ACG Sunderland production raises more than $1k for charity

ACG Sunderland’s primary school production ‘For the Birds!’ wrapped up last week, raising more than $1,000 for NZ Forest and Bird.

The novel, bird-themed production was devised by music teacher Dan O’Connor, who transformed well-known Kiwi books and music into a musical production involving almost 120 primary school children from preschool to Year 5. Props, scenery and costumes were all made from recycled or re-used materials.

“I’m originally from Canada, so everything about the New Zealand landscape, forests and wildlife still seems novel to me,” he explained. “The pukeko for example, what a strange beautiful bird. They still strike me as unusual every time I see them.”

Year 3 student Eva Gosnell loved playing Fluffy the Cat from Louie the Tui. “I really like cats and it was fun to pretend to be one,” Eva said. “I learnt how to move like a cat and to sing some new songs.”

And Year 2 student Max Rainey learned a lot about ecology and endangered species. “I liked being a rat, because I ate the Huia bird,” he said. “I learned about the rats, possums, people and the Duke and the scientists and the dog and cat and the weasel. They all eat Huias, all the Huias died.”

Principal of the West Auckland school Nathan Villars said that primary school productions were always special.

“The entire campus is involved, right down to students who have only been in the school for just weeks. Our teacher Dan O’Connor, however stepped up the performance to another level with the use of poems, plays and art to weave a production that was inherently Waitakere Ranges.”

All proceeds will be donated to NZ Forest and Bird

Friday, December 8, 2017