College presents favourite Austrian musical

Director Wendy Sutherland at rehearsals with leads Tolstoy Hardie and Emily Martin.

Mahurangi College will present one of the world’s favourite musicals next month, The Sound of Music.

The show has been in rehearsal since April and will take to the school stage from June 27 to 29.

A total of 65 students are in the cast, as well as some teachers. Several former students are also helping the tech team, backstage and in the band.

Director Wendy Sutherland, who is a veteran of 13 school productions, is the school’s head of music.

“The shows are an opportunity to build relationships with the students, do plenty of creative problem solving, particularly in the directing, set and costuming, and connect with the community,” Wendy says.

“My first choice for the biennial school production was Mary Poppins, but I couldn’t get the rights, so I had to look for a show that fitted the clientele of more female roles than males! Lyn Dashper, the music director, was also keen and I am thrilled to see the excitement from the students about the choice.”

Wendy says the biggest challenge has been creating a show for 65 students instead of the small cast it was written for. The lead roles of Maria and Captain von Trapp will be played by Emily Martin and Tolstoy Hardie, while hospitality teacher Yvonne Holdgate will play Mother Superior.

Emily has been singing and playing guitar for nine years and was in choirs and productions at Warkworth Primary School.

She is in the Performing Arts Academy, studies music at Level 3 NCEA, runs the school choir and is in the dance company.

“I had a lead role in the Year 9 production, and had roles in the 2015 and 2017 senior productions,” Emily says. “The shows are a fun opportunity to hang out with the cast, wear amazing costumes and grow as a performer. The excitement of showtime and the adrenaline that you get from performing is addictive!

“Also, because it is based on a true story, it is an inspirational story of music, love and the importance of family, which is a really great message to spread.”

Tolstoy is also a seasoned school performer and was Chip in Beauty and the Beast and Freddy in Loverly in 2017. He has studied piano and music since he was 13.

“I like how the Captain is really harsh at the start, but changes to being more relatable by the end of the play,” Tolstoy says. “School productions are fun and I enjoy performing. I like the camaraderie of the cast and I’m looking forward to seeing the whole play come together. The most challenging thing so far has been learning how to do the Laendler dance with Emily.”

Tickets go on sale on May 27 and can be bought from or from the school.

Ticket Giveaway

Mahurangi Matters has a double pass to give away. Send entries to, with Sound of Music in the subject line.
Competition closes June 14 at 3pm.


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