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Photo by Charlotte Ensor

Music Department News - Term 3 2021

Charlotte Ensor —

The start of what was to be a busy term meant that we got some great results before lockdown stopped the momentum.

JazzQuest - Ensembles
On July 31 we had the Funk Band and Big Band competing at the Ara Jazz Quest ensemble competition.
Both bands were awarded Gold, and the Big Band was also awarded Best Big Band.
Congratulations to all involved.

SMP Recitals
We successfully held both the SMP Piano Recital at the Ron Ball Studio on August 3rd and the SMP Wind and Brass Recital at St Mary's Pro Cathedral on August 10th. These mid-year recitals were a chance for several of our best musicians to showcase the repertoire they have been working on this year. 

Unfortunately, the SMP Strings recital had to be cancelled and instead they were recorded without audience at the Ron Ball Studio with students from the University of Canterbury on September 24th. Many thanks to the tutors that have worked with them throughout the year.

The SMP Gala Day, which will have performances from all of the instrumental students through the day will now be taking place on Saturday, November 13th. The SMP Vocal students will be performing on November 11th at the All Souls Anglican Church.

Chamber Music Nationals
We had two successful chamber groups proceed to the nationals held in Christchurch this year: Reflections and Fingersticking Good. They both picked up Silver Awards.

CSO Big Play Out
Two of our instrumental ensembles, Orchestra and Junior Strings, attended the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra's Big Play Out on August 15th. They performed first individually and then as a part of the massed orchestra with hundreds of other instrumentalists in the Christchurch Town Hall's Douglas Lilburn Auditorium.

Southern Jam
One of our Ara JazzQuest winning Combos, Chicks from Corea, travelled up to Blenheim August 6-8 for the Southern Jam competition. They came away with even more awards, claiming Best Combo together and then Dylan Blundell earned Best Drummer and William Kao earned both Best Pianist and Best Improviser. William and Monet Schutte were then also selected for the all stars band that performed at the gala concert. Congratulations to this combo on a highly successful year!

NZSM Jazz Improvisation Contest
Two of our music students also entered and won in the New Zealand School of Music's Jazz Improvisation Contest. Sho Woodhouse won the Drums category and William Kao added to his successes this year by winning the General category (which includes all melodic instruments). The following link shows the awards announcement along with their two performances: https://youtu.be/jENbZcGzBvU

Unfortunately, the Big Sing Finale and Cadenza along with the Wind Festival and several school-run concerts were unable to go ahead due to the lockdown and alert level 2 restrictions. We are disappointed that the preparations these ensembles have made were not able to be showcased, but we thank the students and tutors for having put the work in and their understanding of the circumstances.