Two South Island students have won categories in Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand’s 2021 SINGout4JUSTICE songwriting competition.
Theo Parker, a Year 12 student at Garin College, Nelson, was the winner of the senior category (Years 11-13).
And Oliver Lodge, a Year 10 student at Kavanagh College, Dunedin, took out the junior category (Years 7-10).
The theme for this year’s competition was “A new way forward”.
A Caritas statement noted that, since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the world has changed, and everyone needs to find a new way forward.
“There is a real need for love, justice and peace to be at the heart of any change, as we have come to see so clearly that we are all part of one global family.”
A team of judges at Caritas scored each entry in SINGout4JUSTICE 2021 based on composition and performance. Submissions for this year showcased so much talent that it was difficult for judges to choose a winner, Caritas stated.
Many songs reflected messages “of reflecting, healing, uniting together and creating peace where peace may be a challenge”, that tied in neatly with the theme this year. The judges enjoyed listening to every song and were impressed with the quality and diverse range of compositions.
Theo’s song, New Day, was inspired by the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic experience felt by the global community and encourages listeners to care for each other, ensuring “truth and love in every place”.
Oliver’s song, He Ara Whakamua, was inspired by the quiet and slow pace of life during the lockdown last year, in which people were given the time to reflect. He Ara Whakamua reflects Pope Francis’ message in his prayer of solidarity reminding people that “we are all in the same boat”, and that people need to support each other.
“The SO4J competition always inspires me,” said Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand director Julianne Hickey, “as the young people’s talents and gifts are shared through their song-writing. This years’ winners are creative, meaningful and show their commitment to a better, more just world”.
All are invited to listen to the winning entries on the Caritas website, caritas.org.nz/singout4justice. The website also lists those students who were highly commended by the judges of the competition.