Victory a shock to student choir
The Dunstan High School choir Dunstanza has walked away from an international competition laden with awards.
A contingent of 50 students, two teachers and about eight parents headed to Melbourne about ten days ago to compete at the Melbourne Eisteddfod.
Director John Buchanan said they were thrilled with their results after Thursday’s competition. The full mixed voice choir – female and male – won the secondary schools competition while the senior girls were second in the same competition.
They went on later in the day to win the open grade World Music competition singing Maori songs against adult choirs from Serbia and Samoa.
The final section was the biggest with eight choirs performing, an acapella work.
Buchanan said Dunstanza was first to perform and at the halfway point in the competition, about 9pm, the junior students headed back to their accommodation after a big day. ‘‘We did some really wonderful singing and thought, let’s be happy with what we’ve done.’’
However, as the results were read out they were shocked to discover they were second, he said. Youth drink-driving convictions have more than halved in Southland and Central Otago since the zero tolerance law changes came into effect in 2011.
‘‘It is particularly pleasing to see that our younger drivers are responding to the zero drink-drive level and generally avoiding drinking and driving,’’ Southern district acting road policing manager Senior Sergeant Steve Larking said.
Drink-driving statistics obtained under the Official Information Act showed a 29.2 per cent decline in the total number of drink-driving offences in Southland and Central Otago from 2011-13.
Drink-driving offences dropped significantly in 15- to 30-year-olds in 2012 and 13, with convictions dropping from 254 to 112.
Offences in 25- to 29-year-olds went up by 16 per cent in 2013.
Offending increased in older age groups, particularly 50- to 54-yearolds going up by 31 per cent and the 70- to 74-year-old age group received six convictions in 2013 as opposed to