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No ordinary school show

No ordinary school show. Five ACG schools combine at SkyCity Theatre for professional production.

Creating opportunities and developing the depth of some of New Zealand’s top youth talent is a key goal of the ACG Group of schools. Out of this was born a unique concert, Imagine, to be held tonight in Auckland’s SkyCity 750 seat venue.

This is no local school production. Everything about it is professional, bringing together the best talent from five ACG New Zealand schools for a night of soloists, duets, dancers, musicians and performers.

Familiar face and well known broadcaster, Mark Leishman will be compering the show, while his son Paddy Leishman, a talented singer, will be performing alongside him. This isn’t the first time father and son have found themselves on the stage together, having previously performed in the National Youth Theatre Company production of Grease.

Mark says, “I’m looking forward to it immensely. Being on stage with my son is one of those really proud father moments. It gives these kids the opportunity to really put in the effort and focus on performing in front of a big audience. It’s a rare opportunity and a huge experience for everyone involved.”

The audience at SkyCity will be left under Robert Drage and Jason Yang’s spell as Jason dances to Robert’s performance of the prelude from Bach’s Cello Suite No.1. Remarkable soloists in their own right both are some of New Zealand’s most promising talent in ballet and cello.

Arts advocate and Principal of ACG Senior College, Kathy Parker is the brain child behind this unique production. “With five schools in the greater Auckland area, ACG finds itself in an interesting situation with top New Zealand talent that can be joined with other students to bring out the best performances,” says Kathy.

Not only does it make for a wonderful evening of entertainment and culture, but for the students involved it gives them an insight into theatre at a level above the usual school production.

The venue of SkyCity was chosen, because it best suited the professional image of the production. For one night only students will be part of the world of professional performance and theatre, experiencing a full sized theatre in the 750 seat venue.

“The logistics of an event like this are always a challenge, especially when there are five schools involved with an age range of performers from 5 – 18 and the locations pull from West Auckland through to Karaka. But, the opportunity far outweighed the practical challenges that are relatively surmountable. This is the first time we have bought all of the New Zealand ACG schools together for any kind of event, let alone one of this size,” says Clarence van der Wel, Deputy Chief Executive of ACG.

While the schools all have their own individual character and way of doing things, they all share the same foundation in their approach to bringing the best out of each student through a unique pastoral care system.

So when the curtain rises on the SkyCity stage on June 2, ACG Students from Senior College, Parnell College, Strathallan, Sunderland and NZ International College will get the chance to feel what it’s like to perform in a professional theatre. And the audience will get a chance to see some of the immense talent of some of New Zealand’s best young musicians, dancers and singers. Seems everyone’s a winner on the night.


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