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Our Music Successes

Many of our talented musicians have been selected to be members of regional or national groups including the National Youth Orchestra, National Youth Jazz Band, New Zealand Secondary Schools’ Symphony Orchestra, and the Pettman Junior Academy to name but a few.

Highlights and Achievements

Group Highlights of 2016

Resolutions won a Bronze Award the Big Sing Finale 2016 held in Dunedin.  At the regional festival in June Resolutions received an award for the best performance of a contemporary work, and the award for the most outstanding recital from a girls’ choir.  Rangi Voices was the joint winner of the award for the Most Outstanding Junior Choir, and the girls also took part in the Voices Festival in September

Ten Rangi chamber music groups took part in the NZCT Chamber Music Contest, with the following national and regional awards:

  • National Finalist and Joan Kerr Gold Award, Winner of the South Island Regional Final, and Christchurch District Final winner
    Graznya’s Girlz Grace McKenzie, Sarah Lawrence, Victoria Park and Rachel McSweeney – violins
  • National Semi-finalist and June Clifford Silver Award, South Island Regional Finalist, Highly Commended at the Christchurch District Final
    From Russia with Love –  Grace McKenzie (violin), Karen Hu (cello), Isabella Gregory (piano)
  • Regional Finalist and Bronze Award winner at the South Island Regional Final, Highly Commended at the Christchurch District Final and winner of the Adjudicator’s Choice Award
    VeitzLucy Costello (violin), Anna Bruce (cello), Jessie Anderson (piano)

Our percussion ensemble Dodici (Karen Hu and Yang Kun Xiang – marimbas, Holly Evans – xylophone) won the trophy for the winner of the Junior Percussion Ensemble section at the Canterbury Provincial Brass Band Association.

Resolutions and two senior chamber music groups presented a concert as part of the Christchurch Music Centre Friday Lunchtime Concert Series at St Augustine’s Church.  Senior music scholars Karen Hu, Sarah Pride, Grace McKenzie and Isabella Gregory presented a recital of solo works and chamber music at the Music Centre’s Outstanding Young Musicians Series, also at St Augustine’s Church.  Several of our chamber music ensembles performed at an additional lunchtime concert at St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral.

The Jazz Band and Jazz Combo won high level awards at the Jazz Combo 2016 NZSM Jazz Project (Best Comb, and Best Drummer award to Karen Hu), JazzQuest 2016 (Gold and Silver awards) and Southern Jam 2016 (both Gold awards), with the Combo being named Runner up for the Best ComboXiling Liu won the award for Best Bass Player at JazzQuest, and the Massey University Conservatorium of Music award for Best Bass Player at Southern Jam.  In addition, trombonist Rebecca Harris, along with Xiling, was selected for the AllStars Band.

The Jazz Band and Combo also performed as part of the 2016 and 2017 Cavell Leitch New Zealand International Jazz & Blues Festival.

Contemporary music students held a music evening during the last week of Term 2 where they presented a programme of solo and group performances.  The girls participated in Rockquest, and later in their year had their work profiled at a very successful performance recording session at Orange Music Studio 2016.  It is exciting to see the development of these students under the leadership of Henare Kaa, both in their performance and song writing abilities.  Several senior students gigged on a regular basis at various venues around the Christchurch, and the girls also attended the sound check for the Shapeshifter concert in the Horncastle Arena in November.

The Rangi Sinfonia participated in the 2016 Secondary Schools’ Orchestra Festival during September. The girls performed a challenging programme with distinction and enjoyed hearing and supporting the other orchestras who participated in the festival. The girls also had a workshop with Professor Mark Menzies, Head of Performance at the School of Music at UC.  Mark was very impressed with the girls’ high standard of playing and their responsiveness during the workshop.

The annual Cultural Concert, held in August, was once again was a highly successful evening featuring a wide range of performing artists – Dance Companies, Jazz Band and Combo, Resolutions, Sheliah Winn, Kapa Haka and Rangi Sinfonia.  Performing in the beautiful new venue, The Piano, this concert showcased the incredible talents of the girls, including original student work in dance and drama.  During the afternoon the girls performed a matinee concert to students from some of our contributing schools.  Proceeds from this concert went to Dress for Success.

