MONTHS of hard work came to fruition today when hundreds of students took to the stage for the Bournemouth heat of Rock Challenge 2019.

Pupils from seven Dorset schools have spent many hours in training for the competition.

And their enthusiasm was brimming over when they started their rehearsals at the town's Pavilion Theatre.

Tonight pupils will compete for the chance to get through to the regional final.

The schools taking part are St Edward’s School, Poole, Parkfield School, Christchurch, QE School, Wimborne, The Grange School, Christchurch, The Bourne Academy, Bournemouth, Corfe Hills School, Poole and the Sir John Colfox Academy, Bridport.

Earlier this year concerns were raised over the future of the event when the original date for the heat was postponed at the last minute.

Other venues due to stage the competition also saw last-minute changes.

The teams of students who compete in Rock Challenge spend months preparing a stage show to reflect the message that young people can get a natural high from performing, rather than drink or drugs.

Each team produces an eight-minute performance on a subject of their choice. Pupils are involved in all aspects of their production, from set design to lighting.

Tomorrow the Daily Echo will have a full gallery of pictures on its website and a selection of pictures will also appear in the newspaper on Wednesday.