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Cultural Catch Up

Regulus // Issue 2 // August 2022

More news for Cultural

Ballet dancers on stage as seven perform turns while the other dancers are stand behind them at the back of the stage.Ballet Performance

The Senior ballet dancers performed wonderfully at the Dancing Like the Stars event. Held at the Isaac Theatre Royal, they wowed the audience with their dynamic dance from the Broadway hit Newsies.

Ballroom Dance

Holly Hembry (Year 7) competed at the New Zealand One Dance Ballroom Dancing Championships. Over two days, she danced 24 events, with 16 wins three seconds and two third placings. She also won the Champion of Champions trophies in both the Pre-Teen (12 years and under) and Teen (16 years and under) age groups. At the combined 2022 Kiwi Classic and 2021 Aotearoa New Zealand Championships in Auckland over Matariki weekend, Holly won seven solo national titles, placing second in her other two events. On the Saturday she competed in the Pro/Am Latin competition partnered by Enrique Johns from Dancing with the Stars. They won all five of their events.

Big Sing

The two senior choirs, VOX16 and Staccoro, performed at the Big Sing. Both performed well, with VOX16 winning Best Performance of a Romantic-era Piece, and Staccoro winning Best Mixed Choir.

Chamber Music

Following six sessions in the Canterbury District Round of the New Zealand Chamber Music Contest, two trios made it through to the District Final. They were the piano trio, 8 Strings 88 Keys (Miu Kim and Jasmine Hooker (Year 10) with Sea-am Thompson (Year 11)), and The Berlin Trio, which also includes Jasmine Hooker and former Preparatory School student Ryan Gu. The Berlin Trio went on to win the District Final, which put them automatically through to the Southern Regional Finals where they came second and are now through to the National Finals. This is the fourth year in a row a St Andrew’s student features in the NZCT National Finals.


Estee Wilke (Year 13) performed with the New Zealand Secondary Schools’ Choir in Wellington at the St Mary of Angels Church, the ANZAC Dawn Service at the Wellington War Memorial, and in other performances at Paraparaumu. A fundraiser concert called Evening of Song was held for Estee in early June to help her raise funds for the National Secondary Schools’ Choir tour.

Choir performs in Church as they hold their sheet music.

Choral and Music Concert

Choirs and classical groups, Stacchorus, Staccoro, VOX16, the Chamber Orchestra, and the two boys’ barbershop groups performed in a lunchtime concert at St Mary’s Pro Cathedral. They appreciated being able to perform in public after many disruptions due to COVID-19 restrictions, and their varied programme was enjoyed by the audience.

Classical Concert

Orchestral students treated their audience to a wonderfully varied programme of music from the 16th to the 20th centuries, at their annual concert in the Centennial Chapel in early June. Groups performing were The Berlin Trio, 8 Strings 88 Keys, Preparatory School Ensemble, Chamber Orchestra, and the Symphony Orchestra. It was a great opportunity for the chamber groups to perform before they went into competition for the New Zealand Chamber
Music Competition.


The College’s piano trio, 8 Strings 88 Keys (Miu Kim, Jasmine Hooker (both Year 10) and Sea-am Thompson (Year 11)), performed at a lunchtime concert in the Ron Ball Studio at the Christchurch Town Hall, in June.

Millie stands on stage in her Highland Dancing outfit, with a sash around her body and holding a trophy.

Milly Christie (Year 13).

Highland Dance

Milly Christie (Year 13) had excellent results at two top Highland dancing competitions. At the Otago Centre 110th Annual Highland and National Dancing Championships she was awarded:

  • First – Sean Triubus U18 Championship and U18 Highland
    and Fling;
  • Most Points – Highland Section
    16–18 years;
  • Runner-up – Most Points 16–18 years.

In the Top of the South Championships Milly won the Marlborough Nelson Championships U18 Years Irish Hornpipe, Reel O’Tulloch and Highland Reel, and was overall Runner-up Champion U18 Years.

The following St Andrew’s students achieved wonderful results in the New Zealand Academy of Highland Dancing Examinations:

  • Grade 5 Honours: Charlize Blakely (Year 10);
  • Elementary Theory Honours: Madison Hughes (Year 11), Gemma Lewis ( Year 12);
  • Advanced Practical and Theory Honours: Siara Clarke (Year 11);
  • Advanced Theory Honours: Hayley Nolan (Year 12);
  • Irish Stage 3 Practical and Theory Honours: Milly Christie, Brianna Sloper (both Year 13);
  • Irish Stage 3 Theory Honours: Isla Miers (Year 13);
  • Grade 4 Honours: Tessa Meyrick (Year 8);
  • Grade 2 Merit Plus: Amelia Lyttle (Year 7);
  • Grade 2 Honours: Sarah McCarthy (Year 7);
  • Preparatory Merit Plus: Sarah-Charlotte McKay (Year 5),
  • Ella-Rose McFedries, Aysha Adair (both Year 6);
  • Preparatory Honours: Georgia Gregg (Year 5), Tayla Ford (Year 6);
  • Preparatory Merit: Chloe O’Donnell (Year 5);
  • Initial Honours: Adelyn Abrahamson (Year 4);
  • Initial Merit: Agnes Buist (Year 3);
  • Getting Started in Dance Level 1: Iaera Abrahamson (Year 2).
Afterglows performing during a 'Lunchtime in the Quad' concert.

Afterglows performing during a 'Lunchtime in the Quad' concert.

New Zealand Music Month – StAC Music May

Cultural Captains, Rachel Holyoake and Lucy Ojala, organised a Friday lunchtime programme called ‘Lunchtime in the Quad’ in honour of New Zealand Music Month in May. A number of College rock bands took part, including Black Wired, Afterglows, False Alarm, and High Voltage, who drew big crowds of student to the Quad to enjoy their fantastic performances.

