Boys' School Budding Songwriters

September 23, 2013 at 10:30 AM

The Boys’ School was proud to welcome judges, Mr Mike Chun, Mr Murray Thom and Murray’s son, Sam Thom to this year’s School Song Writing competition. Mike is formerly of Split Enz and is currently the CEO of Play it Strange; an organisation which implements music programmes in NZ schools. Murray was former Managing Director of CBS records and is known for producing The Great New Zealand Songbook with the best of NZ music. Sam his son, was a former Head Boy at the School.

The competition was run as an extension to the school’s classroom programme where the senior boys study composition.  There were two sections to the competition; the first was to write a piece of instrumental music for their chosen instrument; the second part was for vocal compositions. An earlier competition saw eight compositions selected for this final round of competition where each piece was played in front of a large audience and the visiting judges. 

At the close of the competition, Mr Thom remarked at his amazement at the quality of compositions and song writing from students of such a young age. All finalists received a copy of The Great New Zealand Songbook with trophies awarded to the winners: Ben Lerner won the instrumental section on the saxophone section for his piece entitled ‘Whale’ while James Fisher won the song writing with ‘Keeps me sane.’ The judges commented that James had written very insightful lyrics and likened his ballad to a Bob Dylan number – a little later the boys could be heard discussing just who Bob Dylan might be!

The judges also awarded a Highly Commended Award, after a split vote in the instrumental section, for the clarinet duet by Sam Looker and Leo Smith. Mike Chun argued that it was twice as hard to write a piece for two instruments!

Well done to all the boys including the other finalists: Caleb Pese, Nicholas Scott, Thomas Woodfield and Marlon Cronin. 

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