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Music Leaders and Performing Arts Awards

The following students have been appointed to a leadership role in a Music Performance group at Auckland Grammar School. They will support staff and colleagues through the management and artistic leadership of their groups, and will take an active role in building collegiality and a productive creative environment.

The 2021 Leader of the Big Band and Jazz Combo is A. P. Lamb 7C1

Lamb has been a member of the Big Band since Form 4. He plays Bass Guitar and has a passion and talent for a wide variety of musical styles.

He is a diligent musician who comes ready to play, ready to develop, and ready to make the musicians around him sound better. He has a great ear for how the band can improve and can communicate his ideas, and intentions, with a clarity of vision.

Lamb also leads the Jazz Combo this year which is largely a student directed group. He has taken the responsibility of leading rehearsals, finding new music and developing the sound of the combo to maintain its consistent high level. 

The 2021 Leader of Grammar Virtuosi is H. G. Kim 7A

Kim has been an active and valuable member of the Symphony Orchestra and Grammar Virtuosi since 2017, and he has ABRSM Grade 8 Violin (with Distinction).

He is a capable musician in his own right and has embraced School life as a member of Interact, and the Symphony Orchestra, as well as his participation with Football and Tennis.

The 2021 Leader of Grammar Voices is B. J. Ross 7C

Ross is a gifted and versatile singer and a talented musician. He is one of the founding members of both Grammar Voices and Grammarphonics, having joined the choirs at their inception in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

Ross is also an accomplished jazz pianist and vocalist. His musical talents have been recognised through his selection in the Big Band, the Symphony Orchestra, Grammar Virtuosi, Grammarphonics and annual musical productions.

Ross has proven himself to be an excellent leader within the choir, consistently modelling both individual technical excellence and full commitment to the ensemble, which along with his positive attitude and involvement in School life led to being named as a 2021 School Prefect.

The 2021 Pipe Major of the Pipe Band is D. W. Allan 7E

Allan has been in the Grammar School Pipe Band since Form 3. He has very strong musical abilities and this has meant he was placed in responsible roles from the time he joined the Pipe Band until this, his final year at Grammar.

From a pivotal player in the front rank to his position as Band Leader, his piping experience has become a crucial part in his current role.

David’s quiet, yet strong demeanour stands him in good stead as Pipe Major and Band Leader where he creates a patient and reliable influence, whilst accepting the challenges of leading pipers and drummers who have to commit all their music to memory.

In this respect David leads by example by confronting the complicated music that the band now plays, with his own repetitive practice to ensure, that at our rehearsals, he can assist, develop and encourage each one of our piper’s musical standards.

The 2021 Leader of the Concert Band is O. Craddock 7B

Craddock is an able musician of who has been committed to the School’s Music programme since he was in Form 3.

He has represented the School with distinction through the Premier Concert Band, the Symphony Orchestra and in Chamber Music groups.

He is a School Prefect as as well as a member of the School’s Proceres Grammatici group who leads by example, modelling reliability, determination and focus, balanced with empathy and compassion.

The 2021 Concertmaster of Symphony Orchestra is R. Gan 7A

Gan has been a committed and active member of both the Symphony Orchestra and Grammar Virtuosi reflecting his dedication to School music.

He is a talented violinist, having achieved success in both examinations and competitions. He was awarded the Diploma of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (DipABRSM) with Distinction.

In the South Auckland Performing Arts Competition he was awarded the Golden Jubilee Cup for the Highest Mark over all 20th Century/Contemporary Classes and the Karen Yang Strings Trophy.

Within the School his talent, experience and success has been recognised by being awarded Performing Arts Colours in 2020.

2021 Performing Arts Awards

Auckland Grammar School has a proud history of excellence within the Performing Arts. The School offers a variety of pathways within the arts for boys to develop and showcase their skills and talents.

From Theatre to Drama, Cultural to Music groups and Debating, the Performing Arts are a fundamental component and allow boys to reach the pinnacle in their chosen field. It was a privilege that in 2020, we could institute the Performing Arts Colour award and that tradition can continue with recognising individual excellence from within the Performing Arts.

