College Music Program with Golden Hat-Trick at KBB Music Festival

August 15, 2023 at 10:25 AM

The stage was set, instruments were poised, and the lights dimmed over 140 ensembles gathered in the Holy Trinity Cathedral for the 2023 KBB Music Festival over a week of performances. Being one of the pinnacle music events for the year, Auckland's secondary schools came together to celebrate the talent in our city and compete for the coveted Gold Awards, the mark of a top-tier ensemble.

On the last night of the festival, two of Saint Kentigern College's large ensembles were invited to perform at the KBB Music Gala, showcasing the top four ensembles in each category, followed by an awards ceremony. Our Symphony Orchestra and Concert Band, conducted by Head of Music Miss Mary Lin, performed their repertoire among the best of Auckland's high school musicians.

In the Premier Auditioned Ensembles category, our Symphony Orchestra emerged triumphant, earning gold and the esteemed Best Performance of Work in Other Style for their rendition of Stravinsky's Danse Infernal. The Concert Band also claimed gold and a special mention goes to Jason Wong for his marimba solo, earning him the title of Outstanding Soloist. The Big Band completed the golden hat trick for Saint Kentigern, earning the third gold award of the night.

And what a moment it was! The applause resonated as the triumphs were announced, affirming our position as one of the premier music schools in Auckland. Our students' dedication and our educators' tireless guidance paid off splendidly. This year's results, marked by improvement and excellence, further cemented our reputation as the epitome of musical prowess in the city.

The Allcomers Ensembles also showed great success, with the String Ensemble and Symphonic Band securing silver awards. The Symphonic Band won an additional prize, Best Performance of a Pre-1950 Work, for their rendition of Liberty Bell. The Stage Band rounded out the silvers to match the collection of gold awards with their high-energy performance earning them a well-deserved silver.

In the words of the adjudicators, our ensembles left a lasting impression. The String Ensemble's attention to dynamics and cohesion, the Stage Band's vocal brilliance, the Big Band's ensemble sound, the Symphony Orchestra's sophistication, the Symphonic Band's characterisation, and the Concert Band's artistry – all were noted and celebrated.

While the awards certainly affirmed our position as one of the premier music schools in Auckland, we recognise that these are the result of collective effort, not simply a good performance on the night. Thank you to the dedicated teachers, supportive managers, and the entire music department staff who worked tirelessly to ensure every note struck the right chord. These awards represent countless hours of practice, attention to detail, and a commitment to excellence.

We acknowledge the following staff who have headed each of our large ensembles throughout this year:

Symphony Orchestra - conducted by Miss Mary Lin, manager Ms Annie Song

Concert Band - conducted by Miss Mary Lin, manager Mr Patrick Hedder

Big Band - conducted by Mr Albert Lee, manager Mr Tim Baker

String Ensemble - conducted by Ms Miranda Hutton, manager Ms Shelley Upchurch

Symphonic Band - conducted by Mr Matt Baker and Mr Tom Chester, manager Mr Mark Stewart

Stage Band - conducted by Mr Albert Lee, manager Ms Hayley Kim

We look forward to next year, building upon the momentum we have gained and continuing the standard of excellence we have set.

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