Celebrating the Arts at the College

October 31, 2013 at 4:12 PM

DSC_5971.JPGIt was a perfect evening for an outdoor celebration of the Arts in its many forms at the College this week. Held between the outdoor setting of the Senior School Plaza and the Year 13 Common Room, the adjacent indoor/outdoor venue worked well for a night of relaxed and informal entertainment.

Guests were directed to the venue through the MacFarlan Centre to view two artworks that have recently been installed as part of the on-going College 60th Jubilee celebrations: Ray Haydon’s hanging sculpture, ‘Air’, gifted by the Parents and Friends Association, and an oil painting, ‘Upward Reflection’ by former 2011 Head Girl, Tessa Meyer.

As guests assembled, the Jazz Band played out in the Plaza while Senior School artwork was on display in the ‘Red Zone’ – the Year 12 Common Room, named for its red furniture.

The evening opened inside with a viewing of an impressive time lapse video taken over the course of a weekend as Haydon’s sculpture was assembled and then raised into place, hanging high above the Main Reception in the MacFarlan Centre. Mr Haydon was invited forward and explained that the inspiration for the work had come from a visit to the ballet seeing dancers with ribbons. Chairperson of the College Parents and Friends, Mrs Pippa Styles, formally handed over Haydon’s sculpture to the College.

Before the guests moved back outside for the next stage of the evening’s entertainment, Head of College, Mr Cole, stepped forward in praise of  a  very fine group of Performing Arts students who have responded well to his challenge to ‘continually raise the bar’ in seeking excellence in all they do. He reaffirmed the importance of the Arts within the College.

Arts Prefects, Manase Latu and Kirsten Wong took on the role of MCs for the evening first introducing the ‘Leavers’ Octet’ - eight senior members of Kentoris who are about to graduate. The Plaza proved to be the perfect amphitheatre for their rendition of Minoi Minoi written by Christopher Marshall.

The winner of this year’s SKC’s Got Talent, very accomplished jazz dancer, Jasmine Mexted, danced beautifully, having adapted her routine for concrete! Jasmine’s talent shone through having recently was selected to represent Auckland at the National Young Performer Awards in Invercargill earlier this month.

Tate Steele, Cameron Teare, Mitchell Fissenden, Carlos Webster were next to demonstrate the unique talents that placed them 2nd in the Greater Auckland Premier Theatresports Competition. Set the challenge by the audience to perform a fairy tale – Cinderella – in a minute, first ‘neutrally’, then Film Noir style and followed as a musical performance, the result was hilarious!

Senior members of the Pipes and Drums paraded in but the drum beat was not one we were familiar with. It was both a surprise and a delight when they opened with Queen’s ‘We will rock you!’ This was followed by more traditional Scottish numbers before noted Highland Dancer, Sarah McQueen came forward to perform the Highland Fling accompanied by Andre Mason on the pipes. Sarah also attended the National Young Performers Awards and will travel to Germany in January with the National Highland Dance Company.

Last to perform was the ever-popular Manase Latu, well known for his rich tenor voice. Along with Choral Director, Mr Lachlan Craig, they superbly performed Bizet’s ‘Pearl Fishers’ Duet’

Moving back inside to sit in the colourful Year 13 common room, the audience viewed ‘Road Trip’ by Tom Arnott, Mitchell Glenn-Campbell and Andrew Lockhart, the winning film from the annual Media Studies film awards, The Kents 2013.

The evening concluded with the presentation of the new Arts badges. The former Colours and Honours system has been reviewed and the new awards recognise a high level of attainment and a significant commitment to the Arts. Music and Drama students, both performers and back stage crew, were recognised and awarded the new badges. The Concert Band pipped Kentoris for the title of Best Music group of the year. 2013 Senior Theatresports Champions (Mike Hickmott, Ben Reidstra and Jake Latham) also received their award.

In finishing, Mr Duncan McQueen announced two exciting initiatives for next year. In Term 1, the Parents and Friends will host an Art Challenge to be held over a weekend, to generate a piece of art, with the theme only to be announced at the start of the challenge. Secondly, next year, for the first time, there will be a significant new award, ‘Performer of the Year 2014.’

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