families, and all of us have been lucky enough to have some great teachers along the way.
“We owe a lot to our parents – for organising lessons and doing the taxi-driving – and we know they are really looking forward to the day when one of us gets our full license!”
Mel Stevenson can regularly be found busking at Wellington Waterfront’s Harbourside Market on Sundays.