(Front, from left) Toni Collins, Jamie Robertson and Steve Brett. Accepting the cheques were (back from left) Wanaka Primary School principal Wendy Bamford, Tarras School principal Noelene Pullar, Mount Aspiring College music department head Angela Mote-Andrews and assistant principal Jane Hamilton, Holy Family School acting principal Paul Cartlidge and Hawea Flat School principal Sue Heath. Photo by Lucy Ibbotson.
After two decades of donations from Wanaka's Stars in your
Eyes show, music programmes at schools and preschools in the
Upper Clutha have now benefited by more than $200,000.
Education providers in the district on Thursday received
their annual round of cheques presented by the Wanaka
Musicians Society Inc, which runs the hugely popular Stars in
Your Eyes show.
The charitable show was launched in the early 1990s by
Cardrona farmer Jamie Robertson and his Highway 89 band-mate
Steve Brett - both still heavily involved - and celebrated
its 21st anniversary with its usual four-night run last
The show committee's secretary and assistant director Toni
Collins said Thursday's donations meant the society had now
given more than $200,000 towards music education in the
district, the sole recipient of show profits.
It was especially rewarding to see so many young people who
had developed their talents through their school music
programmes go on to become performers in the show, Mrs
Angela Mote-Andrews, head of the music department at Mount
Aspiring College, said the Stars in Your Eyes funding had
made a huge impact during the five years she had taught at
''The support they've given us has just been invaluable in
terms of being able to get in visiting tutors with expertise
in different areas, bands, also purchasing major pieces of
[musical] equipment that just made all the difference for our
''I don't know how I could run my department as well as I can
without their support.''
Hawea Flat School principal Sue Heath said the contribution
from the show had been ''absolutely fantastic'' and had
enabled the school to build up an extensive collection of
instruments over the years, including about 40 ukuleles.
The financial support had ''lifted the quality'' of the music
programme at Holy Family School, acting principal Paul