Senior Solo Music 2017

May 12, 2017 at 12:52 PM

In a change of venue and format, eleven of our best senior musicians stepped up to compete for the title of this year’s Senior Solo Music Champion last night. Selected through earlier audition, the finalists performed to an appreciative audience in one of four categories: Piano, Voice, Wind or Strings. 

With the traditional venue, Elliot Hall, being prepared for Peter Pan, last night’s competition was staged in the Jack Paine Centre. On a day when the tail end of Cyclone Donna was starting to whip across the country, moving the grand piano to the new location was not without its challenges! 

Reminiscent of previous Jazz Cafés, audience members were seated  in a relaxed style at small tables to enjoy dessert platters and barista style coffee from Blue Brew, our signature coffee cart.  Despite the relaxed setting, the competition was no less fierce than previous years! 

Unlike the many other ensemble musical performance opportunities during the course of the year, this event put each individual player in the spotlight under the watchful scrutiny of our two adjudicators for the evening, Dr Te Oti Rakena from The University of Auckland and Mrs Delysse Glynn, the national NCEA Music Moderator.

As the winners were announced, the judges conveyed the difficulty of their decision.  They were most complimentary about the level of technical and musical proficiency of all our students, however, they indicated that at this level of competition, it was ‘not just about playing the piece.’ In an evening of exceptional talent, they were judging the total performance from the time the students stepped onto the stage, watching in particular for the connection they made with their audience. 

Whilst selecting winners in each section proved difficult, they were unanimous in their decision to select Sid Chand as the Overall Winner. This was the fourth consecutive year that Sid has won the Voice section. Singing two pieces, ‘Widmung’ by Robert Schumann and ‘Black is the Colour of My True Love’s Hair’ by John Jacob Niles, Sid’s poise and confidence in front of an audience was clear for all to see. Selena Chen (Piano) and John Moon (Wind Section on Double Bass) were both second time section winners. First time finalist, Nick Scott, was the winner of the wind section, playing on trombone. 

The judges drew the audience’s attention to one further point. Whilst it’s possible to learn the piano or violin, or to learn to sing from a very early age, instruments such as the double bass or trombone require physical maturity before they can be taken on. John on double bass and Nick on trombone, have both reached very high levels of performance in a relatively short few years. 

Each of the eleven finalists gave an amazing performance of which each can be very proud. 

We thank our adjudicators for taking the time to spend with our students, offering notes of encouragement and advice at the end of the evening. Our thanks also to Year 13 student, Ellie Buttle, who did a sterling job hosting the evening. 

Sid Chand - Voice 

Solo Music Competition Finalists
Voice Section
Sid Chand – Winner
Luca Heard
Braydon Robinson
Victoria Tse

Piano Section
Selena Chen – Winner
Miyuki Chan

String Section
John Moon, Double Bass - Winner
Ericia Chang, Violin
Joshua Pan, Violin

Wind Section
Nicholas Scott, Trombone - Winner
Ethan Blight, Clarinet

Dr. Te Oti Rakena
Dr. Te Oti Rakena is an American-trained singer. He studied at the New England Conservatory in Boston with master teacher Edward Zambara. He received his doctorate in vocal studies from the University of Texas at Austin and undertook three years’ post-doctoral study in Germany. Since returning to New Zealand, he has re-established his performing career alongside his teaching position at the University of Auckland. He is currently the Associate Dean Maori and Pacific for the Faculty of Creative Arts and Industries, and Coordinator of Vocal Studies in the School of Music.  He participated in the Auckland Philharmonia mentoring scheme, ‘Sing with Te Oti,’ where young singers auditioned to sing with Te Oti and the orchestra. His students have included several high profile New Zealand singers including 2014 Adler Fellow at San Francisco Opera, Hadleigh Adams, Moses Mackay of Sol3 Mio, and 2016 Lexus Song Quest winner Benson Wilson.

Te Oti’s iwi affiliations are Ngapuhi, Ngati Ruanui, and Kai Tahu.

Delysse Glynn
Delysse Glynn is currently the National Assessment Moderator for NCEA Music. She has held this post for sevent years, and was previously HOD Music at several Auckland Secondary Schools, including her last teaching role at Sacred Heart College.  Delysse is actively involved in the piping and drumming scene in Auckland, being the Education Officer for the RNPBA and lead tenor drummer for the City of Auckland Pipe Band. Performing at the Edinburgh Tattoo in Wellington and the Lorient Music Festival in France are highlights from her time in the CoAPB.  Delysse also plays organ/piano at St Michael’s Church, and accompanies the choir and school masses.  She is a huge supporter of NZ music and the arts, seeing first-hand the benefits they provide for our young people.


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