Kapiti Observer : July 11th 2011
7 KAPITI OBSERVER, JULY 11, 2011 Moderne voice By MARGARET IRVINE Kieran Rayner, performing at the New Zealand Opera School in January above, has won a French singing contest in Wellington. Winning a prestigious competition will be another step along the career path for baritone Kieran Rayner. Rayner won one of two categories in the grand final of the Alliance Francaise Concours de la Chanson, at a concert held at Wellington s St Andrews on the Terrace on Sunday of last week. Competing in the Moderne sec- tion, Rayner, formerly of Waikanae now studying at the New Zealand School of Music, topped three other finalists, singing Amsterdam,b y Jacques Brel. I love the modern French reper- toire, the songs by singers like Jacques Brel and Edith Piaf. I enjoy the opportunity to break out from the classical training and sing some- thing different, said Rayner. He said the win was amazing -- it s one of the best feelings I ve felt for a long time . It was made even sweeter by the prize he won, a trip to New Caledo- nia to study at the Conservatory of Music, taking intense French language lessons and master classes in singing. It will be great to be in a French- speaking place like Noumea. I learnt French at school and loved it, but there s very little oppor- tunity to experience conversational French. Rayner attended Paraparaumu College until 2006 and is now in his final year at the New Zealand School of Music, doing postgraduate studies in classical performance, voice. His singing teacher in Waikanae was Elizabeth Salmon. During his university years he has been taught by Emily Mair, now retired, and her successor Margaret Medlyn. Rayner s next focus is on the NZSM s production of Benjamin Britten s Midsummer Night's Dream, in which he plays the role of Demetrius. His goal after studying is to join the emerging artist programme with the New Zealand Opera, which would provide an internship and experience as he saves to travel for further study and opportunities to sing with companies. There s a lot of singing talent in New Zealand and a high level of com- petition, but you just have to go for it. Christmas tree in July By KAROLINE TUCKEY A pohutukawa in full flower is cheering Waikanae residents win- ter.The unusual display was reported by Jacquie Griffis, who was surprised by the find. I was amazed, and actually delighted because I thought here was this beautiful tree in the middle of winter flowering for us, it cheers up the grey days. Perhaps it thought it d flower in the middle of winter for Matariki. Kapiti Coast green thumb and gardening expert Hannah Zwartz says while New Zealand pohutukawa normally flower around Christmas time, the mature tree could be a Kermadec Islands pohutukawa, which can flower at unusual times of the year. They are not as common as the New Zealand pohutukawa, they re hard to tell apart, but they do have slightly smaller leaves and slightly smaller flowers. They are originally from the Kermadecs and they flower all year randomly. They have also interbred with the original New Zealand ones, so you get all sorts of hybrids and some do flower in win- ter. The flowering pohutukawa can been seen on the street at 34 Ngarara Rd, Waikanae. Can you help Josh help the orphans? By AMY JACKMAN Josh Hamilton, 14, is counting down the days until July 22 when he flies off to Vietnam to care for orphans at care-centres in Tam Ky. The Kapiti teen is participating in the Global Youth Network s Vietnam Youth Tour and will be in Vietnam for two weeks during the school holidays. He will be looking after orphans aged from newborn to teenagers and teaching them a variety of subjects like sports, English and arts and crafts. Josh says he thought a lot of people at his school, Samuel Mars- den Collegiate Whitby, would do it and there would be a waiting list, but he is one of only four children from New Zealand going. I m scared of the flight, but I am excited about going over there and seeing the children and trying to teach them stuff like riding a bike and football. I think it will open my eyes to appreciate what I have. Other children on the trip come from all over the world including Ireland, England, America and Malaysia. Josh had to raise almost $5000 for the trip and has been doing jobs around the neighbourhood to help raise the money. This cost included his airfares, visa, insurance and donations to the orphanage. Josh s step-mother Maureen Duffy says people have been generous and donated items for Josh to take to the orphanage such as vitamins, baby products and woollen clothing. Monteith s Brewery Bar in Para- paraumu is running a fundraising trip quiz night on Wednesday, at 7.30pm, with all proceeds going towards Josh s trip.
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