India Homan, of Birchwood School, plays as part of the school’s ukulele group last week. Photo: Andrew Board.

Students give arts fest a lift

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A thousand students from 25 local schools gave shoppers and city workers some entertainment last week, performing at 1903 Square as part of the Nelson Arts Festival.

Stage One was set up across the road from the cathedral on Trafalgar St and invited musical and cultural groups from schools around the region.

Formerly called Red Square, the week-long event is a highlight of the Arts Festival says its director Sophie Kelly. “Stage One is a great platform for showcasing Nelson’s young talent and it’s an incredibly positive experience for students to perform for their community.”

The performances varied from kapa haka, ukulele, choirs and even chime bars. There were also a number of rock bands from primary schools, while intermediate and secondary schools included jazz, concert bands and brass ensembles.

Stage One moved to 1903 Square two years ago as it doesn’t require road closures and has an existing stage, making it more convenient for organisers.

The annual Nelson Arts Festival finished yesterday and it was another huge success, says Sophie.