Dargaville Intermediate School’s talented young band members light up the auditorium

Growing talent centre stage

by Andy Bryenton

Dargaville Intermediate School’s music class and band have put on a concert with just three days practice; a feat made possible thanks to the help of visiting musician, audio engineer and creative inspiration Laughton Kora.

While many readers will recognise this famous figure from the band synonymous with his surname, it’s the talent and enthusiasm of the four young musicians he’s visited Dargaville to nurture which takes centre stage.

That’s all part of the programme formulated by the New Zealand Music Commission, who organise placements of passionate professionals into schools nationwide, specifically for this goal.

Vocalist and bassist Waimarie, lead guitarist Ushahn, drummer Taj and fellow vocalist and percussionist Isaiah (along with two other music students who were unable to attend the final concert due to other commitments or illness) have spent time with Laughton, describing him as ‘more of a friend than a formal teacher’.

The group picked songs they all enjoy and have forged ahead with self-confidence under the mentorship of their temporary tutor.

The programme, which has seen similar visits to Moerewa, Whangarei and Taipa in previous years, has given an insight into the profession and professionalism of being a musician in the modern era.

As Taj says from behind the drum kit: “it’s all about working together. If you’re all friends in a band, it’s fun.”

Fun that could well be the basis of a rewarding career in entertainment for these talented young people.