College Showcase winner Jules Benson-Wright!

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At last, after Covid cancelled ‘Night of the Arts’ and the postponed ‘Talent Quest’, we had the chance to morph the two events in the quad in ‘Showcase’. Seventeen acts entertained the whole college and four judges: our own staff, Principal. Philip Coombe, Fiona Boorer, local choir conductor and musician, Science teacher and Musical groupie parent, Jon Bell and Angela McGregor, singer and founder of the Whānau Music Competition. 

We were entertained for an hour by acts as diverse as a thumb piano solo from Indigo Tomlinson, to eighteen Year 7 ukulele players under the tutelage of Matua Henry. Fortunately, the weather was influenced by the Cantabile Singers’ Irving Berlin jazz standard, “Blue Skies” as musicians from Year 9 and Year 8 Music classes stepped up to perform. Lisbe Jooste, local singing teacher, accompanied her students Jack and Will Trubshaw, Juliet Benson-Wright and Diya Barthi on piano and was later rewarded by Juliet being awarded the trophy for best in show for her lovely singing.

The newly-formed Huanui Ensemble gave a debut performance of folk song ‘Country Gardens’ while Rachael Jackson, accompanied by Oliver Buckle on guitar, sang. Heidi McGregor and Kate Bradley played Schumann’s lovely ‘Spring Song’ as a duet on flute, dancers Alice Owens and Zara Welford took advantage of the grassy quad to interpret Katy Perry’s ‘Daisies’. Year 13 student, Grace Wiegersma, gave a lovely lyrical solo dance, Finding Hope. Marcus McGregor, Year 8 student showed musical prowess on piano with Minuet by D, the only pianist brave enough to enter the contest. Blake’s small group from the Whānau Music competition, inspired by their win, stepped up again with a lovely arrangement of Keen’s ‘Homeward Bound’. Year 10 Music Class, with Mauta Henry at the helm, finished the concert with a soulful performance of Bill Withers and Grover Washingtons ‘Just the Two of Us’ .

Within minutes, the stage was gone, Stewart and his team had shifted the piano back to its home off A5, sound crew Jasper Miller-Waugh, Ollie Brooks and Oskar Smith had dismantled speakers, microphones and metres of cable, Rebecca-Amy Muir, stage manager, had organised chairs back to classrooms.

The judges returned to their classrooms and the students all dispersed, taking with them new impressions of their talented school mates, not least our two entertaining Masters of Ceremony, Carolyn Betterton and Indigo Tomlinson, who stole the show. 

Kathryn Hunt, Poetic Genius.

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