|NEW ZEALAND'S EDUCATION
Joel Granger Performs for Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber
Anyone who attended Kristin School?s 2011 production of Jesus Christ Superstar will be in no doubt of the astounding talent of its young lead performer, Joel Granger. Winner of Best Leading Male in a Musical at Auckland?s AMI Showdown Awards last year, Joel won the respect of many for his performance as Jesus of Nazareth in the hugely powerful production.
Performances like Joel?s inevitably open doors to new opportunities however, when he auditioned for the role last year, Joel could never have imagined he would be given the greatest honour of all ? an invitation to perform for the show?s creator, Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber.
The international musical legend has recently sanctioned a new television series for the UK?s ITV1. Superstar is a brand new talent show which will follow the format of Emmy award-winning How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? With a panel of specialist judges and public votes determining the outcome, the winner?s life-changing prize will be the leading role in a new arena tour of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber?s legendary rock opera, Jesus Christ Superstar.
While Joel is under 18 and therefore ineligible for the main competition, he nevertheless took the opportunity to submit a recording of himself singing Gethsemane which was taken during rehearsals for the Kristin production. He was promptly contacted by the show?s Casting Producer who requested the full recording of Joel?s performance. The production team were so blown away that they invited Joel to London where he was given the opportunity to perform on the UK television series and sing for Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber himself.
It was a whirlwind experience for the Year 13 student who still finds it hard to believe that it happened at all. ?I never even expected a proper reply because I knew I was under age. I just sent it through to see what would happen and was quite shocked when it did?The whole thing was such an amazing experience, and the scale of it all was so much larger and more positive than I ever could have imagined?
Joel performed a series of songs for the musical icon and his production crew. The feedback he received was immensely positive and as a result Joel has a new-found confidence in his performance abilities. ?I have always been wary about what path I should choose in my life, but this experience has served as a major confidence booster? If I do choose a career in the Arts it will be a decision heavily influenced by the encouragement I received on this trip.?
Joel has now returned to the classroom where he is completing the second year of his International Baccalaureate Diploma. It was recently announced that Joel has received the highest mark in New Zealand for his Trinity Guildhall Advanced Certificate Exam in Singing, passing with distinction and a mark of 98%. He has also been cast in the dual lead roles of Munkustrap and Skimbleshanks in Kristin?s 2012 production of Cats. Kristin School is the first school in New Zealand to be granted production rights to this internationally acclaimed Broadway show.