Myths, legends and fables from a variety of cultures were the inspiration behind the 2017 MAGS Dance Concert, held at the Centennial Theatre on Tuesday, 11 April.
Classes, groups and individuals from all year levels presented items that drew on a range of styles, including contemporary, ballet, Pasifika and hip hop.
Among the stories expressed included those of the Greek goddess Aphrodite, Pandora's Box, King Midas, Maui and Rangi and Papa.
Highlights were choreographies by Year 13 Scholarship student Jaimee McLaughlan, whose choice of the fable of The Tortoise and the Hare was performed expressively by Oliver Mathiesen and Karissa Tapu, and Oliver's choreography of the legend of the Phoenix, danced with powerful precision by Jaimee and Charlotte Barrand.
Class pieces designed by Head of Dance Ms Jacqui Cesan and teacher Ms Samantha French were works of art.
Ms Cesan congratulated all the choreographers, dancers and support crew for staging an outstanding concert. "Both Ms French and I are particularly proud of the standard of all student work presented for NCEA assessment. This bodes well for results," said Ms Cesan.
Hotel Europa a hit with hosts and guests
The Year 13 production of Hotel Europa was a popular success, with E block filled with a cheerful, moving audience on the evenings of 5-6 April.
The production required the audience to move in groups between rooms for different scenes, then come together for a central piece and the finale.
The show combined live action, music and dance in a story that traversed countries and histories. Among the various scenes were tales of Odysseus fighting to escape Circe and go home, two newlyweds coping with post-traumatic stress in an abandoned building, a young woman seeking revenge for a war crime, and a criminal turned politician campaigning for the weak and poor.
Head of Drama Dr Lilicherie McGregor said the unusual and thought-provoking show was a hit with the students and audience alike.
"The production style presented new challenges for the actors, and the atmosphere among the audience as they moved around was fun and energetic. It was a great success," said Dr McGregor.
Awards in Shakespeare competition
MAGS' Drama students picked up three awards in the demanding Auckland Central division of the national Sheilah Winn Shakespeare competition held over 8-9 April.
Year 12 student Arien Okan won Best Student Director and Best Stage Design for her excerpt of King Lear, in which she represented the King as Donald Trump dividing up his kingdom. Actors were dressed in modern political costume and notices were held up as tweets.
Year 9 student Ollie Blyth won Most Promising Actor for his role in a scene from The Tempest, beating many Senior students with more experience.
In all MAGS put forward 16 actors in five groups, our largest entry for some years, in what is one of the most competitive regions in the country. Teacher in charge Ms Jessica Rigold said audience members commented on the general high standard of the MAGS performances. "All students are to be congratulated on their dedication to getting these pieces to the required performance standard in a busy term of Drama performances and assessment," said Ms Rigold.
Albertians win Microsoft Imagine Cup
Two Albertians are on their way to Seattle to represent New Zealand in the World Finals of the Microsoft Imagine Cup after winning the New Zealand competition.
Nilesh Magan and Eric Liu won the 2017 event with a friend after designing a website that enables students to work together and discuss exams at university level.
Eric and Nilesh both completed their studies at MAGS in 2014, and are both now studying Engineering at the University of Auckland. Eric is majoring in Biomedical Engineering and Nilesh is studying Computer Systems Engineering.
Nilesh was one of 16 former MAGS students to be announced on the Dean’s Honours List for Engineering at the end of 2016.
The Imagine Cup is a global competition run by Microsoft "aimed at empowering the next generation of computer science students to team up and use their creativity, passion and knowledge of technology to create applications that shape how we live, work and play". Every year tens of thousands of students from around the world compete for cash, travel and prizes, and for the honour of taking home the World Imagine Cup.
Outdoor Education: Year 10 learn about environmental care
During the final four weeks of Term 1, our Year 10 Outdoor Education classes have been focusing on Environmental Care.
They learned how to identify a 'significant place' and how to care for the environment when taking part in outdoor pursuits. They also looked at introduced species and how their impact is affecting New Zealand’s native fauna and flora.
With this in mind, each class met with representatives from the St Lukes Environmental Protection Society (STEPS) to remove rubbish and weeds in the Meola Creek Significant Ecological Area that borders the school's lower fields. The unit finished with a focus on waste, and how best to reduce, re-use and recycle.
Musicians at Alberton Market Day
A group of six string musicians from Mount Albert Grammar School entertained guests at the final Alberton Market Day of summer on Saturday, 8 April.
