Our 2021 Arts Awards featured a plethora of talented young artists. Read on to learn about some of our top awards.


Zigliani Cup for Excellence in Performing Arts – Amy Wang and Abi Lee

Amy Wang is a humble achiever with enormous talent. Passing Amy in the school corridor, you would have no idea of the presence she commands as a musician. Already accomplished on violin and piano, Amy added trombone to her skillset as a junior student, and immediately joined almost every jazz and orchestral group on offer. Amy has thrived in the Music Department with her commitment and pursuit of excellence over the last five years being second-to-none. Amy reached the pinnacle of success in all her co-curricular groups this year, as first trombone in our platinum award-winning Big Band, violin co-section leader in our silver award-winning Orchestra, leader of the first violins in our gold award-winning Chamber Orchestra (also playing a significant role in attaining the Outstanding Soloist Award for the Chamber Orchestra), and finally as the pianist in Trio Noir—one of the top school chamber groups in the country.

As a result of Cameron’s performance in the 2020 NZQA Scholarship examinations, he was the recipient of one of 12 Premier Awards. He received Outstanding Scholarships in English, History, and Health and Physical Education, along with Scholarships in Art History, Biology, and Calculus. This placed him in the top echelon of scholars nationally and the only Year 12 student in the country to receive a Premier Award.

Amy also received Arts Awards for Excellent Achievement in Big Band, Chamber Music, and Chamber Orchestra;
Outstanding Service to Big Band, Chamber Music, Chamber Orchestra and Orchestra, as well as sharing the Chamber Music Trophy, the Orchestra Trophy, and the Zigliani Cup for Excellence in Performing Arts.

Abi Lee radiates her love of music. Anyone watching her at the piano will immediately see the joy and pride she exudes while playing, her beaming smile and nimble fingers making it impossible to watch anyone else on stage! Abi plays bass guitar in our silver award-winning Concert Band and Stockholm Jazz Combo and has also played flute in Concert Band in previous years. This year she entered the Smokefree Rockquest as part of a vocal/piano duo, receiving endless compliments from Year 8 parents when the duo performed their original song at the Rangitoto College Information Evening in July. Jazz piano is Abi’s true calling, and she was instrumental in attaining the gold award for Big Band at KBB Music Festival as well as the platinum awards for Big Band and for North Sea Jazz Combo at the Auckland Schools Jazz Competition. Abi also received the Most Outstanding Soloist award at the Auckland Schools Jazz Competition and was selected in the Top 5 finalists nationwide for the NZ School of Music Jazz Improvisation Competition. An authentic jazz pianist is a rare gem, and Abi is certainly that.

Abi has received a Merit Award Service to Concert Band, and Arts Awards for Excellent Achievement in Big Band and Jazz Combo, Outstanding Service to Big Band and Jazz Combo. She is the sole recipient of the Big Band Trophy, the Jazz Combo Trophy and the Jazz Improvisation Trophy, and joint winner of our top award, the Zigliani Cup for Excellence in Performing Arts.


Best Contribution to Music – Jesse Oh and Paris Chen

Jesse Oh is one of the most unassuming characters you could meet, but as soon as he places his bow on the strings of his violin or viola you can tell he means business! As a member of the Chamber Music Programme, the Chamber Orchestra, and the Symphony Orchestra for many years, Jesse has willingly shared his extraordinary skills as a musician and has gone from strength to strength as section leader, concertmaster, and soloist. Receiving five Arts Awards, sharing the Chamber Music Trophy and the Orchestra Trophy, Jesse is also the sole winner of the Chamber Orchestra Trophy—making him absolutely worthy of sharing the coveted title of Best Contribution to Music.

Paris Chen has many strings to her bow—although you will never see her with a stringed instrument! As well as being a singer, she plays tenor and soprano sax, clarinet and bass clarinet, and has been a member of nine co-curricular music groups this year. Paris is not shy of a challenge, sinking her teeth into a formidable repertoire and often learning a new instrument in the process. Anyone performing on soprano sax or bass clarinet requires a level of determination and grit which is second-to-none. These particular instruments take no prisoners and Paris has proven herself to be a worthy opponent. With a total of 11 Arts Awards and one Merit Award, it is entirely fitting for Paris to share the title of Best Contribution to Music.


Best Contribution to Drama – Sophia Hepper

Sophia first captured our attention as a junior student in the musical production of All Shook Up. Not only was she outstanding on stage, Sophia was also one of the most helpful and supportive students backstage. Her dedication to selling tickets, promoting the show, and always putting her best foot forward really singled her out. Sophia is a dedicated member of three choirs and tonight has also been acknowledged for her creativity in wearable arts. As a founding member, Sophia has been a student leader of the Drama Company for four years, and played several lead roles. She has featured in the cast of every musical production during her time at Rangitoto College, making her an exceptional candidate for Best Contribution to Drama.


Best Contribution to Dance – Grace Lee

Grace’s contribution to co-curricular dance has been exceptional, with five years of outstanding service in the Hip Hop Megacrew, Junior then Senior Magnum Troupe, and Magnum Company. This year Grace has been the dance captain of Magnum Company and Magnum Senior Troupe, leading both troupes in award-winning performances at the National Dance Competition. In Magnum Company’s piece “Child’s Play”, Grace’s talents shone in her exceptional contemporary solo. Receiving five Arts Awards and the trophy for Excellence and Service to Dance, Grace has certainly left her mark on the Dance Department, and is the perfect candidate for Best Contribution to Dance.