Hail! Saint Dominic, Holy Father,
Hail! O friend of God, to thee!
Chosen Knight of Christ and Mary;
Guardian of the Rosary.
So goes the opening verse of the Hymn of St Dominic which by now is a familiar and beloved tune to the Sisters and their pupils here in St Dominic’s College.
The hymn, penned by Sister Mary Ceslaus Fox, O.P., of the Dominican Sisters of New Zealand, is sung every year on St Dominic’s Day and during the ceremonies of the Congregation. It was this hymn that fittingly closed our St Dominic’s Day celebrations, which concluded with an evening of music at the Radford Junior High Auditorium on 5th August.
In line with the theme adopted by the school this year – “New Zealand and Maori Culture” – the section categories were named after New Zealand Religious who had made notable contributions to the musical culture of our country. They were Sister Mary Leo Niccol, RSM, Sister Mary Ceslaus Fox, O.P., Sister Mary Eulalie Martini, RSM, and Sister Mary Gertrude Fox, O.P.
Each Religious lent her name to a section in which the girls, representing their houses, displayed their talents as solo, ensemble or instrumental musicians. The audience, comprising of the pupils, their families, ex-pupils, and the Sisters, were thoroughly treated to an evening of tasteful entertainment.
Two Maori pieces kicked off the inter-house Music Competition: Hine e Hine, a Maori Lullaby written by Princess Te Rangi Pai in 1907, and E Papa Waiari, a folk song accompanied by a stick dance that originated from the communities from around the Whanganui River. The girls, having given up their lunch-times to perfect their renditions of these two pieces, performed extraordinarily well, but it was Bologna’s entry that captivated the judges with their string trio and percussion instruments used to great effect – and enjoyment!
Other highlights of the evening included the brave endeavours of the junior musicians in presenting their piano and string pieces (we even had a cello this year!), a French choral trio, and an astounding Mezzo Soprano solo performance of Vivaldi’s Domine Deus.
What follows are a series of photographs from the night: the girls dexterously executing the Maori stick dance, performing in ensemble, and also of the young cellist who gamely tangled her way through an excerpt of Squire’s Tarentella (nerves and all!).