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Cultural Catch Up

From the second edition of Regulus for 2021.

More news for Cultural


Year 10–11 Ballet and Dance Studies dancers, with dancers from Footnote New Zealand Dance Company.

During their national tour, the Rehearsal Director and two professional dancers from the Footnote New Zealand Dance Company, New Zealand’s longest running professional contemporary dance company, held master classes with Year 10–11 Ballet and Dance Studies dancers, sharing contemporary techniques and repertoire from their show.

In June, Lauren Byrne, Dance Educator from the Royal New Zealand Ballet, took two days of master classes with the Ballet Academy dancers (Years 7–13). The classes focused on balletic technique and learning a piece of repertoire from the current Royal New Zealand Ballet season, Giselle.

Year 9–13 Ballet dancers performed over two nights in Dancing Like the Stars, at the Isaac Theatre Royal. For some, it was their debut on this historic stage.

Ballet Academy Diploma Programme dancers (Years 9–13) performed a collection of classical, jazz, and contemporary work from their class studies at the Senior Showcase. Twenty-one Secondary School dancers achieved their Bronze and Silver Performance Awards. The Junior and Intermediate Companies, from the Preparatory School Ballet Academy programme, also performed their new dances.


The St Andrew’s College Barbershop, StAC Sabbath, William Lucas, Samuel Foote, Matthew Fleming and Jack Calder (all Year 13), won the Young Singers in Harmony Barbershop Christchurch Regional Contest, and will now compete at the Nationals competition in September.

Big Sing

Vich Perfect – Grace Lawrence (Year 12), Christine Jeon (Year 10) and Samuel Jeon (Year 13) performing at the Regional Final of the NZCT Chamber Music Contest.

A group of 56 students in Staccoro and Stacchorus, represented St Andrew’s College at the Big Sing competition. Staccoro won Best Performance of a Romantic Era Piece and the special ‘Spirit of the Festival’ Youth Ambassadors Award, which recognises that the choir and its members exemplified the spirit of Big Sing by encouraging leadership, community participation, collaboration, and innovation.

Chamber Music

Following outstanding performances at the Regional Final of the NZCT Chamber Music Contest, Vich Perfect – Grace Lawrence (Year 12), Christine Jeon (Year 10) and Samuel Jeon (Year 13), and The Babarians – Samuel Jeon and Christine Jeon, together with Justin Hodges from Christ’s College, have both reached the National Finals Weekend of the NZCT Chamber Music Contest, to be held in Christchurch in early August. Both groups progressed through the Christchurch District, Canterbury District, and Regional Finals to qualify for the national finals, so this is an exceptional achievement, particularly for Samuel Jeon who has reached the semi-finals or finals every year he has been eligible to enter.

Festival of the Spoken Word

The annual Festival of the Spoken Word Speech Competition took place in two parts, with the Junior competition held in the Centennial Chapel to find the Year 9–10 winners, and the Senior students competing in The Green Library and Innovation Centre two weeks later. There were some fantastic speakers on display in both competitions.

Participants and winners in the Festival of the Spoken Word Speech Competition.

In the Junior event, the top three speakers from each year group were very impressive as they delivered their speeches. The winners were Scarlett Gray (Year 9) and Megan Simpson (Year 10). The other finalists were Kaelan Graham and Catalina Serrano Burgos (both Year 9), and Chantelle Xiong and Eilish Johns (both Year 10).

In the Senior event, the 10 speakers were truly outstanding and impressed the judges, teachers, and audience with their thoughtful, insightful comments on topical issues. The overall winner (Best Speaker of the Night) was Harry Withers (Year 12), who won the Mark Ellerm Cup. The Year 11 winner was Lily Champion-Smith. Judges for the event were Meg Longley (OC 2019), and published author and Head of Senior School at St Margaret’s College, Sian Evans, and it was hosted by Heads of Debating, Thomas Kamo (Year 12) and Oscar Bloom (Year 13).

  • Year 9 – Scarlett Gray;
  • Year 10 – Megan Simpson;
  • Year 11 – Lily Champion-Smith;
  • Year 12 – Harry Withers (also winner of the Mark Ellerm Cup for Best Speaker of the Night).

Highland Dancing

A small group of dancers from Julie Hawke School of Highland Dance attended the 109th Annual Highland and National Dancing Championships in Dunedin over the Queen’s Birthday weekend with some wonderful results.

  • Milly Christie (Year 12) – fourth in the U18 South Island Championship Single Time Irish Jig, third in the U18 Otago Championship Seann Triubhas, and first in the U18 South Island Championship Highland Fling;
  • Brianna Sloper (Year 12) – first in the U18 Otago Championship Highland Reel;
  • Siara Clarke (Year 10) – first in the U16 Otago Championship Seann Triubhas, second in the U16 South Island Championship Sailors Hornpipe, and winner of the trophy for U16 Most Points Highland Classes.

These three students also excelled at the Top of the South Marlborough/Nelson Championships. Milly Christie (Year 12) was the overall U18 Champion, Brianna Sloper (Year 12) the U18 Runner-up Champion, and Siara Clarke (Year 10) was the overall U16 Champion.


