increasing workload of secondary school pupils is starting to
take a toll on the Otago Secondary Schools Music Festival,
one of the event's organisers says.
But to see about 500 pupils from secondary schools across the
region performing in the Dunedin Town Hall last night for the
44th annual festival, you would not know it.
The stage and screen-themed concert featured music from film
and stage shows, including Les Miserables, Verdi's
Chorus of the Jewish Slaves and Bizet's Carmen,
and was performed by pupils in orchestras, choirs, chamber
orchestras and jazz and rock bands.
One of the event's organisers, Kaikorai Valley College head
of music Kathy Thompson, said it was getting harder to get
pupils involved in the festival because they were
increasingly busy with practice exams, constant assessments
and other sporting and cultural commitments.
At this time of year, many senior secondary school pupils
focused their attention on study as school practice exams
were under way and NCEA exams loomed.
''It's taking a toll on events like this. It just makes it
harder and harder to get all schools involved.''
Mrs Thompson said there were no easy solutions to the
The hard work would continue because the annual event was an
excellent showcase of musical talent in the region, she said.