As part of the College’s New Zealand Music Month celebration, there were also daily posts to the St Andrew’s College Music Department Facebook page, sharing work from current and past students, with lots of fantastic original pieces of music being shared from songwriters, jazz, classical, and rock musicians.

Peace Song Competition – Play it Strange

Grace Lawrence (Year 13) has once again placed as a top 5 finalist for the national Peace Song Competition from Play It Strange. She has won a recording session to the value of $750 to have her song professionally produced.

Pipe Band

Tayla Eagle (Year 10) was selected to represent St Andrew’s College in the National Youth Pipe Band of New Zealand. Tayla joins her sister Georgia Eagle (Year 12), Rachel Holyoake (Year 13), Connor Higgs (Year 12) and Lucas Paterson (Year 11) in the band.

Comunn na Piobaireachd (New Zealand) conducted an online solo piping competition during Easter. With Lucas Paterson (Year 11) winning fourth place in the Bronze level event.

Year 9 student, Sam Foote, piped for the Rangi Ruru Girls’ School Founders’ Day Assembly, firstly piping guests in and then piping in the traditional cake during the service.

St Andrew’s College pipers achieved great results in the New South Wales Piper’s Society Online Competition:

  • C Grade 2/4 March: first place Cameron Sharpe (Year 8), second place Rylan Cliff (Year 10), third place Sam Foote (Year 8);
  • D Grade 2/4 March: first place William Nicholls (Year 7);
  • Novice Piping: first place Spencer Hughes (Year 9), second place Jed Thompson (Year 11).

At the Otago Queen’s Birthday Piping Championships placegetters were:

  • Lucas Paterson (Year 11):
    third U21 2/4 March, third C Grade Piobaireachd, second C Grade Strathspey/Reel, first place and Otago Championship Winner C Grade 2/4 March, first U16 2/4 March;
  • Cooper Gallagher (Year 10): second B Grade Strathspey/Reel, third C Grade Hornpipe/Jig, second U16 2/4 March;
  • Tayla Eagle (Year 10): third B Grade Strathspey/Reel, first 6/8 March, second C Grade 2/4 March, second Hornpipe/Jig;
  • Emily Brook (Year 9): first C Grade Strathspey/Reel;
  • Cameron Sharpe (Year 8): third C Grade 6/8 March, third D Grade Strathspey/Reel;
  • Anthony Song (Year 7): third U16 2/4 March, first D Grade 2/4 March, second 6/8 March;
  • Sam Foote (Year 9): third D Grade Piobaireachd.

Lucas Paterson (Y11) and Sam Foote (Y9) competed in the Matariki Solo Piping Championships in Hastings. Both pipers performed very well in their respective events:

  • Lucas Paterson: fourth New Zealand Under 21 Piobaireachd, fourth Bronze Medal Piobaireachd, third B Grade Hornpipe and Jig, C Grade 2/4 March, and C Grade Strathspey/Reel;
  • Sam Foote: first D Grade 2/4 March, third D Grade Strathspey/Reel.

On Sunday 3 July, members of the Pipe Band competed in the second indoor Highland Piping Society of Canterbury competition for 2022. First placegetters were:

  • Cooper Gallagher (Year 10): first C Grade Piobaireachd;
  • Cameron Sharpe (Year 8): first C Grade 2/4 March, D Grade Strathspey/Reel;
  • Iona Lawson (Year 11): first C Grade Strathspey/Reel;
  • Sam Foote (Year 9): first D Grade Piobaireachd;
  • Anthony Song (Year 7): first D Grade 2/4 March;
  • Ryley Medland (Year 9): first Novice.

Preparatory School Music

The following Preparatory School students were selected into representative groups in the Christchurch Schools’ Music Festival.

  • Orchestra: Yuxin (Alice) Chen (Year 8) – trumpet, Chloe Sha (Year 5) – cello, Anthony Song (Year 7) – violin, Jacob Wang (Year 5) – double bass, Hao Bo (Terence) Yang (Year 7) – flute, Ethan Zhao (Year 6) – violin, and Lucas Zhong (Year 8) – violin;
  • Concert Band: Yutian (Tianna) Chen (Year 7) – trumpet;
  • Senior Choir: Eden Taylor (Year 8) and Matilda Atkins (Year 7).


Year 11 students Chantelle Xiong and Hayden Lam have both had their songs selected as finalists in the Play It Strange Youthtown Songwriting Competition, which is open to Year 9–11 students around the country. Play It Strange will now fund as their prize a professional recording session for Chantelle’s song Rain In My Soul and Hayden’s Remember.

Rock Band performances

St Andrew’s student bands, Black Wired and Afterglows, and solo performer Cindy Xiong (Year 13), performed at the Dark Room in May.

The band, High Voltage perform on stage at Rockquest, with three people on guitar, one on drums and one singing as they hold a microphone.

High Voltage performing at Rockquest.


Eight St Andrew’s College bands and two solo acts competed at Rockquest, with two, Black Wired and Afterglows, going through to the regional finals. The audience appreciated the bands’ original songs and energetic performances. Cindy Xiong (Year 13) won the ‘Best use of electronic assist’ award for her clever use of electronic instruments during her performance.

Black Wired and Afterglows have since recorded songs for their video submission to the regional finals, with the help of Grant Robertson from The Light Site, and expert videoing by Hung Lam, father of Hayden (Year 11) and Ethan (Year 9), both members of Black Wired. Head of Music, Duncan Ferguson, mixed the tracks in the College’s recording studio.

We highlight the most recent Cultural Successes of our students.