Education: Westlake Girls High School
Orchestras Take Clean Sweep At Festival
All Westlake instrumental ensembles have recently competed in the KBB Music Festival held at Parnell’s beautiful Holy Trinity Cathedral.
120 orchestras and bands competed for a top four spot in four different categories to perform in the Gala concerts at the Auckland Town Hall. The combined Westlake Girls & Boys ensembles were the only schools to make the top four in every category (Symphony Orchestras, Chamber Orchestras, Concert Bands and Big Bands).
All Westlake ensembles achieved impressive results but it was the Westlake Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Mr David Squire, and the Westlake Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Mr Mark Bennett, that took out all the top honours. Both orchestras won the Gold Awards for the “Best Performance of a New Zealand Work” and the coveted “Most Outstanding Ensemble” in their respective categories.
Choralation Wins National Title
Westlake’s premier choir has come out on top once again at the national finale of the NZCF (New Zealand Choral Federation) Big Sing festival, held in Dunedin during the last week of August.
The awards were presented at the conclusion of the festival during a sold-out Gala Concert at the Dunedin Town Hall which was also webcast to an audience of over 16,000 confirmed viewers.
Music Students Individual Successes
In addition to the considerable successes Westlake music groups have enjoyed recently, there have been some wonderful individual successes.
Y12 student Olivia McNeill and Y13 student Julie Park have both gained places and performed with the NZSO National Youth Orchestra. This nationally selected representative orchestra takes players up to 25 years.
Y13 student Lauren Bennett has been to Germany to compete in an under 25 year violin competition. She has had some outstanding results. Lauren made it into the Finals with Chinese and Russian violinists, finishing in 5th Place and she also received the award for Best Performance of a piece by Bach.
Rowing for the NZ Heart Foundation
On a quest to raise money for a worthwhile charity, Year 12 student Caitlin Nugent came up with the idea of holding a rowing event at the Albany Mega Centre in support of the Heart Foundation NZ.
On Saturday 24 August five girls rowed for nine hours on rowing machines in the mall, creating a high profile event that engaged the public and increased awareness of the prevalence of heart disease in females. They collected a total of $3,400 and rowed 120,000 metres on the day. The Go Red for Women theme tied in nicely with the Westlake colours and the YMCA who also supported them. The girls involved were Amber Gorrie, Caitlin Nugent, Poppy Logan, Jess Remmington and Sasha Ballantyne.
The students were invited to attend a special Heart Foundation Fundraiser Breakfast where they presented their cheque and were congratulated by Dame Jenny Shipley.
A Shakespearean Adventure by Alice Allfree
Through my involvement in the SGCNZ University of Otago Sheilah Winn Shakespeare festival last year, I was selected to be a member of Shakespeare’s Globe Centre New Zealand’s Young Shakespeare Company 2013, travelling to The Globe in London for three weeks over the July school holidays with 23 other students from around New Zealand.
Firstly, it was an amazing experience in itself to spend three weeks with 23 fantastic people, the other students in the Young Shakespeare Company. We had two weeks in London, staying in university housing literally two minutes from the Globe Theatre. Days usually started at 8am and could last well into the next morning, rehearsals for our performance sometimes going to 1.30am and then of course we had to go back to the hostel to learn lines! But despite lack of sleep, we still made the most of the days, doing various workshops and activities to immerse ourselves into Shakespeare’s history, theatre and of course to develop our acting technique and dramatic skill. Workshops culminated in rehearsals with the director and actor Timothy Walker who directed us in a one hour version of a Midsummer Night’s Dream. This we then performed on our last day on The Globe stage to an audience of 200. There were lots of Kiwis in the audience, including the New Zealand High Commissioner, Sir Lockwood Smith. That was definitely the highlight of my trip. Luckily we had a few days in Stratford-Upon-Avon (Shakespeare’s birthplace) where we could wind down and do some final Shakespeare tourist things, including visiting his home, the house of Anne Hathaway and the place he was buried. This is going to sound very clichéd, but there literally is no other way to explain it. SGCNZ YSC 2013 was definitely the best three weeks of my life. It was the most extraordinary, fantastic and amazing experience I’ve ever had and it is definitely an opportunity I would encourage others to strive for.
