2021/2022 AIMES Award WinnersThe school would like to congratulate the following 2021/22 AIMES award winners that are either past or present students from Takapuna Grammar School.
2021 AIMES Judges Special Award
David Paligora (22) - Musician
David had never touched a musical instrument until he listened to Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata at age 11. A gift changed his life – a box set, all of Beethoven's Symphonies performed by Berliner Philharmoniker.
Piano was a focus through Belmont Intermediate and Takapuna Grammar. At TGS he moved on to the trombone. He received a gold award and was accepted into the KBB Honours Concert Band and Symphony Orchestra.
“I will always cherish the first pieces I ever played as part of that ensemble,” said David in his AIMES Award application. “They were Johanne Strauss’ Die Fledermaus, along with the beautiful and encapsulating Aotearoa Overture by renowned New Zealand composer Douglas Lilburn.”
David played Principal Bass Trombone in the Auckland Youth Orchestra for the 2016 season. He was also a member of the North Shore Brass Band, playing at events such as Christmas parades and ANZAC services.
David became involved with the APO Young Achievers Programme. At TGS he received the McKeown Trophy for Outstanding Contribution to Musical ensembles and the KBB Trophy for Best Woodwind/Brass player. He also received the Taurus Charitable Trust Music Scholarship to study at the University of Auckland. This study included his second love, physics, in which he was awarded an NZQA scholarship.
He was accepted into the NZSO National Youth Orchestra as Principal Bass Trombone in 2018, a position he has held each year. He was also selected as the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra intern in 2018.
In 2020 David was the winner at the International NZ Brass Festival. He then joined the National Brass Band of NZ and was selected for the NZSO Orchestral Fellowship on Bass Trombone, playing the NZSO’s first concert out of lockdown.
In physics David achieved three 'Top in Course' awards. This meant he was eligible to study towards his Honours in physics.
In 2021 he won the Open Bass Trombone solo in the National Brass Band Competition and in his final year in the band was awarded ‘Most Outstanding Player’.
David says this AIMES grant will mean he will finally be able to afford to purchase his own Bass Trombone so he can pursue his dream job… “of becoming an orchestral musician, planning to audition in Europe for a place in my dream school, the Amsterdam Conservatory of Music.”
In the 2021 AIMES Awards David Paligora received the Judges Special Award and a cash grant of $5,000 towards buying his own Bass Trombone.
David Paligora (2nd from right)
2021 AIMES Emerging Talent Awards
Oliver Cain (25) – The Arts, Artist
Oliver Cain is an English born Kiwi artist who studied visual arts throughout his time at Takapuna Grammar and went on to complete his BoVA (Batchelor of Visual Arts) at Unitec. His popular work changes, develops and covers a wide range of topics using a large range of materials. His artworks, subverted linguistic paintings, ceramic sculptures and installations, bear a certain physicality and push the boundaries between conceptualism and post-pop art. As a proud member of the queer community, Cain uses his work to examine, question and criticize the relationships between gender, (homo)sexuality and societies’ misconceptions about those themes.
Lauren Towns (18) – Music, Singer-Opera
Lauren Towns is an up and coming soprano with extensive professional experience, despite being still in her teens. Growing up in Bayswater, Lauren gained a love for performing while participating in school musicals, competitions and Christmas concerts at Bayswater Primary, Belmont Intermediate and Takapuna Grammar. After spending most of her early teens in professional musicals throughout NZ and Australia, Lauren shifted for training in Opera and Classical voice. At age 15 she joined the prestigious Queensland Academies’ Creative Industries in Australia.
Joshua Kirk (23) – Music, Conductor
Josh is a former Takapuna Grammar student aspiring to be a professional conductor. Josh majored in Classical Performance at the University of Auckland, graduating with a Bachelor of Music (First Class Honours) in 2019. He has also completed an Honours degree in conducting at the University of Adelaide. He plans to continue his studies towards being a professional conductor in Europe.
Janayah Wadsworth (16) – Music, Singer-Pop
Takapuna Grammar student Janayah Wadsworth loves to sing and perform. Her goal is to become a successful international recording artist and she says that every performance, every song she has sung since she first stepped on a stage at 7 years old is all working towards this end result. Her talent was first recognised by the North Harbour Club with Junior Excellence Award in 2018. She has been accepted into the BRIT School of Performing & Creative Arts in London UK. Famous alumni from the school include Adele, Jessie J and Amy Winehouse. The music strand that she has applied for takes approximately 50 people a year. Out of those 50, they take an average of 7 people from outside of London and the rest of the world.
Alice Jones (17) – Music, Singer-Folk
Soft indie pop singer-songwriter and former Takapuna Grammar student Alice Jones is known professionally as Freya. A singer with gentle voice and soaring vocals, Alice’s music powerfully explores and conveys deep emotions of loss and love through poetic, wise lyrics and moving vocals. Alice recorded her first original song at the age of 10, with only a Garageband drum loop as accompaniment at The Depot Studio in Devonport. In mid-2021 she started to release music onto streaming platforms. Her debut studio EP was released in July 2021. ‘Wildest Creatures I’ve Dreamed’ is a collection of powerfully evocative thematics developed in collaboration with her producers Harry Charles and Morgan Allen from The Depot.