Songsters earn rugby memento

LUCY TOWNEND
Last updated 11:00 24/10/2012
Uke
Robert Kitchin/Fairfax NZ
GO, GO, GO: Levi Timms, 8, and other ukulele players at Shannon sing their song about the All Blacks winning the Rugby World Cup.

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A tunefully talented bunch of Shannon students have strummed their way to success by combining their love of rugby with music.

The Shannon Primary School student ukulele group were able to view the Webb Ellis Cup yesterday for winning The Dominion Post's Rugby World Cup song competition.

The competition - which celebrated a year since the All Blacks' Rugby World Cup final win - called for people to send in memories, including photos and poems.

But Levin-based ukulele teacher Rona Cooper went one step further by entering a song written and performed by her seven rugby-loving songsters.

The winning entry, titled All Blacks, All Blacks, Go! Go! Go!, was written entirely by the students who all play ukulele as an extra-curricular activity.

The two-verse, two-chord melody, sung to the tune of Skip to My Lou, describes familiar rugby playing actions.

Mrs Cooper said the lyric-writing was easy for the group, as many of them played for the Shannon Rugby Football Club.

"Rugby is their passion, so it was a little hook, really to get them interested in playing the ukulele," she said.

"They know a lot about rugby and have a lot of knowledge about what they're making up."

Winning was a reflection of the hard work parents and pupils had put in to learning how to play the instrument, she said.

"I couldn't think of anything better for them. It's absolutely wonderful and I'm over the moon."

For the Humphrey Williams children from Shannon, playing the ukulele is a family affair.

Twins Kara and Eve, 9, and their brother Henry, 7, have been learning the instrument for two years.

"I like playing it because it's fun," Kara said.

"You learn new songs and get to make up the words for them."

Shannon Primary School principal Murray Powell said the win was a nice surprise.

"We were absolutely gobsmacked because we didn't realise Rona had entered this competition.

"Learning occurs in all sorts of ways and you have to take every opportunity that arises."

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- Manawatu Standard

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