Over the years “the biggest, noisiest, small department in the school” has produced some exciting musical talent from its range of successful orchestras and bands as well as its award winning choirs. Westlakers and musical performers extraordinaire, Benjamin Tan, Jeffrey Chang and Jae Hyun Jeong are members of the New Zealand Youth Choir to tour the USA and Canada at the end of November. They will perform in some of the most prestigious musical centres in the world.
Tenor Jeffrey Chang was at Westlake in 2003-2007 and was a member of Barbershop and the Voicemale and Choralation choirs. A self-motivated, highly intelligent student, he was a Prefect and Westlake’s Music Leader in his final year at school and his integrity and talent inspired many Westlake junior “musos”. Jeffrey received his Cultural Colours and won the John Gales Award for the Most Promising Senior Musician and was made Leader of the National Secondary Schools Choir. He was the only secondary student selected for the New Zealand Youth Choir for its tour of Wales, England, Canada and Spain. Jeffrey graduated with a Bachelor of Music at Auckland University and is a member of the University of Auckland Chamber Choir and Auckland Cathedral Choir.
Bass Benjamin Tan achieved to an exceptionally high level in many areas of school life from 2006-2010. Ben was Head Boy in 2010 and leader of the Choralation and Voicemale choirs as well as section leader of the Symphony Orchestra, Concert Band, Camerata Orchestra, and Chamber Orchestra. He represented the New Zealand Secondary Schools’ choir at a world choral competition and was runner up in the North Shore Youth Orchestra Composer’s Competition. Ben was also an outstanding public speaker and a member of the school’s premier debating team and was Managing Director of Axiom, a Kiwi-themed maths and problem solving computer game company that won North Shore regional finals in the Young Enterprise Scheme. More recently Ben has also been singing with the Auckland Chamber Choir and besides his own singing, he has been the conductor for Westlake’s ‘Momentum’ choir, the school’s training choir for Voicemale. Occasionally Ben dabbles in playing string instruments, writing and composing, and in between NZYC commitments, he manages to study Computer Systems Engineering at the University of Auckland.
Bass Jae Hyun Jeong was at Westlake in 2006-2010 where he excelled in both academic and cultural activities. He was a member of Voicemale, Choralation and Barbershop and played in the Symphonic Orchestra as well as the Concert Band. He was co-leader on the Korean Committee and director of two successful Young Enterprise schemes and also found time to represent Westlake in football, tennis, badminton and table tennis as well as being part of the debating and robotics team. In his last year at school Jae Hyun was a prefect and a sectional leader of two of the school choirs. He was part of the New Zealand Secondary Students choir and the Auckland University Chamber Choir and is currently studying medicine at the University of Auckland.
The New Zealand Youth Choir, conducted by Westlake’s own David Squire will perform a selection from the USA & Canada tour repertoire in a ‘Farewell’ Concert at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Parnell on 20 November at 7.30pm. Click here to order your tickets from Iticket.
If you hear any news of Westlake Old Boys or former staff or if you are interested in supporting Westlakers events and activities, please contact Mrs Christine O’Dowd at school on 09 410 8667 or by email [email protected]