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Arts and Cultural News

Dio Arts Team —

Bel Suono had a full-on five days in Ōtautahi Christchurch for The Big Sing Finale. They came home with some extra baggage after being awarded a Bronze Award at the Gala Concert, where they got to perform accompanist Angela Smith’s original composition There is Sweet Music.

Image by: Dio Communications

Congratulations to all the students in Bel Suono for all the extra work you put into getting to the Finale, and congratulations to Maria Colvin, Jayne Tankersley, Angela Smith and Bridget Greenslade for the hard work of directing, coaching, and accompanying the Choir.

The choir were privileged to meet adjudicator Judy Bellingham after the Gala Concert. Not only is Judy a fabulous performer, coach, educator, author, and vocal clinician, and a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2016 for services to classical singing, but she is also a Waikato Dio Old Girl! It was a privilege to meet her and get some constructive feedback.

A super special shout out to our “choir moms” who helped behind the scenes with sashes, ribbons, hair, necklaces, dresses, steaming, washing, and getting food and coffees. We appreciate our support team who met us in Christchurch and the support teams from afar via the Livestream.

Bel Suono would like to give a massive thank you to everyone who organised and sponsored The Big Sing Finale - everyone was so helpful and supportive and made their first appearance at Finale a fantastic experience. 

Waikato Diocesan School for Girls, Bel Suono | There Is Sweet Music Here Angela Edmeades Smith New Zealand Choral Federation

Instrumental Music 

By Ally Zhang, DiOrchestra Concertmaster 2022

On 9 August, the DiOrchestra competed in the Auckland KBB Festival. Results finally came out, and we received a Bronze award! This is a great achievement considering we were competing against the top school orchestras in New Zealand, such as the Westlake Symphony Orchestra. Our repertoire consisted of: Havana arranged by Victor Lopez, Hungarian Dance no. 5 by Brahms, Piano Concerto Movement 3 by David Hamilton, Sleigh Ride by Leroy Anderson and How to Train Your Dragon by John Powell. Last year the DiOrchestra performed at the KBB Festival but was not playing competitively, so we were excited to compete properly this year! When our orchestra wasn’t performing, we got to watch the other school orchestras performing, which was also exciting. After all the orchestras in the morning session had finished performing, there was an opportunity for all these orchestras to combine and do a quick workshop with one of the adjudicators and then perform the piece Slingshot by Michael Story, which was an amazing experience. 

KBB Music Festival — Image by: Dio Communications
Image by: Dio Communications

Before the Festival, the orchestra had a workshop with one of New Zealand’s top conductors/musical directors, David Squire. During this workshop, Squire shared his musical knowledge and tips that helped the orchestra prepare for the competition. Tips such as how to articulate and create dynamics effectively for the echoey acoustics of the KBB venue were extremely insightful.

Image by: Dio Communications

Good luck to our DiOrchestra, Jazz Band, and Pixie Kickers guitar ensemble as they compete in the Waikato ITM Band and Orchestra Festival on Friday, 9 September, at Raleigh Street Christian Centre in Leamington, Cambridge. This Festival has not been able to happen for the last two years, so everyone is excited to perform against other Waikato schools. Best of luck, Dio!


Image by: Dio Communications

We are rebooting our production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

All of the 2022 cast (Years 9 to 12) can retain their roles or can choose to re-audition for another role. All other roles are now up for grabs, and auditions will be held late in Term 4.

A slight change for the 2023 version of A Midsummer Night's Dream is that we will also be auditioning for a dance ensemble, who will only be dancing in the show.

Audition information for acting roles and the dance ensemble will be available soon.

*Please note: Unfortunately, we will not be auditioning incoming Year 8s for the 2023 production.


Dance Showcase
Balance, extension, strength, poise and energy were displayed at the Dio Dance Showcase on the 8th and 9th of August. Always a sellout event, the showcase celebrates our dance programme at Dio and our talented dancers, choreographers, and teachers.

Image by: Dio Communications


Two Dio dance troupes went to the Waikato Regional DanceNZmade Competition at Cambridge High School on 20/21 August.

Drip (Hip Hop), comprising five dancers, competed in the Years 11-13 category and Dynasty (Jazz), comprising ten dancers, competed in the Open category. Dynasty came away with the 2nd runner-up in the Open category.

Lexie Stock competed as the only soloist from Dio in the Year 11 category and placed 2nd with her solo, Salome.

Lexie Stock and Alex Newman-Jacobs also received a Golden Ticket each during the workshops which took place on Sunday. This allows them to travel to Nationals and complete several workshops with well-known choreographers and dance tutors and then compete against other golden ticket winners from around the country in a dance-off. The ten finalists in this category would share $10,000 between them for their dance studies the following year.

