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Estée on top of the world

Regulus // Issue 3 // November 2022

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It has been an incredible year for one of St Andrew’s most talented singers, Estée Wilke (Year 13), who was a member of the New Zealand Secondary Students’ Choir (NZSSC), which won first place in the Senior Children’s Choir category and the overall title in the prestigious Children’s Choir of the World competition.

Estée says she and the other choir members were ‘ecstatic’ at the result. “We couldn’t quite believe it. We were all so pleased, especially as we found out while we were on our South Island choir course which meant we could celebrate together.”

The competition took place in Wales with NZSSC selected to submit a pre-recorded digital entry, which was played live to the judges and audience during the competition session. “We performed a mixture of around seven of the 30 choir pieces we had learnt throughout our two-year course. These included our beautiful Samoan pieces, A Pei Se Vaitafe and Faliu Le La, which are always our entrance to any performance.” Estée toured with the NZSSC every term break holidays from January 2021 to September 2022, including a South Island tour during the Term 2 holidays. “We were so lucky to experience full venues, and touring with such amazing people who can sing absolutely incredibly is always a bonus.”

As a member of the VOX16 and Staccoro choirs, a singer in the jazz Big Band, and StAC Soul Band, and a lead performer in St Andrew’s productions, the College community enjoys plenty of opportunities to hear Estée’s beautiful voice. She says her style of singing is still evolving, however jazz is her current favourite genre to sing. Estée is also involved in music production and songwriting at St Andrew’s and says she is grateful to all the teachers who have supported her since Year 7, including Head of Music, Duncan Ferguson, and singing teacher, Margot Button. “I was lucky to have Performing Arts Co-ordinator, Ginnie Thorner, help me to create my ‘Evening of Song’ concert to help fundraise for one of my NZSSC tours. I’m grateful for her endless support.”

Once she leaves St Andrew’s, Estée hopes to complete a Bachelor of Music at the University of Otago, and eventually live her dream as a singer.

One of our most talented singers, Estée Wilke, discusses her experience performing both internationally and nationally as part of the NZSSC.