Charles Sang Crescendos to Solo Music Competition Win

September 06, 2023 at 3:15 PM

The wealth of knowledge within the faculty of the College Music Department means students can learn practically any instrument under the tutelage of an expert. Together, these high-calibre students form our top-tier ensembles firmly established among Auckland schools. However, it is less often these musicians are heard individually, looking to outside-of-school solo competitions to improve their solo musicianship.

To reconcile the standard split between the plentiful school ensemble opportunities and solo competitions provided by outside organisations, the Solo Music Competition was conceptualised. After countless years of running, innumerable individuals have taken to the stage, showing flair and musicality through the instruments they play.

Open to any senior student of grade five level and above, this year alone, fifty students auditioned. From there, winners were selected from the six sections – piano, strings, woodwind, brass, percussion, and vocals. The top four moved on to perform at the Holy Trinity Cathedral for attendees of the Music Gala and guest judge Rod Skipp, Programme Director of Sistema Aotearoa.

This year, the four finalists were pianist Charles Sang, vocalist Josh Evangelidakis, clarinettist Imogen Perry, and violinist Amy Chen. Each showcased their personality and individual identity, playing pieces that allowed them to show off their commanding stage presence.

On the night, Charles effortlessly danced through Polonaise in A-Flat Minor, Op.53 by Frédéric Chopin, his fingers light on the keys. The joy emanating from him as he performed earned him 1st place and a solo feature in one of next year's auditioned ensembles. This win adds another to a long list of individual successes, including 1st at the International New Zealand Young Talent Competition, 2nd in the New Zealand Young Artists Festival Piano Concerto Competition, and participating in the Zhuhai International Mozart Music Competition.

A talented musician, Charles effortlessly plays multiple instruments within various groups at the school. His knack for the keys emerged when he started at seven and is now shown in his performances infused with a sense of innate ease.

Congratulations to our section champions, finalists, and the overall winner, Charles Sang. Anticipation builds for next year's showcase, eagerly awaiting the emergence of fresh talents as the Senior Solo Music Competition continues to attract the very best talent our College has to offer.

Section Winners:

Piano – Charles Sang

Vocals – Josh Evangelidakis

Strings – Amy Chen

Woodwind – Imogen Perry

Brass – Jayden Tee

Percussion – Jason Wong

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