A new Rising Star!

Pilgyu Chang, Hayden Butt, Yusuke Takahashi, Grace Tak, Hannah Seo

On Saturday 30 October, we were able (2 months late!) to present our 2021 Rising Stars concert.  The suitably masked and socially distanced audience at Graham Young Youth Theatre thoroughly enjoyed a great evening listening to our five wonderful contestants compete for the title.  

Covid restrictions meant that two of our judging panel, based in Auckland and Hamilton, were unable to travel. We were fortunate that Tauranga-based vocal coach, Glenese Blake, and trombonist, Joe Thomas were able to join the panel at short notice. Both brought a wealth of musical and teaching experience to the team. 

Head Judge Peter Walls, on behalf of the judging panel, congratulated all the young players individually on their strong performances in this important and inspiring competition.  The judges had been terrifically impressed by the overall standard and promise of all the finalists, with a wonderful array of different instruments and styles. 

He announced that the winner of the 2021 Rising Stars competition was 17-year-old clarinettist Hayden Butt from Tauranga.  Hayden had impressed the judges with his beautiful interpretation of Debussy’s Première Rhapsodie, played with subtlety and great range of expression.

The Judges also awarded a special prize to cellist Grace Tak, for her wonderful performance of the 1st movement of Lalo’s Cello Concerto in D minor

In presenting awards to the prizewinners and the other three finalists, MP Jan Tinetti also congratulated them all and said how important music is to the development of young people, particularly in these difficult times. 

The orchestra was delighted to be able to bring off this concert in the end.  We always love accompanying these young musicians, well done to all this year’s Rising Stars!