This is the first time we have competed in this competition, although the lead-up has been two years in the making. Congratulations to all our dancers on their efforts. Thank you to TIC Dance, Mrs Gould, and our wonderful parents for their support.

Image by: Dio Communications


At the Waikato Schools' Debating Prize-giving last week, two Dio students were recognised.

  • Juniors: Evie Sharman was awarded second best speaker in the junior novice division
  • Seniors: Bahaar Mahal was awarded top speaker in the senior open division.

This is a massive recognition as debating in 2022 was held mostly online, with teams Zooming in to compete (sometimes the team was together in person, sometimes the team were in different locations!). Online debating brings a few more challenges.

Well done to all our debaters for an amazing season, and congratulations Evie and Bahaar.


By Sarah Rich, Drama Captain 2022

This term has seen the last of the senior drama classes successfully perform their production assessments.

The Year 12s performed a class production in Term 2 called Cyber-bile, highlighting the harsh realities of cyberbullying. Cyber-bile pinpointed the flow-on effect of cyberbullying by emphasising the different people affected by cyberbullies and how they respond. This play has left some in the audience in tears and has affected everyone differently.

The Year 11s also performed their class production in Term 2 called Are we there yet? which was written by the class. Are we there yet? is about Year 11's first three years of high school and how COVID has affected them. This play is super personal to the Year 11 students and is relatable to the many people who have experienced similar realities.

Year 13s have finished their “organised chaos” production of Noise’s Off, a comedic farce by Michael Frayn. No one in the cast will ever want sardines again!

Image by: Dio Communications

Many thanks to Mr Hutcheson for fixing the set, compromising eight doors. The play was challenging as performing comedy isn't a walk in the park!

Image by: Dio Communications

The Year 10 drama classes are working towards their class productions in Term 4.

High Achievers' Concert

What a fabulous evening of Music at the High Achievers’ Concert on Thursday, 1 September. Well done to everyone who performed.

Congratulations to our category winners:

  • Group Performance: Ashley Koo and Ally Zhang
  • Intermediate Vocal: Gabriella Schuitemaker
  • Senior Vocal: Alice Watson
  • Senior Piano: Ally Zhang
  • Senior Instrumental: Isabelle Stiles
  • Nancy Light Cup for overall best performance at the High Achievers’ Concert: jointly awarded to Alice Watson and Isabelle Stiles.
Image by: Dio Communications

Orchestra Centrals Composition Winner

Congratulations to Year 13's Isabelle Stiles, who won the secondary section of the inaugural Orchestra Centrals Composition workshop competition with her piece A trio of birds for flute, clarinet and bassoon. Her piece was workshopped and performed at Waikato University. Four secondary school works were selected by esteemed New Zealand composers Professor Martin Lodge and Dr Mike Williams from the University of Waikato Conservatorium of Music, along with conductor, Rupert D'Cruze.

Well done, Isabelle and thanks to her family and friends for encouraging her (and a whaanau shout out to her fantastic music teachers here at Dio who have encouraged her musical creativity, Mrs Colvin and Mrs Greenslade).

Image by: Dio Communications


Congratulations to Year 12's Kate Stephens, jointly awarded the Musicianship award for guitar @rockquest Waikato regionals. Kate is a member of Ordinary Outsiders, a mixed school band with members from Cambridge High School

What a brilliant achievement Kate! 

A video of Ordinary Outsiders @rockquest performance can be viewed here.

Cathedral Performance

Brightening up a rainy, wintery August Sunday morning, the beautiful voices of Waikato Diocesan’s Cantiamo Chapel Choir lead the Choral Eucharist at The Waikato Cathedral Church of St Peter.

It was wonderful to have members of our Mission Council read passages in the service as well.

Many thanks to our Waikato Dio and Anglican community for supporting us.

Image by: Dio Communications

Cake Art Auction

by Alice Watson - Leader of Arts 2022

Thank you to everyone who participated in the annual cake art auction. There was such a fantastic turnout, and the calibre of the creations this year was outstanding.  Thank you to everyone who took the time to make the cakes/cupcakes and those who purchased them. We had a total of 29 cakes entered and seven lots of cupcakes. The profits, over $850, will go to our school charity for the year, the Hamilton Foodbank. Also, a huge thank you to the Arts Council members and Ms Hewitt for all the hard work they put into this event and to Mr D for his fabulous auctioneering skills.

Image by: Dio Communications

Visual Arts

The Piki Mahuta Centre mezzanine became an exhibition of the Level 2 and Level 3 Photography progress work. All senior visual art students are nearing the completion of their portfolios for externally assessed NCEA. We look forward to sharing some of these with whaanau at the upcoming Arts Showcase and Arts Awards.

Dio Arts Showcase

The showcase being held Thursday, 29 September,  is a  celebration of all our performing arts here at Dio. Tickets are $10 (plus booking fees) and can be purchased here.

Image by: Dio Communications