Girls in Rangi Players had several events during the year.   Music exchanges with students from Cathedral Grammar School in both 2016 and 2017 RR CG Music Exchange 2017 and St Kentigern’s School in Auckland were highlights where the girls enjoyed sharing their music making with students of a similar ‘age and stage’.   A performance at Kids in Town was a much-anticipated event during Term 3, and Term 4 finished with both Rangi Players and Junior Chorale performing to residents from the Fitzroy Retirement Village.

The joint Rangi/Christ’s College Senior production of Our House performed to packed houses during its four-night season.  An impressive array of singing, playing, acting and dancing skills were on show, along with a talented and hardworking back stage crew.  During Term Four our Year 9 and 10 music students collaborated with the Junior Production of Down the Rabbit Hole, through creating some of the music tracks and songs that were part of this much-loved show.

Other events during the year included a successful KidsFest one day programme held during the July term break, three Sunday afternoon Merivale Lane Theatre concerts featuring music staff and students, and a performance at a Gibson Circle event to celebrate International Women’s Day.

Student Success 2017

Year 13 students and scholars Isabella Gregory and Jessie Anderson have successfully auditioned for the 2017 NZSO National Youth Orchestra. Isabella has been appointed Associate Principal Flute, which is a considerable achievement given that there are only three or four flutes in the orchestra, and Jessie is a member of the viola section.  The girls will join the orchestra during the July term break for intensive rehearsals and concerts in Wellington and Auckland under internationally renowned composer and conductor Sir James MacMillan.

Isabella has also won a CSO Internship for 2017, giving her opportunities to perform professionally with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, under the guidance of Principal Flautist Tony Ferner. In addition, she is studying Stage 1 Performance in Flute at the University of Canterbury.  Isabella is one of our top academic students, having won two scholarships from Year 12 – an Outstanding Scholarship in English, and a Scholarship in Calculus, and she is also one of our Senior Leaders – Head of Environment.

Thirteen girls successfully auditioned for the 2017 New Zealand Secondary Schools’ Symphony Orchestra, which met during April in Christchurch for five days of intensive rehearsals and a public concert.  Special congratulations to Adelina Orwin, who is Principal Oboe, Sarah Lawrence – co-principal Violin 2, and Eugene In – co-principal cello.

  • First violins – Yuna Chon, Rachel McSweeney, Victoria Park
  • Second violins – Sarah Lawrence, Lucy Costelloe, Emily Davey
  • Viola – Jessie Anderson, Rebecca Harris
  • Cello – Eugene In
  • Principal Oboe – Adelina Orwin, plus Amy Chen
  • Percussion – Holly Evans, Yang Kun Xiang

Holly Evans, Year 12, was accepted for the New Zealand Secondary Students’ ChoirPlaces in this choir are very sought after, and Holly is the first Rangi girl for many years to be a member of this choir.  She will tour overseas with the choir in 2018 as part of her two year tenure.  Holly has also been accepted as a Student Ambassador to NZ Opera.  As part of this she will experience a taste of professional theatre-making where she will develop skills in leadership, communication, collaboration and organization, in addition to having opportunities to attend NZ Opera dress rehearsals and Ambassador-only events.

Oboist Adelina Orwin, Year 9, is one of 13 secondary school students nationally into the 2017 NZSO National Mentoring Programme.  This is the second year in succession that Adelina has been a part of this exciting opportunity for musicians to pair up with NZSO musicians to receive mentoring as well as access to NZSO rehearsals and concerts throughout 2017.

Adelina has also been appointed Principal Oboe of the UC Christchurch Youth Orchestra.  Violinist Emily Davey and oboist Amy Chen are also members of this orchestra.

Georgina Scott, Year 10, successfully auditioned to sing with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra in the Broadway to West End Musical Theatre concerts at the end of April. Under the directorship of Kenneth Young, the soloists are renowned musical theatre performers Tim Beveridge, Tizane McEvoy, Juliet Reynolds-Midgley, and Cameron Barclay (from the Ten Tenors).

