Over five evenings the 2022 Nayland College Arts Festival brought Drama, Dance, Music and Visual Arts to the fore, showcasing the exceptional talents of our ākonga.
Year 11 Drama productions opened the festival with “Scenes from Peninsula” by NZ author Gary Henderson. Set on the Banks Peninsula, South Island, in the 1960’s the play is a warm-hearted and open-eyed snapshot of life in New Zealand’s 20th century rural communities and presents an insightful glimpse into the concerns, dreams and joys of childhood. The show was presented on consecutive evenings with students playing both lead characters and members of the company – an impressive undertaking for the 45 minute performance. The play was notable for its unique staging (the cast stayed on stage for the whole show), ‘special elements’ (notably the beautiful fishing scene) and the use of music to enhance the narrative. The Year 11’s are congratulated for their outstanding achievement.
The second event in the festival was the inaugural Solo Performing Arts Competition held in the PAC and adjudicated by guest judges Mr Andrew Yorkstone (Head of Music at Nelson College) and Mr Ian Vincent (Past performer with STOMP). Performances included dance, contemporary music, traditional music, and musical theatre from 12 finalists.
- Simone Tabili – Singer Musical Theatre – 1st place
- Samantha Gerritsen – Singer Musical Theatre – 2nd Place
- Jayden Day-Anthonise – Guitar Spanish and Rock – 3rd Place
- Jessica MacBrayne – Oboe Classical (Music for Film) – Highly Commended
- Ollie Brookes – Guitar and Vocal Rock
- Eve Wastney – Violin Classical (Music for Film)
- Rose Leighton – Guitar and Vocal Rock
- Maggie O’Hara – Dance Contemporary
- Ruth Buckland – Saxophone and Piano Various
- Ysabella Abel – Singer and Pianist Music Theatre and Classical
- Isabella Fuller – Singer Contemporary
- Sophia Bechtold – Piano and Vocal Contemporary
To start the second week of the festival the Art classrooms were resplendent with an incredible range of artworks for the Nayland Art Exhibition. Presented by students from across the school with a focus on the portfolios of students in Level 1, 2 and 3 NCEA – the exhibition showcased work in a variety of media. A good crowd of staff, students and parents circulated through the department over an hour and a half and very much enjoyed having the time to digest hundreds of creative offerings.
The final event, the Performing Arts Gala Concert, presented in the Nayland Hall showcasing students in Dance, Drama and Music, was a fitting celebration of performance success in a year that has served its fair share of challenges. The first half saw three repertoire dances from the Level 2 and 3 dance class as well as Lydia Fitzgerald’s Scholarship Dance submission. Winner of the Solo Performing Arts competition, Simone Tabili (Hopelessly Devoted to You) and 2nd place getter Samantha Gerritsen (Naughty) performed their prizewinning music theatre songs, and the Year 10 Musical Theatre class demonstrated their in-class work with a short and sweet rendition of Oompa Loompa from Willy Wonka. A highlight of the half was the Drama Company’s Sheila Wynn Shakespeare performance of a scene from Midsummer Night’s Dream.
The second half of the concert focused on musical ensembles. Following recent disruptions, the orchestra finally had the opportunity to perform and did so with 3 excellent pieces and the concert band, in preparation for their trip to the Wellington Band and Orchestra festival, played selections of their festival programme. SmokeFree Rockquest award winners ‘Muted’ and ‘Imani-J and Kahu SB’ performed two original works each, followed by ‘Muted’ guitarists Jayden Day-Anthonise & Duncan Petre who rounded out the small ensemble offerings. The Jazz band, hot off a gig in Mapua and winning a place in the final of the Secondary Schools’ Jazz Band competition, closed out the evening with three superb pieces, the final showcasing outstanding singer, Lovinia Pluck.
Nayland Arts are in a position of considerable strength and the future looks bright as the programmes rally after months of COVID disruptions.
We look forward to presenting Arts Festival 2023!
By Ross Gerritsen