Top barbershop talent on show
Tawa and Aotea colleges were standouts at last week’s national secondary schools barbershop competition, held at Porirua’s Te Rauparaha Arena.
Aotea College’s ACBC won the girls chorus for the third successive year, and Tawa College boys were runners-up in the chorus and quartet competitions behind Burnside High School.
‘‘This was one of the closest contests we’ve ever had,’’ judge Henrietta Hunkin-Tagaloa said.
Thirty quartets and 16 choruses battled it out for top honours, with more than 750 students participating. It was not just singing, but a foot stomping, finger clicking, move-busting theatrical showcase.
Tawa’s male quartet Fourtissibros are all close friends, and in the same year group, unlike many of their competitors.
After nailing its two songs, there were a couple of fist pumps. ’’I was really happy with the performance,’’ Matt Barris, 16, said.
TJ Hernandez, 17, said the boys wanted to take their singing talent to the world so the second placing was ‘‘the cherry on the top’’ of a good competition.
If they do, they will be following in the footsteps of former Tawa students and 2014 world quartet champions the Musical Island Boys.
Aotea’s ACBC girl’s chorus are the barbershop queens. It has been top of the girls chorus section for three years, repeating their dominance of 2010 to 2012.
‘‘There was high expectations, performing in our hood, on our turf,’’ Elina Tolai, 17, said.
There are also expectations from the nationwide barbershop community.
Amy McLean, 16, said she gets stopped in the street at barbershop competitions. ’’When they see our blazers they say, ‘Oh, you’re from Aotea’.’’
The winning Kapiti College girls quartet, LASS, formed on the roadside after a bus breakdown on the way home from last year’s competition, in which no Kapiti quartets were entered.
‘‘This is our first year – our goal was to come first in nationals by year 13,’’ LASS member Alice Mason, who turned 16 on competition day, said. ‘‘It’s a great birthday present.’’
In other Wellington region results, Paraparaumu and St Catherine’s colleges came fourth and fifth in the girl’s quartets, with Aotea sixth and fourth in the male chorus. Tawa’s Maiden Tawa chorus was sixth.