Here's a snippet into my music career so far!
Check out the links at the bottom of the page to listen to some of my work.
I began playing the piano in 2008 at the age of six. I started composing within a few months of starting my piano studies, and I entered and performed my first solo piano work in a competition at the age of seven.
Throughout school, I was always actively involved in music. I picked up violin at the end of Year 9 and was a member of a variety of music groups including the school choir, jazz band, BandQuest, RockQuest and multiple chamber music groups. In 2018, my Waimea College chamber group won the Nelson Chamber Music NZ competition, leading to a performance at the regional finals in Christchurch later that year. Since changing secondary schools in 2019—to Nelson College for Girls—I became more interested in composing for a greater variety of ensembles and contexts including film/television, orchestras and choirs.
In August 2020, I won the SOUNZ Big Sing Choral Composition Competition for NZ secondary school students with my piece A Music Everywhere. Originally composed for two violins and piano, my music teacher suggested the addition of vocal lines after he found inspiration in a poem about music by Bessie Rayner Parkes. About A Music Everywhere, composer David Hamilton wrote, “This is a very mature piece of writing…the piece is never less than engaging and interesting. Lovely melodic lines for all voices. This would be a joy to sing.” The piece had its debut performance at the Nelson College for Girls senior prizegiving on 11th November 2020, and was recorded by the same performers the following month (this recording has since been played on RNZ Concert!). A Music Everywhere was then performed at the Blessing of The Fleet in Nelson on 15th May 2021, the recording of which was prominently used in stuff.co.nz’s online video about the event afterwards. The piece was part of a portfolio of three works (the others being A Grand Adventure and Briony) which I submitted for the NZQA Scholarship Music awards in late 2020; I received an Outstanding result for this—the highest possible mark nationwide.
In mid-2021, I was commissioned (along with Liam Furey and Robin Watson) by Rakuto Kurano to write a work for violin and piano for his Duplexity tour, which was due to take place in August 2021, but was then postponed until March 2022. The tour was absolutely delightful!
On 13th August 2021, Nelson College for Girls hosted their annual mid-winter music concert at the Nelson Centre of Music Arts, at which A Music Everywhere, along with two of my then-brand-new compositions (Upon Clee Hill and The Ducks), was performed.
In December 2021, I received a Distinction for my ATCL Diploma on Piano and I completed my TCL Grade 6 Percussion and TCL Grade 6 Violin exams that same year (in fact, on the same day!). I also have ABRSM Grade 5 Theory and TCL Grade 6 Theory.
Before I moved for university, I was heavily involved with NBS Nelson City Brass, an A-grade competitive brass band in the Nelson/Tasman region. After being invited to the development band in 2019, I soon advanced to the competitive band where I played tuned percussion and timpani. The band placed fifth overall at the 2021 National Brass Band Championships in Christchurch. In both 2020 and 2021, I successfully auditioned for the National Youth Brass Band (NYBB), an annual week-long course in January for brass/percussion musicians under 24 years old. I was also commissioned by the NYBB to arrange A Music Everywhere for their Lower North Island concert tour in January 2022.
I received a number of university music scholarships at the end of 2021 and am now a composition and performance student at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. So far, my biggest accomplishment (alongside promising marks in my academic work and playing percussion for the Dunedin Youth Orchestra) is winning the Audrey Reid Composition Prize of $1000 with a revised version of my 2020 work A Grand Adventure. This work will be performed by a combined Dunedin Youth Orchestra and Christchurch Youth Orchestra ensemble at the Dunedin Town Hall on 24th September 2022.