LtoR: Grace McKenzie, Grace Leehan, Karen Hu LtoR: Grace McKenzie, Grace Leehan, Karen Hu CREDIT: Chamber Music NZ and Robert Petch

Rangi Ruru Music Scholars Excel Yet Again

Wednesday 24 June 2015, 11:58AM
By RedPR


Rangi Ruru Girls' School has made her presence felt right across the New Zealand Community Trust Chamber Music Contest National Finals for 2015.

Chamber music ensembles from Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington and Whangarei make up the 12 semi-finalists in the competition with semi-finalist ensembles selected from 476 contest entries. Two gruelling rounds of competitions were held throughout June including regional finals held in Auckland, Napier and Christchurch last weekend.

Jeunesse Élégante is from Rangi and includes three girls – Grace Leehan (violin), Karen Hu (cello) and Grace McKenzie (piano).  In addition Grace and Grace are also in a combined Auckland group, where they play different instruments to the ones they play for Rangi Ruru.

Grace Leehan was in two Rangi chamber music groups that made the national finals last year (i.e. top six in NZ) with one of her groups winning one of the top two awards at this event.

Former Rangi Ruru student and music scholar Bryony Gibson-Cornish (Viola player) will be mentoring Jeunesse Élégante this year during July. She was a member of the 2007 and 2008 winning ensembles and has now graduated from the prestigious Juilliard School in New York. She is a member of the renowned Turnovsky Ensemble

Byrony says that “being in the contest is not about winning or losing. It is the journey that you have experienced with your fellow chamber musicians and nobody can take that away from you".

Currently home from New York, Bryony leaves to study at the Royal College of Music in London immediately after working with Rangi next month.

The winning performance at the Regional Finals can be viewed at (starts just after 1min20).




The 12 semi-finalists include six ensembles from Auckland, three from Christchurch, two from Wellington and one from Whangarei. The National Finals take place in Wellington on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 August.

Semi-finalists for the 2015 competition are, from Auckland: Amici Quartet (Rosehill College, Rangitoto College and Rangi Ruru Girls' School, (Christchurch), Liestal Trio (Kristin School, St Cuthbert’s College and Auckland International College), Alquemie (Western Springs College and Diocesan School for Girls), Mudanza Trio (Rangitoto College), Cube (Westlake Girls’ High School and Westlake Boys’ High School) and Vazim Trio (Kristin School, Westlake Girls’ High School and Rangitoto College); from Christchurch: Ritmico from Burnside High School, Jeunesse Élégante from Rangi Ruru Girls’ School, and Papricca (Riccarton High School and Papanui High School); from Wellington: Saint-Saëns Trio (Scots College and Wellington College) and Trio Glivenko (Queen Margaret College, Wellington East Girls’ College and The Correspondence School); and from Whangarei: Brioso4 (Whangarei Girls High School and home-schooled).

The New Zealand Community Trust Chamber Music Contest this year celebrates its 50th Jubilee and is the longest running youth music competition in New Zealand. It is the only nationwide chamber music competition for young musicians and composers.

The national contest is well-known for nurturing young musicians who go on to successful musical careers.

The New Zealand Community Trust Chamber Music Contest Semi-Finals are on Saturday 1 August with the National Final on Sunday 2 August at the Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington. Tickets are available from Ticketek 0800 TICKETEK (842 538) or The event is free for Chamber Music New Zealand subscribers.

The final will be judged by a panel of six leading NZ musicians: Euan Murdoch (chairman), Michael Houstoun, Rae de Lisle, Donald Armstrong, Bridget Douglas and Kenneth Young. Each member of the winning group at the National Final receives the Wallace Arts Trust Prize of $1000.

In presenting the New Zealand Community Trust Chamber Music Contest, Chamber Music New Zealand acknowledges the generous support of The New Zealand Community Trust, ABRSM, SOUNZ (Centre for NZ Music), The Wallace Arts Trust, KBB Music, Victoria University of Wellington and various regional funders who support events at District Contests.