By Justine Gustafson
Eighteen members of the Pukekohe High School (PHS) Stage Band are currently completing a two week tour of Taiwan. During this time they will perform at eight junior and senior high schools as well as participating in music workshops with Taiwanese students.
The Pukekohe High School Stage Band has a reputation of being one the best high school stage bands in the country.
Under the directorship of Mr Niels Leffelaar, the band has achieved an outstanding record of success. In just the last five years, the band has consistently been the stand-out performer at the prestigious KBB Auckland Music Festival, winning four golds and one silver award.
They have also won ‘The Best Band of the Festival’ award on three occasions. A similar record has been achieved at the Manawatu and Tauranga Jazz Festivals held annually. At these, a range of awards have been won including three gold awards at Tauranga, and several awards to individual musicians.
The band’s reputation is also known overseas, as they have regularly performed to welcome overseas student groups and other visitors to the school.
The group will have the opportunity to learn to play traditional Chinese instruments as well as preparing for combined concerts with their host schools. The band will also be conveying messages about school life in New Zealand and work to strengthen the good ties that exist between the two countries.