Premier Music Ensembles Record

September 23, 2020 at 3:56 PM

Throughout their weekly, early morning and evening music rehearsals, and during the extra weekend workshops, our premier College musicians have always had a competitive goal in mind - to be placed amongst the top four schools in Auckland, at both the regional and national musical festivals.

Like everyone else this year, with the impact of Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdowns, our musicians have had to adjust their goals and expectations - learning and relearning how to play together in ensembles as they came together, were isolated, came back together, were isolated once again, and then came back together to perfect their music - digging in deep to motivate themselves and each other throughout a year of disruption.

Head of Music, Miss Mary Lin is passionate about music and, in particular, developing the emerging musicians in her care. She said, ‘Nothing beats coming back together after lockdown and working through the pieces as a group of 50-60 musicians, spread out across the Music Atrium, tooting, blowing or singing individual parts, to make the whole ensemble sound complete! The process of turning ‘noise’ into music and ‘mechanical’ into expressive flow, turns us into both patient and passionate human beings. The music never stops at College, and you will always see us keen to play at events to entertain the community. We love it. The process and the performance!’

With eight large instrumental ensembles, there are more than 250 students involved, requiring over 420 hours of rehearsals this year – that’s a lot of early mornings and late nights for a large portion of our students who are keen to be involved in multiple groups!

Usually our ensembles would be entered live into the annual KBB Festival with the hope of being one of the schools selected for the Showcase Concert, but with restrictions around social gathering, like so much else this year, the Festival has been pushed online.

Over the last two nights, our ensembles have been filmed and recorded playing their repertoire for entry into the 2020 KBB Music Festival Showcase – the first time this has ever taken place online. One benefit of this is that more schools will be able to view and enjoy each other’s performances once all the recordings are complete.

This is the second time our musicians have been filmed rather than playing live to judges, as the Chamber Groups were also recorded for their competition earlier in the year.

Given the disruptive nature of 2020, the Music staff are extremely proud of our students and their continued positive efforts and attitudes during the rehearsals, leading up to the recording sessions. Miss Lin said, ‘At this stage of the year, special mention must be given to our graduating Year 13 musicians who have contributed so much of their time, tenacity and talent over the years, setting an example for their younger peers to follow. Even though we did not have the opportunity for any performance events this year, we are grateful for the opportunity to play for a professional video and audio recording, that will enable us to share our music with friends, families and the wider community, hopefully reaching an even wider audience! I would also like to pay tribute to the music directors, managers, tutors and parents for all the behind the scenes support to elevate the numbers and quality of our very special College music scene.

We are hopeful that the final videos will be uploaded for viewing later this week!

Our ensembles have entered the following pieces:

Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Mr Doug Cross

  • Danse Macabre by Saint-Saen, featuring soloist Ian Chiao
  • Serenade Lyrique by Elgar
  • Piano Concerto No. 2- Presto by Saint-Saen, featuring soloist Ashani Waidyatillake

Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Miss Mary Lin

  • Romanian Folk Dances by Bela Bartok, featuring soloist Ian Chiao
  • Oblivion by Astor Piazzolla, featuring soloists Catherine Chang and Adam Perry

String Ensemble, conducted by Ms Miranda Hutton

  • Evening Prayer, by Humperdink, arranged by Elliot del Borgo
  • Vivaldi Concerto in C, by Antonio Vivaldi
  • Variations on an Irish Tune, by Brian Balmages

Concert Band, conducted by Miss Mary Lin

  • Sedona by Steven Reineke
  • Seaguall by Toshio Mashima, featuring soloist Sam Ou
  • Undercurrents by Robert Buckley

Wind Band, conducted by Mr Tom Chester and Mr Matthew Baker

  • The Great Steamboat Race by Robert W Smith
  • Luminaria by William Himes

Stage Band, conducted by Mr Paul Norman

  • Saxomania by Rich Woolworth
  • Kiev Sea by Lennie Niehaus

Big Band, conducted by Mr Paul Norman

  • It Could Happen to You- Chet Baker
  • Fowl Play, by Kris Berg
  • Lover Come Back to Me, by Ella Fitzgerald
  • Here’s to Life, by Shirley Horn
  • Groove Maker, by Jeff Taylor

Premier Jazz Combo, conducted by Mr Paul Norman

  • Mr PC, by John Coltrane
  • Just Friends, by John Klenner
  • Morning, by Claire Fisher

Click here to view the gallery.

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