One of the highlights of my year, the KBB Schools Music Festival was held a couple weeks ago at Aotea Centre from the 18th to 20th August. Every year I look forward to this event as it is really inspiring (and FREE) watching all these different school music groups perform.
This year three of my friends from youth group were performing. Rebecca was performing in her school's symphonic band on Tuesday while Jenny and Cleo were performing in their school's symphonia orchestra on Thursday.
I was able to make it to Rebecca's performance on Tuesday, and stayed for a little while to watch some of the other concert bands that day. It was really fun! Rebecca's group performed a Shrek medley, as well as a few other pieces.
Pirates of the Carribean seemed to be popular amongst the other bands, while Avondale's band performed a medley of Michael Jackson's music.
There was this band from some South Auckland school, I can't quite remember which, but their conductor was a little...odd. Just before he was about to conduct a piece, he walked up to the microphone and told us about how his band consisted of students who only started learning instruments in year nine, and that their school didn't have the luxury of having students coming into the school already having learnt an instrument like some other schools. After their first piece, he walked over to the microphone again to thank KBB for the secondhand instruments they purchased with a grant, and that ideally they would have bought new instruments but they don't have the money. Was this conductor trying to make us feel sorry for them?!
It was hard, but Aonghas and I finally left by midday, as I had to get back to Grafton for a workshop.
I couldn't watch any performances on Wednesday because of class, but Thursday was the big day. It was the day of the orchestras! The two performances I mainly wanted to watch were Epsom Symphonia (as Cleo and Jenny from my youth group were in that orchestra) and Westlake Symphonia, probably one of the biggest school orchestras in Auckland, if not New Zealand.
Sadly I had a practice dispensing assessment at the same time as Epsom Symphonia's performance! Well that's the real reason why I couldn't make it. Cleo told me that at their rehearsal when their conductor told them all to invite all their friends and family to come and support, Jenny looked at her and mouthed the words
"NO NOT CALUM"
and then doing the whole camera taking photo hand action. I told them I didn't come because I was hurt! Apparently she was joking though, but I knew that!
The assessment wasn't too bad. There were nine 'stations' where we had to do these small tasks, like check whether the prescription had been written correctly, consult a patient or a doctor, etc. Because it was just a practice there wasn't as much pressure on us. If I didn't have to do it I would've gone and watch the orchestra!
As soon as the assessment finished though I rushed straight to the Aotea Centre, and managed to catch Auckland Grammar's Symphony Orchestra perform. One stand-out performance was this piece they played where a percussionist using percussion instruments found in a music classroom had a solo. It was very creative and catchy!
Cleo was in the audience, and Aonghas was with Cleo's sisters Claire and Carmen who were walking up to the Aotea Centre to meet her. After the afternoon session finished we all met up together and walked down to Elliot Stables for dinner.
I've never been to that place before! It's like some European town inside a building with all these little European food stalls! We sat outside this sausage shop that was selling
"Fresh, juicy juicy sausages!"
The girls ordered some food while Aonghas and I ate the rice our mum made for lunch. During the whole time we were entertained by some lady singing and shaking some shakers, while one man played an accordion and another played a double bass. It was pretty cool!
After we had finished, we walked down to the Britomart Train Station, and by then it was 7pm. I had missed most of the evening session that I was going to attend, but I decided I'd try make it back to the Aotea Centre to at least catch the Westlake Symphony Orchestra. I managed to watch them, as well as a bit of the Macleans Symphony Orchestra.
Once again the KBB Music Festival was very inspiring and it was great to watch these schoolkids make some great music! Congratulations too to the Westlake Girls Symphonic Band winning Bronze, and the Epsom Symphonia winning Silver!