Big winner in performing arts

Jack Dams shows off his trophy collection from the recent Tauranga competition, stood next to the school’s performing arts trophy cabinet which contains three other awards he’s received.

St Peter’s student Jack Dams has brought home a stack of trophies from the 2018 Tauranga Festival of Performing Arts competition held during the school holidays.

The modest Year 9 student said it was fun to compete, but, “There’s always room for improvement!” he said with a smile. “I like to focus on the next one.

“It was a good opportunity to go out and see what (talent) they have over in Tauranga. It’s always just fun to compete.”

Having already won a number of performance titles at his school, Jack secured four trophies at the event held last month. He won the Speech and Drama Schroeder Family Award for most entertaining individual 13 years and over.

He also earned the Earp Family Cup – open to participants across all age levels for the highest overall mark in prose. He earned the same trophy in 2015 at the age of ten.

As one of just two people at the event to score one hundred percent on an item, he also won the Matthew Hooker Award for the highest individual mark.

And lastly, he earned the Scholarship Cup for 13 to under 15-year-olds based on excellent performances across four events; poetry, sight reading, prose and dramatic characterization – for which he took home a $100 cash prize.

As a speech and drama student, the soon-to-be 14-year-old was preparing some of his items for the event since around the start of the school year, while other parts were prepped just a few weeks out from competition.

It’s not the first time he’s been recognised either, with a raft of other accolades under his belt including winning the school’s Founders Medal for the annual prep school speech competition, which he won in both Year 7 and 8, as well as winning the regional school speech competition in Year 7 – which he was unable to compete in for Year 8.

He’ll be taking part in the NZ Speech exams and Trinity of London exams this year, as well as the school’s Drama Cup this weekend.

With such exceptional speech ability, fantastic confidence and impressive presentation, the keen student said he’s considering all options for his future, where his skills could be effective in several different pathways.

“I like to keep it open,” he said, “so I always have opportunities if they show up.”

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