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Photo by Joe McMenamin

Performing Arts

Ms Anderson —

Performing Arts have had a big year with massive changes throughout the Department. We have welcomed Tiffany Anderson back from leave and Megan McCarthy appointed as new Head of Department. While the vision for the Department grows, Performing Arts have been buzzing throughout intervals and lunchtimes with a lot of amazing creativity.

Extra-curricular music from our students this year turned heads at SmokeFree RockQuest. Leon Humphries (guitar), Bailey Bisson (drums), Jacob Arthur (bass) and Joshua Jackson-James (vocals) demonstrated their prowess in metal and continue to refine their band towards next year’s competition. Watch this space.

Ms Anderson’s choral group performed a wide variety of acapella and mixed-voice arrangements at the soiree events. We recognise this is a strong group of young singers with a real passion for their art.

The itinerant music programme has been a hub of amazing creativity, with many thanks to Andre Paris (woodwind/and band leader), Carol Stannard (piano) Vickie Fergusson (vocals), Shaun Anderson (drums) and Doug ten Broeke (guitar/bass).

The soirees throughout the year showcased the depth of emerging talent within the Department, and students were also able to expand into performance events for the community.

Multi-cultural day saw the whole school engage in the spirit of the festival, sharing an array of talent, including dance, comedy, music and cultural performance. The pride of the community was strong and it was inspiring to see such Te Whanau Tahi.

Classroom music has seen many changes integrating student voice and flexibility within assessment to support the varying skills of students. Ms McCarthy takes pride in the growth of the programme and strengthening the future vision of the Department. A new music block is under construction towards the end of this year and throughout 2017, including an upgrade of technologies and refinement of resources to meet the growing needs of the students.

Junior music has been a very exciting and inspiring class in each half-year and has built a strong core learning programme around basic knowledge of theory and listening skills, a brief history of music, composition techniques and music technology. Self-directed instrumental learning has sparked enthusiasm and engagement in a sense of whanau within the junior classes.

Senior music has welcomed specialist mentors to work with our talented students, including a recent visit from AJ Crawshaw. AJ worked closely with students to develop their composition methods and has been an inspiration to work with. We are looking forward to further mentoring opportunities from leaders within the performance community, and to building these relationships with our students.

As our students grow more confident in performance, they have shared a true passion for music which has been a joy to see.

Drama students have had the unique opportunity of seeing their teacher in action at the recent performance of ‘Sister Act’. Ms Anderson has been an inspiration, sharing her beautiful gifts with the students. Jonathan Morgan (TJ from Sister Act) recently visited to speak about the show. It is a wonderful opportunity for students to have access to actors in the top of their field to share their skills and experiences.

Student devising within Drama showcased the outstanding abilities of our Drama students, and we look forward to growing performance events to include opportunities for this work to be shared with the community.

The Media, Film and Sound course has provided a platform for students interested in recording technology, film production and media platforms. Emerging work shows true promise and understanding of the artistic vision. As the programme grows, we look forward to hosting a Level 1 course to enable students to extend their portfolio.

We are excited to build a relationship with Chris Winter (contractor for Park Road Post Studios and Weta Digital), who is happy to share his expertise in production and sound engineering with our students. We are grateful to share this exciting opportunity with our students.

Once again, we would like to thank the community for supporting our students as they continue to develop their already impressive skills in performing arts. We are really looking forward to the opportunities of 2017.