Students rejoice at first victory

What would you do if you found a billion dollars?

That was the theme for Garin College's winning performance More Money Than Cents at the ASB Stage Challenge held at the Trafalgar Centre last Tuesday.

Garin's performance, which involved 92 students, also won excellence awards for performance skill, choreography, stage use and concept.

It was the first time Garin College has won Stage Challenge which this year attracted entries in the open division from Nelson College, Nelson College for Girls and Golden Bay High School.

One of Garin's senior leaders Hamish McIntosh, 16, said all the students had worked "really hard" on the performance, starting rehearsals in week four of the first term.

"It was the result of a lot of effort by a lot of people and we wouldn't have won without that effort," Hamish said.

Hamish said the initial concept for Garin's entry was suggested by student Holly Tippler and developed into the final theme that explored the influence and power of money.

"It's about the dilemma faced by a poor man who finds a billion dollars lost by a rich man," Hamish said.

"The poor man is dreaming about the new life he will lead with all that money when he loses it and another poor man finds it  the audience is left wondering what he will do with it."

Hamish said they were overjoyed to win after so many years of trying.

Garin has entered the Stage Challenge five times before putting together this winning performance, while Hamish had participated in the annual event five times after making his first appearance for St Joseph's School.

"I thought 'we've finally done it'. This is what we have been working so hard for," Hamish said.

Holly, 17, was also thrilled to have won after competing in four previous Stage Challenges.

"I have been waiting for this moment since I was year 9.

"I will never forget tonight," Holly said.

Principal John Boyce said he was extremely proud of the students' achievement.

"We have a roll of 430 and 92 were involved in Stage Challenge," John said. "That's a quarter of the school so it's been a huge undertaking.