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Grace Johnston
Photo by Emma Harris

Arts Prefect, Grace Johnston, goes to Arts Nationals

Mrs E Harris —

Grace will be competing in both the Public Speaking and Speech and Drama categories.

Grace has worked hard to earn her way to this level of competition.

Both categories are open to competitors up to the age of 21 years.

1. Public Speaking

For this competition, Grace is required to present a prepared speech and also an impromptu speech. She will be representing Columba College at this event.

2. Speech and Drama

Grace is one of 18 students Nationwide who have competed to gain a nomination to the Speech and Drama Section of the National Young Performer Awards (NYPA) at PACANZ Mega (Performing Arts Competitions Association of New Zealand).

This competition is viewed as the pinnacle of achievement across eight different performing arts. For this, Grace is required to present three drama pieces and link them through an extempore style commentary. Grace will be performing three highly contrasting NZ pieces.

Just as an athlete trains in their chosen sport, Grace has spent years immersing herself in various Arts as part of her ‘training’. Her achievements to date are impressive and include:

  • 95% in her recent Trinity College Speech and Drama exam (one of NZs top scores) 2021
  • Winner of the school speech competition for Years 8,9,10,11 and 12
  • Arts Blues 2018,2019,2020,2021
  • Academic Blues 2020, 2021
  • Scholarship English 2021
  • Lead in the School Production 2021
  • Three Poems Published in ReDraft 2021
  • Co-editor of Song of Wings, 2021
  • Winner of the Year 10 Otago Speech Competition
  • Actor and Musician (Bass Clarinet) in Sheilah Winn Regionals and Nationals 2021
  • Director and Actor in Sheilah Winn Regionals- Winning Best Ensemble and Best Costumes 2022
  • Interviewer and co-presenter in fortnightly radio podcasts as part of her role in Dunedin Youth Council as both secretary and on numerous Arts sub committees.
  • Dunedin Youth Writers Club - Minor Gospel
  • 5+ years performing in musicals and plays at the Dunedin Repertory Society, Musical Theatre Dunedin, Taieri Musical Society and Taieri Dramatic Society.

Grace is excited to have been given these opportunities to perform on a National stage in each Art form and Columba wishes her all the best. We have no doubt she will shine.