Top cham­ber mu­sic group


If you ask Mana Col­lege’s Three Shades of Brown how they got their name, you will get a cheeky an­swer.

Waiora Paul-Utiera, Ha­mana Houia and Jobe Ka­iawe, all 16, make up the school’s cham­ber mu­sic ensem­ble.

‘‘It’s pretty ob­vi­ous how we chose the name of our group – it’s be­cause we’re white,’’ Paul-Utiera joked.

The stu­dents com­peted against 40 other groups at the NZ Cham­ber Mu­sic Com­pe­ti­tion this month and took out the group prize for the sec­ond year run­ning.

Paul-Utiera, the self de­scribed ‘‘charmer’’ of the trio, said they were go­ing to go by an­other, less ob­vi­ous, name.

‘‘We all had fa­cial hair at the time so were go­ing to be called the Three Wise Men.

‘‘Then I looked at our hands and I saw they were all dif­fer­ent shades of brown.’’

Paul-Utiera be­gan play­ing mu­sic in his Ratana Brass Band in 2009.

‘‘I play the trum­pet, which is re­ally the most dis­gust­ing in­stru­ment. It’s also known as the spit valve.’’

Ka­iawe grew up in a mu­si­cal fam­ily and started play­ing gui­tar four years ago.

‘‘With pro­fes­sional mu­si­cians in the fam­ily ev­ery­one al­ways as­sumed I would be able to play some­thing.’’

Jobe is the only one in his fam­ily who plays an in­stru­ment.

As the bass player he had the hard­est job of all the band mem­bers. ‘‘I have to keep the rhythm for the whole band.’’

Mana Col­lege head of mu­sic Jac­que­line Nor­don said she was very proud of the stu­dents for win­ning a sec­ond time.

‘‘The ad­ju­di­ca­tor was very com­pli­men­tary and said they were a very tight unit.’’

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