Naenae College hosted a new event in 2013 under the umbrella of MENZA (Music Education New Zealand Aotearoa). Three Wellington secondary schools joined forces for Vocal Pulse, a collaboration of singing in workshop, rehearsal and concert held on April 10th. The day focused on learning about new technique, extending repertoire, social interaction and fun. With input from several professional musicians, a take home book of songs and a heaps of positive energy the day was a huge success.
We began with some learning about our instrument – our voice, ably led by Maaike Beekman-Christie. We made some nice and less nice sounds, and realised the power we were capable of! The rest of the day was spent in a variety of groups, learning a variety of new songs. There was rock, gospel, African, popular and liturgical music to learn. It was amazing how quickly we learnt the songs and how well they came together, led by a number of vocal tutors; Mark Bobb, Rosemary Russell, Sherrilyn van Asch, Mary Horner.
After the mega afternoon tea (90 scoops of chips with fish and hotdogs!), we presented our work of the day. It was cool to be accompanied by the band and to be singing with such a large group of people in a number of parts. We’re looking forward to next year’s even bigger Vocal Pulse!!
The Wellington Regional Festival held on June 5 in the Town Hall was a fantastic opportunity to show the Naenae spirit through song. With about 1800 student participating nationwide it is the biggest secondary school event in the country.
We sung “Sanza Kroma” and the judge said – “Very good opening – great bounce. I loved the conga accompaniment. This was more successful when you started using your bodies! Excellent ending – strong and in tune!”
We sung Panis Angelicus and the and the judge said – “More phrasing was needed in this piece. Aim for more graduated crescendos and diminuendos, and avoid sudden fortes.”
We sung “You Oughta Be In Love” and the judge said – “This was a very spirited performance, and you sang with lots of feeling. Your intonation was mostly good. Aim for a rounder sound in your vowels to achieve a greater tonal range.”
Special thanks to Mrs Sherrilyn van Asch our choir director and Vocal Tutor for her time time and experience. As this is your last year we are very sorry to see you go but wish you all the best with your future endeavours. We are also indebted to Susan Vannini for tireless hours learning piano parts and accompanying the choirs and Mr Pegler for producing a DVD of the event and his ongoing support.
Thanks must also go to Yasmin Golding who is also in her last year who has been the lead soprano for the senior choir. Congratulations on gaining the award. Yasmin is responsible for senior choir soprano sectionals, warm ups and conducted her own junior choir in 2012 for the annual ‘Multicultural Concert’. In 2013 she organized and performed in “Dolce ma Feroce” for ‘Multicultural Concert’ and was appointed Arts prefect – a role she performs to the highest standard. She received the new “Service to Performing Arts” award in 2013. Mention should also be made of Quentin McCarthy for receiving a special award for contribution to Choir.
2013 has been busy year for the Jazz Band, performing at several soirées and also performing outside the school at Dyer St Primary School and a Lion’s club meeting.
The band continues to develop an understanding of groove music and improvising with its core student members with itinerant teachers playing the remaining instruments.
The group is looking to 2014 to expand with some new ideas: A plan to branch into different styles (soul, funk, reggae, roots etc); featuring individuals on either voice or their instrument; and also hoping to collaborate in performance with existing bands and groups.
Special thank this year to the itinerant teachers and staff who helped make this band happen: Wade Reeves (guitar/bass), Caryl Stannard (french horn), Shaun Anderson (drums), Phil Pegler (HOD/ clarinet), Mark Robinson (Saxophone/piano) and Tamsin Davies-Colley (flute).