Valerie  Xiang, Year 12, is a national finalist in the composition section of the Sheliah Winn SGCNZ/MorrisonMusic Trust Shakespeare Composition CompetitionValerie composed incidental music for the 15-minute excerpt from King Lear that our senior students performed in the regional Sheliah Winn Shakespeare Festival held at the beginning of April.  Valerie will travel to Wellington over Queen’s Birthday Weekend to find out her final placing and receive her award.

Xiaoling Liu, Year 13, is one of 10 finalists in the Ara Music Arts Songwriting competition, open to Year 11, 12 and 13 students attending high school in Canterbury, and Ara Music Arts students.

Student Success 2016

Three of our multi-talented music scholars won positions in the 2016 NZSO National Youth Orchestra. For Year 12 violinist Grace McKenzie this was her second year in a row, with Year 13 cellist Karen Hu and Year 12  flautist Isabella Gregory gaining selection for the first time.

Isabella, along with trombonist Rebecca Harris Flautist, was also selected for the New Zealand Youth Symphonic Wind Band, and singer Holly Evans for the New Zealand Secondary Students Choir.   Holly will travel overseas with the choir during 2018.

A record number of 15 girls successfully auditioned for the 2016 NZSSSO (New Zealand Secondary Schools’ Symphony Orchestra), which met during April in Christchurch for five days of intensive rehearsals and a public concert.  Special congratulations to Grace McKenzie, who was Concert Master, and Isabella Gregory, who was Principal Flute.

  • Concert Master – Grace McKenzie
  • First violins – Yuna Chon, Sarah Lawrence, Victoria Park
  • Second violins – Emily Davey, Livvy Pride
  • Viola – Jessie Anderson
  • Cello – Eugene In
  • Principal Flute – Isabella Gregory
  • Oboe – Sarah Pride (also cor anglais), Adelina Orwin, Amy Chen
  • Trombone – Rebecca Harris
  • Percussion – Holly Evans
  • Organ – Valerie Xiang

In addition the soloist with the orchestra was Rangi and NZSSSO alumna Geeny Moon.  Geeny is a French Horn player currently studying dentistry at the University of Otago.

Grace McKenzie was once again accepted as a student at the NZ String Adam Quartet Summer School, held in Nelson during February 2016.  This prestigious summer school  provides the opportunity for up to 30 of New Zealand’s best young string players and pianists to commit themselves to eight days of intense chamber music-making under the guidance of the New Zealand String Quartet and pianist Diedre Irons.

Year 13 music scholar and Head of Music Karen Hu was awarded her LTCL diploma on the cello with Distinction.   To do so whilst at school, and with distinction, is an extraordinary achievement.  Karen was a contracted cellist with the CSO, and as a drummer also a member of, along with trombonist Rebecca Harris, the Christchurch Youth Jazz Orchestra and the All-Female Christchurch Big Band.  

Oboist Adelina Orwin, Year 9, and flautist Isabella Gregory, Year 12, were accepted as two of only 12 young musicians from throughout New Zealand as part of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra Young Originals Mentoring programme.  This gave the girls opportunities to work alongside principal players in the NZSO during workshops and rehearsals during the year.

 Anna Bruce was awarded 3rd place nationally in the category Music for use in a Shakespeare Play in the 2016 Sheliah Winn Shakespeare Composition Competition.  Anna’s piece, written for solo cello, was written to accompany the Dumbshow scene in Hamlet.  As part of her award Anna travelled to Wellington over Queen’s Birthday weekend to attend Shakespeare inspired workshops with like-minded students from all over New Zealand.

 Rangi representatives in the Christchurch Youth Orchestra during 2016 were Isabella Gregory (flute), Amy Chen (oboe), and Livvy Pride and Emily Davies (both violin).

 Year 12 student Jessie Anderson passed Grade 8 on both the piano and viola with  High Distinction during 2016.  She subsequently was awarded the Noel Newson Cup, awarded to an ABRSM candidate in Christchurch who shows exceptional promise in more than one instrument.  Jessie was also placed first equal in the Piano Scholarship Class in the Christchurch Competitions, held during July.

Six Year 7 and 8 girls represented Rangi in the Christchurch Schools’ Music Festival special groups during 2016.  Rangi Players members Skye Atkins, Isabella Carter, Libby Rodda and Holly White were members of the Orchestra, Cindy Xiong a member of the Concert Band, and Imogen Park the Senior Choir.