Hero photograph
Massed Choir at The Big Sing Regional Gala Concert
Photo by Chris Petch

Music Department News from Term 2

Chris Petch —

Another busy term with so many successes to report...

Chamber Music

Once again our students performed magnificently in the NZ Chamber Music Contest. An amazing 17 groups from Burnside entered the district round from which 4 (from a total of 8 selected) were chosen to play in the district final:

Elallitodva: Samantha Chiang, Ashley Leng, Oscar Chin, playing Bartok's Contrasts for Clarinet, Violin and Piano. They were highly commended.

A Young Man's Trio: Emica Taylor, Lily Doak, Tetsuya Yamada, playing Malcolm Arnold's Grand Fantasia for Flute, Clarinet and Piano. They were highly commended.

BHS Brass Quintet: Lewis Grey, Lena Krakowiak, Joshua Langford, Joseph Grace and Mark Lemzin playing Collier Jones' 4 movements for 5 Brass. They won the Woolston Brass Cup, awarded to the most outstanding brass ensemble in the contest.

Progressive Sax Policy: Pavle Filipovic, Benjamin Yang, Toby Govin-Fowler and Nicholas Grace, playing Ewazen's Rhapsody for Saxophone Quartet. They won a KBB Award for outstanding woodwind playing.

Three groups progressed to the Regional Final, following which Elallitodva and A Young Man's Trio were selected for the National Finals weekend, held in Auckland at the start of August.

These are outstanding achievements for these students in a highly competitive event. Congratulations to them and our best wishes to our National Semi-Final competing groups.  As always, huge thanks to the team of tutors that helped prepare our chamber musicians for this contest.

The Big Sing

A great day for four of our choirs (JPC, Aurora Voices, Bel Canto and Quantum Acoustics) at the regional Big Sing, finally back in the town hall, all of them performing to their potential, and demonstrating outstanding conduct throughout what was a VERY long day, the gala concert finishing just before 11pm!Thanks to our great team of choral directors: Emma Summers, Susan Densem and Ravil Atlas for their work in preparing the choirs.

The following awards were presented to our choirs: 

Most outstanding performance of a Romantic Work: Bel Canto

Most outstanding performance of a contemporary work: Quantum Acoustics

Most outstanding recital by a junior choir: Aurora Voices

Most outstanding performance of a contemporary/commercial music work: Bel Canto

Most outstanding contribution by a student accompanist: Sung Min Oh

NZSO National Youth Orchestra Selections

In the instrumental music field, three of our students have been selected for the NZSO National Youth Orchestra. This is an outstanding achievement for any high school musician as the orchestra is open to tertiary students and adults up to the age of 27. Many travel home from overseas to be a part of this prestigious orchestra. The students selected are:

Liam Johnson, Double Bass

Stephen Mosa’ati, Trumpet

Lewis Grey, Trumpet

Congratulations to them!

Jazz Quest

Three SMP Jazz Combos competed in this event, organised by the staff at ARA Music Arts.  The week-long competition culminates in a gala concert, at which the various awards are presented. Our musicians achieved outstanding results as follows:

Combo 3: Daniel Sinclair , George Donaldson, Oscar Fischer, Dylan Blundell, Amelia Goomes, Mahgen Clarke - Bronze Award.

Combo 2: Stephen Mosa’ati, Nic Ryan, Dylan Jonkers, Sam Turner, Jackson Wills, Ryan Bell - Gold Award plus Stephen took the best trumpet player award.

Combo 1 cleaned up, winning seven awards as follows: Gold award, Best Combo overall award, Best pianist - Nick Pitts, Best Bassist - Liam Johnson, Best Drummer - Amy Boden, Best Vocalist - Betty Barouni, Best Overall Musician in the competition- Nick Pitts

None of this would be possible without the effort, expertise and dedication of Cain Hood and Cameron Oswin who have prepared these SMP groups, not only for this event, but more importantly in the weekly programme they have developed which is second to none in terms of its depth and quality of tuition. Congratulations to everyone involved and we look forward to August when the Big Band, Funk Band and Junior Jazz Ensemble get their chance to shine in the large ensemble category of the event.

Music Roadshow

Now an annual feature of our programme, the Music Roadshow event involved three days of concerts for our local primary and intermediate schools which proved hugely successful once again. Thanks to Cameron Oswin and Cain Hood and to all the students involved; they represented not only the Music Department but the school as a whole impeccably as ever. 

Ben Morrison Masterclass

An ex-SMP student, Ben is now working as a violinist with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, recognised as one of the top five orchestras in the world. He was in Christchurch to perform as a soloist with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and very generously took some time out of his packed schedule to visit his old school and give an inspirational masterclass for our SMP Strings class. Ben is one of many ex-Burnside SMP students making their mark on the global stage and we thank him for his time and generosity.

Jazz On The Road

We also welcomed the illustrious Dr Rodger Fox with his Big Band and an array of world-famous guest artists and hosted the second Jazz On The Road event in the Music Department and Aurora Centre. A number of local high school Big Bands attended a day of workshops and performances and enjoyed a spectacular concert in the evening. Our own Big Band was honoured once again to be asked to open the concert and played a 25 minute set of tunes to a hugely appreciative audience.

North West Festival

To end the term, our annual North West Festival event welcomed 700 pupils from 15 local primary and intermediate schools who, together with our very own Aurora Voices, Junior Performance Choir, Junior Strings, Junior Jazz Ensemble and Junior Concert Band presented three virtually sold-out concerts in the Aurora Centre. Thanks to everyone involved for another very successful festival.

Looking ahead...

Lots to look forward to next term including Chamber Music Finals, Contemporary Music events, Barbershop competition, Jazz Quest, Orchestral Showcase and Festival, Christchurch Arts Festival featuring Bel Canto with Julia Deans, SMP Recitals, Concert Band Festival and a Jazz Tour to the top of the South Island.

I wish the hard-working staff and students of the Music Department a safe and restful holiday with their families and friends.