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The performers in the annual Southland Competition Demonstration showed a lot of talent and confidence. The competitors were well polished and performing in the Civic Theatre in front of 300 people is no mean feat, as it is totally different to performing in the family living room in front of Mum, Dad and the kids.
A ballet dance by Nicola-Jane Dean in a pink tutu, and this was followed with Irish dancer, Karen Anderson, Debra Webb showed off her big voice with a recitation of 'Missing- Has anybody seen my mouse?'. As with other speech winners Ciara Mulholland's dictation in reciting her piece 'Flying' was always clear and she spoke beautifully.
In a small, but true voice, Ilafeha Salesa presented a folk song 'Bobby Shaftoe' which was followed by 'Knight Rupert', a piano solo by 12 year old Joanna Brown. A sensitive performance of a piano solo the 'Watchman's Song', was given by Richard Greenwood while in a vocal solo 'The Sparrow's Song' Philip McLennan showed his clear precise notation.
'An evening in the Country' a piano solo by David Smith was a light rhythmical piece with neat trills.
Elizabeth Mills won the audience over with her humorous character recitation of 'The Dolly on the Dustcart'. Suitable attired in a ragged dress and a bald head Elizabeth made most of the verse and used pauses for dramatic effect as well.
In one of the highlights of the programme Madeline Waugh tried the style which won her the tap dancing scholarship. This dancer managed with a professionalism beyond her years, the different changes in temp and the intricate foot and hand movements of her performance.
A few home truths were given in a recital by Bridget Hishon, on 'Domestic Asides' with (truths in Parentheses) and tiny Kirsten Adam captivated the crowd in her ballet dance. As bright as a button, her simple graceful movements were topped off with a delightful smile.
Leaping and twirling Suzanne Angus made the most of her bright red costume, in her barefoot dance, while Erin Kinney, the junior speech scholarship winner, recited 'The Owl Critic' in a strong stead voice.
Graceful classical movements featured in the en-pointe ballet dance by Annaliese Forde , while Jillian Crook's acting and dancing in her poignant abandoned lover, demi-character dance scene was beautiful.
With a bright manner and an oversized spoon, Elizabeth McKay, presented a song in character, 'A Spoonful of Sugar', a piece which contrasted nicely with Dianne James's piano solo, the first movement from Mozart's C Minor 'Sonata', a commandingly played work.
A strong theme marked the opening of 'Rhapsody' in G minor played by Iona Galt, followed by Bernadette McMillin, giving a national character dance with style, flair and a ribboned stick.
Tying for first place in the Senior Speech Scholarship were Ann Price and Mary-Anne Dwyer, and the reason was evident in their performances. Both were strong and entirely convincing with Ann with an extract from "Memoirs of a Midget" and Mary-Anne with an extract from 'Major Barbara.'
Results were as:
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