It's a busy month on the secondary school music scene with events for almost every form of music group holding festivals and competitions.

Rockquest, The Big Sing, Young Singers in Harmony and now the NZCT Chamber Music Contest have yielded great results for Kāpiti students.

Last weekend secondary school chamber music groups from across the Wellington region flooded to the Adam Concert Room at the New Zealand School of Music for the Wellington district heat of the NZCT Chamber Music Contest.

At the Wellington heat, 34 groups competed with 10 of those groups from Kāpiti College.

Evensong Trio from left, Miranda Xu, Benjamin Carson and Willow Whitfield.
Evensong Trio from left, Miranda Xu, Benjamin Carson and Willow Whitfield.

With the 34 groups winnowed down to eight for the Wellington final, two Kāpiti College groups made the finals.

Kāpiti College head of music and chamber music coach Gioia Brunoro said it was an absolute thrill to be so well-represented in the Wellington classical music scene.

"It was a thrill, particularly given the standard of the other competing groups was incredibly high."

Making the final were Evensong Trio made up of Benjamin Carson, Willow Whitfield and Miranda Xu, who performed the first movement of Gabriel Faure's Piano Trio, and Shickele Split Trio consisting of Elliot Challenger, Mac Ladyman and Shontae Arthur (home schooled), who performed Songs and variations from Peter Schickele's Serenade for Clarinet, Violin and Piano.

Spending many hours practising individually and together in their groups for the competition, Ben from Evensong said, "It was an amazing feeling being selected for the Wellington finals."

Performing the first movement from Gabriel Faure's Piano Trio, Ben from Evensong said, "Our trio has worked so hard to get the piece to a high standard and it was rewarding to have our efforts recognised in this way.

"Faure wrote simple but beautiful melodies which come together in such an elegant way in this late work, and I love how the piece leads you through twists and turns through interesting harmonic language," he said.

"It was challenging to put together as a group because everyone plays such different timings (which Faure used to create texture and subtle changes)," Miranda said.


"The harmonies created between piano and strings are so intricate we never got sick of playing the piece as we might have if given a more straight forward piece.

"Their complexity made it more enjoyable to play, and the three of us were a good combination for the piece."

Surprised with their good results, Willow said, "I am enjoying playing the Faure even more now because we know it so well.

"It was really exciting getting into the finals and was a nice opportunity to hear the other groups which we hadn't been able to hear before."