Exceptional finalists compete in Grad Gala

06 September 2018
2018 Grad Gala finalists
L-R: Grad Gala finalists Noah Rudd, Jisu (Jessica) Yun, April Ju, and Moon Su (Arnold) Lee.

This year’s Grad Gala Concerto Competition hosted by the University of Auckland’s School of Music later this month, will have an extra finalist vying for the top prize worth $6,000, due to the exceptional standard of the entrants.

The popular annual concert held to celebrate Graduation traditionally has three finalists, but the judges for the semi-final round were so impressed with the contestants, that they have selected four to proceed through to the finals.

The young musicians who will perform in the historic Auckland Town Hall are April Ju on violin, Moon Su (Arnold) Lee on piano, Noah Rudd on oboe, and Jisu (Jessica) Yun playing the flute. All four are students studying at the School of Music.

The free concert which attracts large audiences, will be opened by the University of Auckland Massed Choir, directed by Dr Karen Grylls, performing Te Quiero by Favero and Bach’s Come Sweet Death, arranged by Rhonda Sandberg. The Gala will also see performances from the School of Music Jazz Big Band and popular music students.

Each of the four finalists will perform with the University of Auckland Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Professor Uwe Grodd, competing for a prize pool totalling $13,000. The soloists’ performances are:
April Ju – Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64: I. Allegro molto appassionato.
Moon Su (Arnold) Lee – Schumann: Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54: I. Allegro affettuoso.
Noah Rudd – Mozart: Oboe Concerto in C major, K. 314
Jisu (Jessica) Yun – Ibert: Flute Concerto.

"The Graduation Gala is not only one of the highlights of the celebration of the University of Auckland’s students, but this year also one of the highlight of our School of Music Festival,” says Associate Professor Martin Rummel, Head of the School of Music.

“We are proud to present four outstanding Classical Performance students, but also showcase our massed choir, jazz and popular music groups,” he says.

The University of Auckland Grad Gala Concerto Competition will take place on Friday 21st of September at the Auckland Town Hall, 303 Queen Street at 7.30pm. Admission is free; patrons are strongly advised to arrive early to be assured of admission.

Visit the Graduation Gala website: www.creative.auckland.ac.nz/gradgala

Media queries to:

Miranda Playfair | Media Adviser
Communications Office
Tel: 09 923 5029  Mob: 021 063 8393 Email: m.playfair@auckland.ac.nz