31 May 2012
Responding to the competition theme of ‘A voice for the voiceless’, Brianna said of her song ‘I immediately thought about bullying’s victims not speaking up. My song is about a victim of a bully not speaking up and me telling her I’ll help her to tell someone because she’s not alright.’
Brianna, is in Year 8 at Thorndon School. Judge Don McGlashan chose her song from a short list of eight from 24 entries. He presented Brianna with her prize in a surprise announcement at an end-of-week school mini-concert led by Brianna and fellow composer Rebecca Toimata (runner-up in 2011).
Don McGlashan said of the winning song, ‘The song is simple and direct, as all “message”, or “protest” songs should be. It addresses a single issue and speaks from the heart. I always feel a protest song should leave the listener with a direct, achievable piece of advice … or a call to action…. I think that’s why this song is a deserving winner.’
Brianna won a $400 music voucher and a $100 voucher for a ‘Caritas Gift’ of her choice. She chose to support a Healing gift, to help bring medical supplies and better access to healthcare for people in places such as Tanzania, Timor Leste and Palestine.
Don McGlashan is confident that the future of NZ music is in good hands. ‘Every one of these song writers has the potential to write strong, unique songs that can capture an audience, deal effectively with important issues and sound like they come from this country.’
Competition organiser Catherine Gibbs said it’s notable that, once again, half the entries came from Catholic schools and half from State or private schools, even though promotional material is sent only to Catholic schools. Other schools pick it up through the Caritas website, Musicnet or by word of mouth.
This is the third year that Caritas has run its songwriting competition for Years 7-10 students, in conjunction with its Lent Appeal. Next year, it may expand the contest to include Years 11-13.
The winning songs from each year and this year’s highly commended songs can be heard on the Caritas website.