TALENTED performers from eight schools dazzled an audience of 900 people when they took to the stage for the Be Your Best Rock Challenge in Bournemouth last night.

Months of practice paid off when they tackled a diverse range of themes to impress the judges.

Overall winners were St Peter's from Southbourne with a performance called The Joy Machine, telling the story of Daisy as she helps her granddad with his invention.

The delighted team members are now looking forward to taking on tough opposition at the Southern Open Final to be held in Portsmouth in June.

Second place was awarded to Corfe Hills with their theme One Candle lights A Thousand, highlighting the importance of fund raising for Great Ormond Street Hospital.

The Bishop of Winchester Academy took third place with a striking performance which revealed that, no matter how hard life gets, you should always appreciate the small things and treasure every moment.

The crowd was also delighted to welcome Oak Academy, the reigning Southern Premier Champions. They were not allowed to compete but put on an impressive display when they showcased their talents in preparation for the Southern Premier Final.

Deputy Mayor of Bournemouth, Cllr Rod Cooper, was in the audience. He said: “It's been a fantastic evening - I've thoroughly enjoyed it.

“I was there for the final in Portsmouth last year which was great. I wish the team that's going on every possible success. I'm sure they're going to do well.”

Other schools taking part in the event were The Grange, Avonbourne and Harewood Colleges, QE, the Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy and Sir John Colfox.