Student musician’s success

Chris performing at Rockquest regionals

From being classically trained in the b-flat trumpet, the b-flat cornet, and the e-flat soprano cornet; to being self-taught on the piano and bass guitar; to dabbling in singing and music production, Chris Rowe (Year 13) is undeniably a highly talented musician. Chris’ exposure to music began at an early age. Though their formal music education only began in 2015, this pastime has afforded Chris numerous impressive musical awards and opportunities in recent years.
In July, Chris travelled to Wellington to participate in the National Festival of Brass, for which they won Junior Soprano Cornet Champion for the second time. For their original song “Drowning in the Stars,” Chris won the David Richwhite Lyric Award at the 2022 Lion Foundation National Secondary Schools’ Songwriting Competition and will professionally record this song later this month.
Additionally, Chris was short-listed to the top 50 finalists for the national Play it Strange competition – an organisation promoting pathways for secondary school students to pursue creativity through writing, recording, and performing their songs. Chris is also invited to perform at the Play It Strange awards show in November.
Chris’ band Sonitus – for which they are the bass guitarist – also competed in the National Secondary Schools’ Rockquest competition earlier in the year and progressed to its Regional Finals. In addition to Sonitus’ after-school practice sessions, Chris is also involved in the North Shore and Kumeu brass bands and takes music at NCEA Level 3. Chris engages in music tutoring, recently acting as an assistant tutor at the Gumboots brass workshops in Taihape – playing with and setting an example for beginner brass musicians. In conjunction with musical tinkering, Chris dedicates upwards of seven hours a week to music.
In addition to their involvement in Kaipara College’s music department, Chris is also heavily involved in the school’s drama department, notably playing Jonathan Harker in the recent Dracula production.
This month, Chris will travel to Christchurch to play in the National Secondary Schools’ Brass Band and will also play alongside their band, Sonitus, in several performances towards the end of the year. Beyond high school, Chris plans to develop their music career and pursue the subject at a tertiary level. Through either the University of Auckland or Victoria University of Wellington, they aim to study a Bachelor of Music, majoring in music composition, while potentially completing a conjoint degree in film production. In the future, Chris aspires to work in the filmmaking industry, writing music for movies.
When they are not involved in musical pursuits, Chris is an avid film-watcher and player of Tetris and Space Invaders, while also painting where time allows.

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