Each year, Auckland Grammar students perform on a variety of Performing Arts stages and contexts both within the school and externally. To individually excel at the highest level of their chosen field requires considerable dedication, commitment, practice and rehearsal.

On Monday 6 December 2021, during the Colours and Performing Arts Assembly, five students received Performing Arts Awards. There were also three special Performing Arts awards for Excellence, Contribution and Outstanding Performance of the Year.

The Performing Arts – Excellence Award is given to the student who, by quality of performance and all-round effort, has contributed and excelled most in his given Performing Arts activity.

The 2021 recipient is Senior Prefect I. J. Mellis-Glynn.

Mellis-Glynn has been devoted to the debating programme at Auckland Grammar for the past five years. He has been ranked as the best speaker in Auckland for four consecutive years, is a four-time Auckland Champion, was the 2020 National Champion, the National Best Individual Speaker, the 2020 New Zealand British Parliamentary Champion and a 2021 national semi-finalist.

He was appointed as Captain of the New Zealand Schools’ Debating Team this year, and was one of 5 students selected to represent New Zealand at the World Schools’ Debating Championships. Speakers were judged individually and as a team. Each speaker’s ranking was announced at the end of the tournament.

Competing against the world’s best secondary school debaters, Mellis-Glynn was individually ranked as sixth equal in the world at the end of the tournament, the best performance by a New Zealand speaker on the world stage since 2013. It establishes him as one of the best school debaters the country has produced and the best speaker in New Zealand at present.

Additionally, Mellis-Glynn has continued to mentor and coach younger debaters. He is highly regarded in the debating circuit as a student with a strength of character and quality leadership skills. He has excelled to highest level in his chosen Performing Arts field.

The Performing Arts – Contribution Award is given to the student who has given most whole-heartedly and most widely to the Performing Arts activities of the School.

The 2021 recipient is Prefect B. J. Ross.

Ross has been an outstanding contributor to the Performing Arts at Auckland Grammar over the past five years. During this time, he has performed at a high level in an extraordinary range of disciplines.

He has been a member of Grammarphonics, Grammar Voices, Grammar Virtuosi, Symphony Orchestra, Big Band, Jazz Combo, Major School Productions and Student Run Productions.

Ross has advanced to leadership roles in many of these endeavours including being a key member of the tenor section in both choirs, Leader of Choirs, the Big Band and Jazz Combo vocalist and keyboard player.

He has also excelled in the dramatic arts with lead roles in the School musicals for three consecutive years. In this year’s production of Monty Python’s Spamalot, he performed five major and minor roles throughout the musical.

Ross has been fully committed to the Performing Arts which has been visible through his conscientious, diligent and focused demeanour.  His talent combined with excellent time management have meant that he has achieved at a consistently high level across all disciplines. His diverse contributions and the standards he has maintained have made him a role model for younger students and a leader of his peers.

The Outstanding Performance of the Year Award is for the best Performing Arts performance of the year, for the best individual performance in any performing arts fields.

The 2021 recipient is Prefect D. L. Fleming.

Fleming has been actively involved in a wide variety of Performing Arts activities throughout his tenure at Auckland Grammar School. He has excelled as a member of Grammar Virtuosi, the Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Music groups, the Asian Cultural Group, and Spanish Debating Team.  He has also been an active competitor in the Minister’s Plate Competition.

His talent, skill, and level for performance as a cellist has been his primary area of focus, and as a consequence, achieved performance excellence.

The Minister’s Plate Music Competition recognises the achievement of the finest solo musicians at Auckland Grammar School in any given year. Fleming was awarded the Junior Music Plate in 2017, and the Minister’s Plate in both 2020 and 2021, a truly rare feat. 

