Layla Lacey and Maddison MacFarlane weren't the only ones to skip a bit of school yesterday.

The 11-year-olds were among 200 youngsters who sang, danced and clapped their way through Stan Walker's dress rehearsal at the Rotorua Civic Theatre.

They were at the front of the queue, having arrived at 2.15pm, well ahead of doors opening at 4.30pm for the dress rehearsal for tonight's show. The concert also features X Factor New Zealand finalist Whenua Patuwai.

"We're big fans of Stan Walker and we love Whenua. We love their music," Maddison said.


Layla said they left school early so they could guarantee a good spot.

They were joined by Maddison's younger sister Kiarni and mum Nicky.

"We found out on Facebook and when I told them [about it] they were keen as. I just love that Stan seems so down to earth, he knows his tikanga. They wanted to go to the concert [tonight] but it's a bit expensive for all of us and it's a bit late."

The show started with Patuwai rehearsing his set before the screams and cheers welcomed Walker on to the stage.

Tonight's concert is the first in the Stan Walker Trumpet World Tour of New Zealand. Patuwai is the support artist and one of the backing vocalists is Rotorua's Turanga Merito. He has been working with both Patuwai and Walker as the vocal coach on X Factor New Zealand.

The tour includes 23 shows around the country and takes in a number of smaller towns such as Edgecumbe.

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4 Sep, 2013 10:22am
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