Hannah Houghton, Emma Moon, Franziska Hoemke, Grace Duan, Arien Okan and Anton Aish performed the series of J. S. Bach’s Chorals for more than 1300 visitors to the market. Ms Francesca Lolaiy of Alberton House said this was a record attendance for any event to have taken place at the house since it opened to the public in 1973.
"The students' performance was beautiful - it was great to have them involved in our community market," said Ms Lolaiy.
Alberton hopes to run another season of markets from November to April, and invited MAGS singers and musicians to be involved on a regular basis.
Music teacher Ms Loata Mahe thanked Alberton for the opportunity. "Every performance opportunity is highly valued as a way to help our students improve," said Ms Mahe. "We are glad that MAGS students can make this musical connection with our community, and look forward to performing at the market in the future."
Rock Climbing: Placings in first competition
14 members of MAGS' new Rock Climbing team attended a rock climbing competition at Glen Eden’s Extreme Edge on Sunday, 9 April. Three students made it into the final - Geraldine King gained 1st place in her category, Jacob Brain 3rd and Chantelle Lee 4th. This was Jacob’s first outing at a rock climbing competition.
The other competitors were Leo Hardwick (17th), Jessica Marginson (9th), Ben Merlini (22nd), Sam Nash (9th), Nathan Philips (14th), Lewis Pratt (18th), David Wu (18th), Ben Hume (10th), Boston Tofa (10th) and Emma Ringwood ((Waikowhai Intermediate (8th)). All climbed for approximately five hours and were rather sore on Monday morning.
Athletics and Swimming Champions 2017 Over the past few assemblies, students who have won the school's top awards in Athletics and Swimming were presented with their trophies.
Swimming Champions 2017, from left: Katherine Grozev (Open Girls’ Swimming Champion), Breana Crawford (Junior Girls’ Swimming Champion), Flynn Oberdries (Open Boys’ Swimming Champion), George Smith (Intermediate Boys’ Swimming Champion). Absent: Sinead Kelly (Intermediate Girls’ Swimming Champion)
From the Acting Headmaster
While Term 1 has been a long one of 11 weeks, I would like to commend the student body on the way in which they applied themselves.
Particular acknowledgement goes to the 606 Year 9 students who have just completed their first Term of many at Mount Albert Grammar School. It was heartening to meet some of the Year 9 Parents at the Dance Concert on Tuesday night who spoke enthusiastically about their children's experiences, and how amazed they are by the quality of our teachers. As a school we are fortunate to have some of the finest teachers in the country.
Last week we experienced significant success in the Sports area. This week was really about the Arts, and I would like to acknowledge all the fine work of the Arts Department staff. Following the Year 13 Drama Production, a number of students took part in the Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Competition, where Year 12 student Arien Okan and Year 9 student Ollie Blyth came away with awards.
The annual Dance Concert on Tuesday night showcased our dancers' exceptional talent. This event is now in such high demand that students performed to a full house. The variety of dance styles and choreography on display was testament to the rich curriculum provided for our students.
Our students' sense of Service and the Community was also on show among the musicians who performed at the Alberton Market Day. The Headmaster's Choir visited the Northbridge Retirement Village on Sunday, where they performed to their remarkable standard.
We have two groups about to embark on overseas trips during the holidays. We wish Ms Sarah Hayes and staff safe travels to China with a group of Commerce and Chinese language students, and our best wishes go with Director of Rugby Mr Geoff Moon and the First XV as they head to Japan to represent New Zealand at the Sanix Secondary Schools Rugby World Cup.
To all parents, students and staff, we wish you a safe, restful and dry holiday.
Thursday, 13 April End of Term 1
Mon, 1 May Start of Term 2
Tues, 9 May
Boys Cross Country Race
Tues, 9 May
NCEA Information Evening, 7pm, Maurice Hall Building Atrium
Thurs, 11 May
Girls Cross Country Race
Tues 30 May-Wed 7 June Year 11 Exams
Mon 5 June Queen's Birthday holiday
Mon 12 June-Fri 30 June Lumino Dental on site for Senior students
Mon 12 June-Fri 16 June Junior Exams
Tues 13 June-Thurs 15 June Auckland Big Sing Competition
NZQA fees are now appearing on the Kamar accounts of students sitting NCEA Levels 1, 2, 3 and Scholarship this year. Invoices will be emailed within the next month, and parents may pay from now.
The standard fee is $76.70 for Levels 1-3. Scholarship exams cost $30 extra each. Check with your child before paying for them to sit a Scholarship exam, as some students enrol but withdraw later in the year.
Discounts are available for families with a Community Services Card - application forms can be found on the NZQA website or collected from the MAGS Finance Office.
Life skills for young adults
4-day life skills and leadership programme for young adults aged 16-24