Jazz band may be lost in closure

CAROLINE KING
Last updated 13:12 18/11/2012
Daniel Tobin

Chisnallwood Intermediate School has a strong music culture with the Jazz band winning awards competing against high school students.

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A gold-winning jazz band may be lost if Chisnallwood Intermediate School is closed to create a super-school in Aranui.

The jazz band won two gold awards at Jazz Quest, a competition run by the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology, this year - beating a number of high school competitors.

It also won a silver and gold award at the same competition last year, and its success dates back to when the competition started in 2006.

However, the band will be lost if the primary school is closed under the Education Ministry's shake-up of Canterbury schools.

Education Minister Hekia Parata is proposing to close the school, as well as Avondale, Aranui Primary, Aranui High, and Wainoni School to create a new year 1 to 13 school, possibly at Wainoni Park in Hampshire St.

The schools have until December 8 to respond to the plan, after Parata extended the consultation deadline.

Chisnallwood Intermediate School music specialist Judith Bell said unlike other schools, there were about 20 itinerant music teachers at the school.

She said this was to accommodate the various instruments students wanted to play.

"Last year we had one French horn player and we managed to get a teacher to do that," she said.

She felt strongly that intermediate was a good age for children to learn music, particularly jazz.

"I think they're not afraid to improvise, I think sometimes if you get too old you have a bit of a fear to overcome there. They haven't got that hurdle. And they have time on their hands."

Bell said some parents had indicated if the school closed and was merged into the super-school that they would not send their children there.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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