Jack Redpath, winner of the Cambridge High School Ritchie Pickett Scholarship, is not your average music student.
The dedicated saxophonist practices every day, sometimes several times a day.
“Music is my greatest passion and if I’m not asleep I’m playing some sort of instrument,” he said. “Every lunch time I’m in the music room practicing or recording music.”
Awarded annually to an outstanding Year 10 to 13 music student to recognise their musical ability and contribution to Cambridge High School, the Ritchie Pickett Scholarship awards $1000 to the scholarship winner each year.
It was established in 2016 by the Pickett family in conjunction with Cambridge High School, to encourage and support a student who showed excellence in music. A legendary New Zealand country and rock musician, Ritchie Pickett died at his Cambridge home in 2011.
“I’d like to say a big thank you to the Ritchie Pickett Trust and family, this is a big stepping stone for me for where I’m going in the future,” said Jack.
“It has really boosted me forward and opened up my eyes to what I can do.”
Jack, who plays so often that he wears through his wooden reed every two to three weeks, has bought a few plastic synthetic reeds with the funds, which will last a lot longer, and plans to download the “hugely helpful” music-writing software programmes Sibelius and Logic Pro. He’ll put some towards his savings for a new baritone saxophone, and the rest to help his musical education at university.
Currently he plays the Waikato Youth Symphonic Orchestra’s baritone sax, and he’ll be playing with the group this weekend at a music festival.
Jack also plays with the Cambridge Jazz Band, a saxophone trio, and a local American-style brass band.
Last year he received the Cambridge High School Diligence in Music Award for his involvement with music both in and outside of school.