Even the backing band at this year’s Lakeside 2018 are a bunch of hand-picked quality local performers. This year’s concert is unashamedly local with artistic director Richard Anaru saying he had chosen each member of the band, making sure they were either from Rotorua, had local family connections or were linked to the city.

Providing backing vocals will be popular husband and wife team Margaret and Sam Hema. The couple, known musically as Stylus, are a favourite duet who are in demand around the region at venues and private functions.

Sam said he and Margaret were thrilled to be asked. “Our musical careers started here in Rotorua and we love giving back to our people and the music fraternity,” he said.

Also among the band line-up is Anaru on rhythm guitar, Ben Wilcox on keys/piano, Jared Stevenson on guitar, Jo Shum on bass, Leyton Greening on drums and Matt Bizzle on woodwinds. Anaru said additional players would join the stage for certain songs.

We can’t wait to hear them.

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