The North Shore Performing Arts Society was incorporated in 1954, and grew to become one of the largest Competitions Societies in Aotearoa New Zealand. We were one of the few Societies in New Zealand which catered for all performing arts forms: Dance (Ballet, Tap, Modern/Jazz), Instrumental (Piano, Piano Accordion, Strings), Speech and Drama, and Vocal (Young People's, Adult, Choral). Today, our annual festival features competitions for Dance (Highland Dance), Instrumental (Piano, Strings), and Vocal.
We offer a platform for performers to showcase their artistic talents, celebrate their progress alongside their peers, and gain valuable experience performing on a public stage, which might not be easily accessible elsewhere. Entrants in our competitions represent not only the North Shore and greater Auckland region but also various other parts of New Zealand, showcasing the diverse talent from across the country. The Society is led by a dedicated committee comprising individuals who are deeply passionate about the arts and committed to promoting its vitality and growth. Their dedication and shared vision drive the Society's mission to foster and support the arts in our community.
We are proud to have provided a stage for the early careers of many renowned performers across various disciplines. Some notable singers who have graced our stage include Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Christopher Doig, Louise Malloy, losefa Enari, Patricia House, Katharine Watts, Gina Sanders, Patricia Wright, Deborah Wai Kapohe, Wendy Dixon, Annelies Chapman, John Rosser, Harold Laughton, and Craig Donnell. In the realm of piano performance, we have witnessed the emergence of exceptional talents such as Patrick O'Byrne, Stephen de Pledge, Dr Henry Wong Doe, Justin Bird, Dr Read Gainsford, Timothy Evans, John Chen, and Jason Bae. Our stage has also seen actors who have gone on to make their mark in the industry, including Meredith Braun, Simone Kessel, Ngaire Dawn Porter, and Rachel House.
We have seen extraordinary dancers come through our competitions who have danced with the Royal New Zealand Ballet and also internationally: Abigail Boyle, Clytie Campbell, Nicola Jane Searchfield, Anne Anderson, Angela Gendall, Nicola Humphrey, Lisa Maree Cullum, Lee-Patrice, Jane McDermott, Nadine Tyson, Jane Turner, Jane Casson, Brendan Meek, Meika McHardy, Amanda Houghton, Sarah Little, Claudine Stephen-Smith, and Anna-Louise Herzog, to name just a few.
Until 1978, various halls around Takapuna hosted the annual Festivals. The opening of The PumpHouse for performances was a tremendous event, and in 1978 the Society used the auditorium (named the Genevieve Becroft Auditorium on November 6, 2017) for the first time. The acoustics and surroundings at this venue were immensely popular with both contestants and the audience, and the general atmosphere was such that the North Shore Competitions became known as the "Friendly Competitions". Since then, we have held our annual competitions in various North Shore venues, including The PumpHouse, based around the school holidays each year.
If you would like to support the North Shore Performing Arts Society, either through monetary prize sponsorship or by volunteering at our annual competitions, please contact our President at email@example.com. We would be thrilled to hear from you!