Wishart Tops House Music, 80s Style

May 30, 2024 at 6:21 PM

Wishart Tops House Music, 80s Style 

Turning ‘Back to the future’, College House Music embraced an 80s theme on Tuesday 28 May, as hundreds of students took to the stage, on a drizzly evening at the Due Drop Centre in Manukau. Inside the stadium, however, the atmosphere was anything but bleak. Packed with brightly dressed students, the venue buzzed with excited murmurs. Family, friends, and staff filled the seats to capacity, ready to watch the performances and cheer alongside the judges.

House Music night features seven Houses (the six College Houses and Bruce House) competing in two categories: choir and band. The House choirs consist of many of the students in each House (with most choirs having 200 singers), while the bands are made up of auditioned musicians from each House. Every year, choirs and bands arrive well-rehearsed and ready to compete for the House points and cups at stake.

This year’s judges included two returning for the second year Oliver Gilmour, and Hinekoia Tomlinson and a recent Old Collegian Sam Ashton. Accomplished musicians, themselves they took their seats, with marking sheets in hand as the first House choir, Hamilton, took to the stage.

Hamilton House was a consistent force in this year’s competition, securing third place in both the choir and band categories. Their choir performed Whitney Houston’s hit "I Wanna Dance With Somebody," while their high-energy band delivered "INDUSTRY BABY," showcasing their rapping skills.

Stark House followed with Michael Jackson’s "Thriller," complete with impressive zombie costumes and white ghoulish face paint. Purple Wilson House came next, performing Kenny Loggins' "Danger Zone" from Top Gun. Their pilot aviator outfits and impressive volume set them apart. 

Wishart House, the eventual choir winners, delivered a polished and entertaining rendition of "Footloose," possibly aided by the talents of two-thirds of the Arts Prefect trio, Keeley Berkovits and Amelie Carter. Their band also impressed, earning second place with a heartfelt tribute to Deputy Head Girl Tiana Gray’s cousin, Anamia Rangihaeata.

Cargill House with Starship’s "We Built This City" delivered rock ‘n roll meets construction site in their performance. Chalmers House followed with the unofficial New Zealand anthem, "Slice of Heaven." Their nostalgic performance and slick routine earned them second place in the choir category. Their band won first place with a smooth brass section and outstanding vocals.

Bruce House, the smallest choir, closed the performances with a mighty rendition of "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go." The boarders always bring extra spirit to their performances, the result of evening practices well in advance of the big show.

While the judges deliberated, the teachers' band entertained the crowd. They are always a highlight, revealing the secret talents of many talented teachers.

Director of Campus Life Duncan McQueen announced the final tally, with defending champion Chalmers hoping for a three-peat. However, Wishart’s win in the choir section pushed them above Chalmers, securing the 2024 trophy. Chalmers came in second, Hamilton third, followed by Stark, Bruce House, Cargill, and Wilson in that order.

Special thanks go to staff member Steve Broun for overseeing the detailed planning, mentoring and logistics of the evening, and to Glen Mortensen and his team of student helpers for the incredible sound and lighting. It was indeed a ‘blast from the past’ and the future of College music is in safe and very capable hands!

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