Band contest bears fruit for The Orchard

Winner of the 2013 National Campus Band Competition, Griffith University's The Orchard

Griffith University rock group The Orchard is officially Australia’s best campus band.

The Gold Coast four-piece took out the recent National Campus Band Competition in Canberra, winning $10,000 after being voted No.1 amongseven finalists drawn from an original field of 238 bands.

With Sean Thomas on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Brayden Caneris on lead guitar, Steven Dalamara on bass and Lachlan Bambach on drums, The Orchard progressed to the national play-off after winning the Griffith campus final and the Queensland final, both held at the Griffith Unibar on the Gold Coast.

Sean said the band had been brought together by a love of “filthy guitars, driving drums, emotional vocals and all things that make music real”. He said The Orchard’s music arosefrom a range of influences, including hard and progressive rock, jazz and blues.

The band’s self-titled EP was released in September and Sean said the $10,000 prizemoney wouldbuy much-needed new equipment.

“We had to borrow some gear to take down to the final, so this will be a real boost for us.”

The National Campus Band Competition began in 1990 and has helped launch acclaimed Australian bands such as Eskimo Joe, Jebediah, Rubycon and The Vasco Era.

To be eligible, bands must have at least one member attending university. Sean, Steven and Lachlan are each studying for theirBachelor of Popular Music.

“It’s exciting for us. The music business is a really tough industry, but this makes us feel like we can do it,” Sean said.

“Doing the degree at Griffith has helped us a lot. Apart from being a subject we’re all passionate about, the studio recording facilities at the University are great and that has helped us a lot.”

For more information on The Orchard, go to