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APO Discovery concert galvanises love for music

Maia Tay-Morrison

Wednesday 31 May 2023 marked a very memorable day for 45 Sancta Maria College music students. The annual APO discovery concert held in the town hall took students from around Auckland on a journey through the world exploring music and dance.

Starting our journey off in France, the audience were introduced to an orchestral style ballet piece by French composer Ravel. The piece ‘Bolero’ has a repetitive melody passed around the different instruments of the orchestra. A crucial aspect of the piece is the snare drum which has a persistent pattern that is played throughout the duration of the song. This piece was a great way to kick-off the theme of dance in music, with this piece being typically performed as a ballet – it was also made famous in the 80’s by ice-skaters Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean who won gold in the Sarajevo 1984 Winter Olympics.

Throughout the rest of the 90-minute concert, different styles of music were played as a gateway to see what dance is like around the world. Another piece from France was a waltz by Emile Waldteufel titled ‘The Skaters Waltz’. This piece was written to evoke the images of ice skaters dancing on a winter’s day. On the contrary, the medley of Bernstein’s West Side story provided a more upbeat, modern music and dance style. Other pieces in the repertoire included Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and Bartok’s Two Romanian Dances.

Along with some of the most well-known pieces of music, the audience were lucky enough to hear the premiere of a piece by APO-Composer-in-residence Camryn Nel. ‘Little Capriccio’ was composed by the young musician and played for the first time at the discovery concert.

To end the show with a bang a few of the high school choirs joined together for a collective performance of the Six60 song Kia Mau Ki To Ukaipo/Don’t forget your roots. Click this link to watch the performance.  The school choir had the fortune of joining in for this showstopper, it made it all the more memorable for the lucky students.

Overall, this was a great learning experience for all the students involved and it I’m sure has evoked a new passion for music in many. A huge thank you to all the staff who made this day possible and to the APO who made it an unforgettable performance.