Strings at­tached for Corinna pupils


A group of Porirua school chil­dren are mak­ing beau­ti­ful mu­sic and chal­leng­ing stereo­types.

Corinna School’s orches­tra is determined to prove that any­one can play clas­si­cal mu­sic.

EJ Roe­beck, 12, said he and his fel­low mu­si­cians often got funny looks when peo­ple found out they were vi­o­lin­ists.

‘‘Peo­ple think that be­cause we’re Is­landers, we should only be play­ing gui­tars,’’ he said.

‘‘When they first see us they think we’re go­ing to be re­ally bad, but af­ter they hear us play, they want to hear some more.’’

EJ and 11 other Corinna School pupils took part in the Kapi-Mana Mu­sic Fes­ti­val Com­pe­ti­tion held on Queen’s Birth­day week­end.

More than 200 school-aged mu­si­cians com­peted and five Corinna stu­dents won the In­ter­me­di­ate String Solo sec­tion.

The point of the com­pe­ti­tion was to bring peo­ple to­gether and col­lab­o­rate.

"It was a great op­por­tu­nity to meet other stu­dents and make new friends. It was also a re­ally good way for us to build con­fi­dence.’’

The stu­dents prac­tice at least twice a week at school and are ex­pected to prac­tice ev­ery day at home.

‘‘You have to show com­mit­ment and a good at­ti­tude, you can’t miss a prac­tice.’’

EJ said he wanted to chal­lenge peo­ple who think play­ing clas­si­cal mu­sic is some­thing only other cul­tures do.

‘‘Our tu­tor is get­ting us to see past this prob­lem and change our fu­ture.’’

Jil­lian Tu­puse, 10, found read­ing mu­sic the hard­est part of learning the vi­o­lin, but said it was worth it.

Tatyana Sio-Smith, 12, said the real he­roes of the orches­tra were the par­ents.

‘‘Our par­ents have shaped our orches­tra.

‘‘Our fam­i­lies sup­port us, they come and watch us and tell us not to give up even though we make a lot of noise.’’

Prin­ci­pal Michele Whit­ing said Corinna School had been lucky to be part of the Vir­tuso String Trust since 2015.

The trust was es­tab­lished by El­iz­a­beth Sneyd to pro­vide vi­o­lins and free tu­ition to some schools in Porirua East.

‘‘The trust is bril­liant and the kids are fan­tas­tic learn­ers, com­mit­ted to ev­ery­thing they do.

‘‘I see the po­ten­tial and the trust is giv­ing them the op­por­tu­nity to shine and show­case their tal­ents,’’ Whit­ing said.

Corinna School pupils are prov­ing clas­si­cal mu­sic is for ev­ery­one.Back row, from left: Fay Nafa­tali, EJ Roe­beck, Tatyana Sio-Smith. Mid­dle row: Clau­dia Suailua, Veititi Ala­p­ati, Jil­lian Tu­puse, Ag­gie Lisale. Front row: Mir­a­cle Solomona, Diana Ue­lese, Aria Jury, Ataahua Pakau­rangi, An­gel Suailua, Philom­ena Paulo.

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