Let the Music Play! JazzQuest ~ Strum Strike Blow ~ BandQuest

Written by Pieta Hextall

Wow, what a busy time for the music department with events coming out of our ears! This term has been filled with everything from a guitar concerto to jazz standards and rock music to Star Wars orchestral compositions!

In July we attended JazzQuest held at the Ara Institute where our amazing musicians came back with a Bronze award. This is an amazing achievement as nearly all the competitors were from secondary schools in the Christchurch area. Every student performed a solo! Well done everyone involved!

The fun does not stop as we moved into August with the StrumStrikeBlow event at Christchurch Arena. Over 1200 primary and intermediate students attended and a public event was a coordination masterpiece! Our wonderful marimba, ukulele and recorder groups took their places and performed in true Chissy fashion and style. We even had a few surprises up our sleeves with key performers shining bright. Perita Talanoa sang beautifully with Henare from Dillistrate. Perita along with Yasmin Thompson and Ben Harris pumped out some jazzy saxophone solos. 

Did we rest? No, we got the orchestra all packed and prepared for the Aurora Festival at Burnside High School and gave some key performances much to the enjoyment of the performers who have been working hard in a time that has been rough for practice, with colds and sniffly noses running wild. Harry Procter debuted his Rodrigo Guitar Concerto, an amazing feat for anyone let alone someone who has only been learning the guitar for a year! After their performance, the orchestra attended a masterclass with local composer, conductor, music educator Patrick Shepherd who fine tuned the orchestra and gave us lots of useful tips! We are taking our show to Wellington to the WeBo Competition in week 10 as well as performing at the Cultural Soiree in week 9.

Then we just completed BandQuest with 6, yes 6 rock bands that put on their best rock gear and showed the crowd how multi-talented we are. The smiles on stage were just as big as the proud smiles in the audience! Legacy of the Beast (Kate Poultney, Kash Perry, Jack Le Warne, Ben Harris, Donovan Campbell & Taiyo Sekihara) won 2nd in the regionals! Taiyo Sekihara also won Most Rocking Drummer! Hypermania (Holly Kurzfeld, Callum Skelton, Angus Shipley, Louisa Emerson & Jaxon Low) were awarded best Rockstar Styles awards with their bright and colourful outfits and performance. This was amazing event and was a great experience for all. Well done to everyone for their hard work and weekend rehearsals, it paid off!!

By Pieta Hextall