Poised to per­form

Central Leader - - NEWS - By ALAS­TAIR LYNN

Back in 1965 Auck­land was rev­el­ling in the iconic melodies of rock ’n’ roll pi­o­neers The Rolling Stones.

Fifty years on, the Play It Strange Trust is giv­ing young per­form­ers the chance to rub shoul­ders with some big names in New Zealand mu­sic.

Af­ter the suc­cess of the trust’s ode to The Bea­tles last year, chief ex­ec­u­tive and Split Enz founder Mike Chunn says the per­for­mances will ‘‘be out of this world’’.

‘‘The re­sponse was most em­phatic and now we’re back and ready to do it all over again.’’

Chunn says there is a need to nur­ture emerg­ing mu­si­cal tal­ent and give kids the chance to per­form.

‘‘It is bril­liant to show just how well they can per­form and we’ll do it ev­ery year.’’

The two con­certs on June 3 and 4 at the Auck­land Town Hall will fea­ture hun­dreds of per­form­ers.

Stu­dents from Dioce­san School for Girls are among those who will share the stage with the likes of Jor­dan Luck, Ed­die Rayner and Leza Cor­ban.

Chunn has been very en­thu­si­as­tic about get­ting young per­form­ers such as Bella Spratt, 17, in­volved.

The Dioce­san gui­tarist and singer jumped at the op­por­tu­nity.

‘‘I’ve been singing for about 10 years, in be­tween classes or just around the house,’’ she says. ‘‘I thought it would be a great ex­pe­ri­ence and a good chance to prac­tise per­form­ing.’’

Play it Strange has been en­cour­ag­ing young New Zealan­ders to de­velop in­ter­ests and skills in song­writ­ing and mu­si­cal per­for­mance since 2003.

Chunn says while schools have come a long way in pro­vid­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for mu­si­cal devel­op­ment, there is still con­sid­er­able room for im­prove­ment.

‘‘The whole thing with mu­sic in school is it’s about where science was 100 years ago,’’ he says.

‘‘When I was younger I told my teach­ers I wanted to be a Bea­tle – noth­ing hap­pened.

‘‘It’s about try­ing to put an in­fra­struc­ture around some­thing im­por­tant. The mu­sic cur­ricu­lum should be sup­ported . . . young peo­ple want to play mu­sic. They’re em­pow­ered by it.’’

See tick­et­mas­ter.co.nz for de­tails.

Jake Blun­dell, 16, of Sa­cred Heart Col­lege, Grace Wood, 17, of St Kentigern Col­lege and Bella Spratt, 17, of Dioce­san School for Girls are ex­cited to rub shoul­ders with Kiwi mu­sic leg­end Mike Chunn at A Strange Day’s Night in June.

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