Basketball Team Win Qualifying Tournament
Westlake Premier Basketball team won the Basketball New Zealand Premiership Zone Tournament during winter tournament week. This tournament was played at the North Shore Event Centre. The team went through their pool play undefeated narrowly beating Mt Albert Grammar 76-71 in their closest pool game.
In the Semi Final they defeated Massey 87-70 to reach the final. In the final they meet the tournament favourites Rangitoto College. After a very intense game the Westlake Girls came out winners defeating Rangitoto 82-72. The team is: OliviaBell, Tiarna Clarke, Rosie Davison, Kaylah Fitsimmons Nu’u, Bonnie Frost, Zara Jillings, Bronwyn Kjestrup, Christine Ling, Georgia Perrott-Hunt, Katy Potts, Tera Reed and Vanessa Simpson.
Trash to Fashion
The finals of the Trash to Fashion competition were held recently. Two groups were selected for the finals from a total of 1500 entries, which is a wonderful achievement.
The Year 10 group was not placed, but the Year 11 group was placed first in the Haute Couture section. Their stunning evening gown was made entirely from white plastic bags.
Congratulations to Alisha Duthie in Year 10 who was awarded Best Speaker for 2013 in the Junior Open Division of the Northern Zone Schools in the annual Auckland Secondary Schools Debating Competition.
Congratulations also to all the other speakers who took part in Debating this year and their coaches. We had twelve teams in the competition. Special thanks to Ms Zani Button for all her hard work coordinating the debating and Mrs Hodges for taking over when Ms Button went on maternity leave.
WGHS Sports Briefs
Badminton Team Win Four Titles in a Row
The Premier Badminton team retained their national badminton team’s title, claiming it for the fourth year in a row and the sixth time in the last seven years. This year they achieved the unique feat of remaining undefeated throughout the tournament winning each tie 6-0. In the past four years they have not lost a tie, winning twenty seven ties in a row, an outstanding achievement for a secondary school team at national level. The team is: Rebecca Goddard, Virginia Guntur, Rayna Phillips, Alyssa Tagle, Selene Wu and Deborah Yin. The team is coached by former student Anona Pak and managed by staff member Beth Beever.
Table Tennis Team Claim Silver medal
The premier table tennis team claimed the silver medal at the New Zealand Secondary School Team Championships held at the North Harbour Table Tennis Centre. The team of Sam Sung, Veronica Li, Jocelyn Lim and Sandy Liu won all their games to reach the final where they played Maclean’s College losing 5-2. In the single championships Westlake Girls won gold and bronze medals with Sam Sung winning the U19 girls grade and Veronica Li the bronze in the U15 girls.
1st XI Hockey Wins Marie Fry Tournament
The Westlake Girls 1st XI hockey team capped off their season by winning the Marie Fry hockey tournament in Nelson which has qualified them for the Federation Cup tournament in 2014.0 The win follows their third placing in the inaugural super city hockey competition. Westlake played Palmerston North Girls High School in the final with the score 1 all at fulltime before Shenade Benson scored the winning goal in golden goal extra time to claim the title.The team is: Alex Agnew, Shenade Benson, Ariana Corbett, Laura Drake, Julie Ellis, Teegan Hager, Mattea Harris, Georgia Hawley, Robyn Hellyer, Hannah Leckey, Ashleigh McNaughton, Fleur North, Bianca Oram, Chantal Ottow, Kiri Waters and Jazmin Wanoa. Coach Verity Sharland and Manager Linda Clouston.
Netball Qualify for Nationals
For the second year in a row the Westlake Girls premier netball team has qualified for the New Zealand Secondary School Championships. At the recent Upper North Island netball tournament the team placed sixth winning seven out of ten games, with the most important game being the one point win over Avondale College who placed second at last year’s national champs. This win also allowed the team to reach the final six, booking a place in the nationals. Year 12 student Kate Burley was selected for the tournament team. The New Zealand Championships will be held in Auckland during the school holidays.