Music News

By John Dodd | Posted: Tuesday April 10, 2018

Term One flew by and its been a whirlwind of action for music students and their teachers.

The big event for all was the annual Music Camp at Tirohanga. 60 students attended, all members of either the choir, orchestra or jazz band, and amidst all of the fun and games there was much learning of repertoire. As usual, a highlight was the wonderful food served to us by a cohort of parent helpers. And of course, the informal Saturday evening concert is always entertaining and special.

The school jazz band (now known as ‘the Big Bad Big Band’) kicked off the year with a gig at the American Classic Car rally at Tahuna Park. The band entertained for close to two hours, quite a feat for this early in the year.

On Friday 6 April the band attended the inaugural Dunedin Youth Jazz Festival, and won Best Big Band.  A subset of the band (six-piece group ‘the Itty Bitty Small Band’ was highly commended for their performance as well).  Several members also gained certificates for either outstanding musicianship or most promising players.

The band is working toward returning to the Marlborough Southern Jam Festival, held in Blenheim in August.

A second choir has started this year. This is the initiative of a parent, Susan Scharpf, who brings her considerable experience and skill to tutoring this small group of auditioned singers on Mondays after school.

Four Year 12 students entered a wonderful original song (Do it Kiwi) into the Hook line and Singalong national songwriting competition. They were rewarded with a Highly Commended. Congratulations to Beth Lynch, Lealia Devereux, Connor Bedwell and Grace Cunningham.

Speaking of Connor, he has been selected to play in the New Zealand Secondary School Symphony Orchestra, to be held in Christchurch in the upcoming April  holiday period.

The Logan Park Orchestra, consisting of 43 members, played at school assembly recently, impressing with a beautiful rendition of the first movement of Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony. Many of these players are now in the early stages of preparation toward the Chamber Music competition to be held in June. The school has entered 11 groups.

Ten students were selected to attend songwriting workshops by a visiting high profile singer/songwriter, Jenny Mitchell. Jenny has been working with these students every Thursday afternoon, and the series will conclude this week. It has been thrilling to witness the development of confidence in the participants as they write each week.

We have welcomed two new instrumental teachers to LPHS this year (it took two to replace our recently departed guitar teacher Andy Parsons). Welcome to Hamish Ellis (guitar) and Dean Armitage (bass).

Finally, it was wonderful to hear that school band Painted Blind created their magic for a large crowd in the Octagon over the Easter weekend, while big Ed Sheran was in town.

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