College Solo Music Competition

June 23, 2014 at 12:01 PM

As a busy term for the Music Department draws to an end, Elliot Hall became the home to one of our flagship events of the year – the Solo Music Competition.

Twelve finalists dressed in their finest gowns and suits graced the stage and competed for the title of Solo Music Champion 2014 last week. The finalists performed in four categories; Strings, Voice, Wind and Piano and were judged by Nigel Weeks, Head of Music at Macleans College, James Tibbles, Head of Early Music at The University of Auckland and Dr Morag Atchison, Voice Teacher at The University of Auckland.

As expected, all 12 finalists performed with class and maturity, many belying their youth. It is notable that three of the four sections were won by Middle School students.

The judges said there was extremely high standard of fine musicianship and all finalists were well deserving to be selected to play on the night. As well as the technical attributes of intonation, accuracy, keeping in line and control, they were looking for that magic spark and how well the students told the piece’s story through their music.

Year 9 student, Ryan Tong won the String Section on the Violin with a classy performance of the famous Czardas by Monti while another Middle School student, Sid Chand backed up his win at the 2013 New Zealand Aria Competition, taking out the Voice Section. Year 10 student, Ethan Blight’s known pedigree on the clarinet was evident in his excellent performance which was enough to edge out his rivals who were close at his heels. 

The spoils on the night were most definitely with Year 13 pianist Ashley Chan who repeated her feats of Year 9 winning both the Piano and Overall Sections with her performance of Nocturne by New Zealand composer, Leonie Holmes. Ashley has been one of the leading musicians at the College and her win in this competition is suitable reward for her dedication to excellence in music.

This year’s finalists all received certificates and performance feedback from the adjudicators, giving the students a fantastic opportunity to develop their musical ability even further especially at an NCEA level. We would like to thank the judges for their time and sharing their expertise, along with the student MC’s for the evening Jamie Hofer and Kimberley Tse.

String Finalists

Shou Yang - Violin

Ryan Tong - Violin

Emily Young – Cello

Winner: Ryan Tong

Voice Finalists

Lili Taylor

Sid Chand

Eden Hawkins

Winner: Sid Chand

Wind Finalists

Ethan Blight - Clarinet

Hamish Clark - Clarinet

Thomas Scott - Trumpet

Winner: Ethan Blight

Piano Finalists

Ashley Chan

Sophia Chiang

Joanna Mao

Winner: Ashley Chan

Overall Winner: Ashley Chan 

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