In the highly competitive combo category at the New Zealand Youth Jazz Festival in Tauranga, Senior Jazz combo, Club 347, did incredibly well to come away with a Gold award. Their set featured two original pieces composed by Samuel Foote and Flynn Megaw (both Year 13) along with the test piece Mr PC and the beautiful ballad Skylark, sung by Lucca Ballara (Year 13).

Club 347 also won a Gold Award at the Ara JazzQuest Combo Competition, with special mentions again to Samuel Foote for his piano playing and original composition, and Flynn Megaw for his outstanding trombone playing.

The band also performed in public as part of the Schools’ Festival and even managed to keep going while playing in a tent during a thunderstorm and torrential rain.


Two of the College’s piano trios performed at the Concerts for Christchurch Lunchtime Concert held at the Ron Ball Studio in the Christchurch Town Hall to an appreciative audience of around 100 people. Vich Perfect, consisting of Grace Lawrence (Year 12), Christine Jeon (Year 10) and Samuel Jeon (Year 13), played the fourth movement of Shostakovich’s Piano Trio No 2. 8 Strings, and 88 Keys, made up of Miu Kim, Jasmine Hooker (both Year 9) and Sea-am Thompson (Year 10), gave the first movement of Beethoven’s Piano Trio Op.1. No 3.

Sea-am Thompson (Year 10) was awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Award in Music for excelling in his music examinations.

Mark Hodgkinson conducting the orchestra at the Orchestra and Chamber Groups Showcase.

Orchestra and Chamber Groups Showcases

The Orchestra and Chamber groups entertained an appreciative audience with outstanding classical performances featuring Year 3–13 students in a special showcase in the Centennial Chapel. The orchestras played with great confidence, and the quality of the chamber groups was superb. Some Senior students have given many years of dedication to Music at St Andrew’s, showing leadership, and giving valuable encouragement to the younger students.

Preparatory School Music Concerts

There have been two wonderful Preparatory School Music Concerts. The first was an opportunity for Preparatory School students to present a solo performance on instruments including piano, violin, cornet, and euphonium, to supportive family and friends. The second concert in the Centennial Chapel, featured items by the Cantare Choir, Junior Choir, Preparatory School Orchestra, and the chamber group. The two Year 8 music scholars, Anya Fang and Jessica Drury, presented dazzling solo performances on the violin and piano.

Preparatory School Music

Following auditions for Representative Groups of the Christchurch Schools’ Music Festival, the following Preparatory School students were selected for 2021:

  • Music Festival Symphony Orchestra – Matthew Bluck (Year 8 Violin), Yuxin (Alice) Chen (Year 7 Trumpet), Yutian (Tianna) Chen (Year 6 Trumpet and Cornet), Jessica Drury (Year 8 Violin), Daniel Liu (Year 8 Cello), Anthony Song (Year 6 Violin), Selena Zhang (Year 8 Violin), Lucas Zhong (Year 7 Violin);
  • Senior Representative Choir – Hanxi (Cicy) Chen, Emma Geddes, Eden Taylor (all Year 7), Emily Watt, Annie Young (both Year 8);
  • Junior Representative Choir – Lexie Dong (Year 5), Alyssa Geddes, Jacob (Jake) Triplow (both Year 6).

Pipe Band

Rachel Holyoake (Year 12) and Lucas Paterson (Year 10) were selected for the New Zealand National Youth Pipe Band after a successful audition process.

Georgia Eagle, Connor Higgs, Emily Ung (all Year 11), Lucas Paterson (Year 10), Brooke Mathewson and Elena Limmer-Wood (both OC 2020) performed as part of the National Youth Pipe Band of New Zealand at this year’s National ANZAC Commemoration Service at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington. The event was streamed live on TVNZ1.

World Online ‘Spring’ Solo Championships

Snare drummers Connor Higgs (Year 11) and Ethan Higgs (Year 9) achieved amazing results in the World Online ‘Spring’ Solo Championships. The overall competition for bagpiping, snare drumming, tenor and bass drumming received over 4100 entries across all the grades from around the world.

Connor Higgs (Year 11): second overall Grade 1, 2nd Grade 1 March, Strathspey and Reel, and 6/8 March, 3rd Grade 1 Hornpipe and Jig, second overall Grade 2, 2nd Grade 2 March, 6th Strathspey and Reel, 1st 6/8 March, 4th Hornpipe and Jig.

Ethan Higgs (Year 9): seventh overall Grade 2, 3rd 6/8 March, 6th Hornpipe and Jig, second overall Grade 3, 5th March, Strathspey and Reel, 2nd 6/8 March, 3rd Hornpipe and Jig.

Hawke’s Bay Easter Highland Games

D Grade Piping: Maggie McConnochie (Year 7) first in Piobaireachd, third in 2/4 March and Slow March, fourth in Strathspey and Reel, and third overall.

From the second edition of Regulus for 2021.

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