In 2021, Fleming he has been featured as a soloist with Grammar Virtuosi. His performance of Haydn’s Cello Concerto (1st Movement) in Wellington Cathedral of St Paul earlier in the year, his KBB Music Festival performance saw him nominated for best soloist and the performance with Grammar Virtuosi, and back-to-back Minister’s Plate successes quickly elevated Fleming into the top tier of Auckland Grammar School student musicians through time.

Fleming’s self-disciplined approach to practicing and playing the cello has inspired other musicians and helped lift the level of performance of those he has performed with.

Performing Arts Colours for 2021

R. R. Ediriweera Wijesuriya for Drums

Ediriweera Wijesuriya has quickly established himself as a highly talented, proficient, and captivating drummer for the Big Band and Jazz Combo. In his external performances opportunities this year he has been a noted performer from within these groups.

At regional and national competitions, the judges have made special mention of his playing and how he has elevated the players around him and music he is contributing towards.

He provides the foundation of groove and time for these groups the judges have made it clear that his playing and skill locks these bands together. Additionally his role as a featured soloist has pushed these groups in new directions.

This year at the 45th National Youth Jazz Festival, Ediriweera Wijesuriya receiving the Hill/Wilcock Trophy for the Most Outstanding Drummer award. His selection was from a field of 45 groups that competed at this festival across the Big Band and Jazz Combo sections. There is no higher individual award nationally for a drummer within the field of Big Band and Jazz Music.

I. J. Mellis-Glynn for Debating

In 2021, Captain of Debating Mellis-Glynn has achieved considerable success across regional, national, and international competitions. He is a member of the School’s Senior Premier Debating side that was winners of the Auckland Regionals Debating Tournament and Auckland Premier Debating Tournament.

He was selected as representative on Auckland Blue ranking him in the top 6 students across Auckland. In 2020, he was ranked second best speaker at the New Zealand British Parliamentary Tournament and his team were National Champions.

This year was Captain of the World Schools Debating Team, was one of five students selected nationally in the World Schools Debating Team. At the World Schools Debating Tournament he was individually ranked sixth, the highest performance by a New Zealand speaker since 2013.

J. M. Sandelin for Debating

In 2021, Sandelin has achieved considerable success across regional, national, and international competitions.

He is a member of the School’s Senior Premier Debating side that was winners of the Auckland Regionals Debating Tournament and Auckland Premier Debating Tournament. He was ranked as best speaker at both the Auckland Seasonal Debating Tournament and the Auckland Premier Advanced Final.

He was selected as representative on Auckland Blue ranking him in the top 6 students across Auckland. He was named as one of two reserves to the New Zealand World Schools Debating Team. Only five students are selected to represent New Zealand at this tournament, so selection to this role represents a ranking of one of the top seven debaters in the country.

In addition to Debating, Sandelin is also the School’s premier contributor to the public speaking programme. He has participated in – and won – the Victor Macky public speaking award for the past three years.

V. Y. S. Tew for Debating

Tew has been a member of the School’s Senior Premier Debating side for the past two years. In 2020, Tew was named in the top 10 speakers of the New Zealand National British Parliamentary Debating Tournament.

As a member of the School’s Senior Premier side, he was a winner of the Auckland Regionals Debating Tournament and Auckland Premier Debating Tournament.

He was selected to the Auckland White team ranking him in the top 6 speakers at the Premier Advanced Auckland Schools Debating Tournament. At the New Zealand National tournament his Auckland White side finished fifth overall.

J. J. Turner for Composition

Turner has been a member of the School’s Symphony Orchestra and Premier Concert Band for the past two years. He is a noted bassoonist within these groups. Additionally Turner has excelled in the field of composition.

In 2021, Turner entered the NZSO Todd Corporation Young Composer competition. Now in its 16th year, this gives young New Zealand composers the unique opportunity to have their compositions workshopped and performed by the NZSO, as well as recorded by RNZ Concert. This opportunity is open to composers 25 years and younger.

An expert composer is selected to choose eight young composers based on their submissions and then mentors them through to having their composition performed by the NZSO. Given the age eligibility and the breadth of submissions Turner has achieve considerable success in the field of composition.