Blue – but smiling

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Six graduating Wakatipu High students have scooped up top honours at this year’s Blues awards.

Two of the school’s four most prestigious gongs – recognising success in senior sport and music and drama – had joint winners.

Musician David Bell and multi-talented performer Emily Stevens were given dual awards for most outstanding contributions to the performing arts.

Bell, who won this year’s JazzFest youth competition, shone for his commitment to jazz, musicals and bands, while Stevens stood out for drama, design and dance talents.

Two students were also named joint sports persons of the year – Miranda Hayes and Cameron Frear.

Hayes impressed with her all-round athleticism plus netball, touch rugby and multisport honours, and Frear for his talent and leadership in ice hockey, cricket and touch rugby.

Jesse Finn-Brown scored the outstanding cultural performer award for his involvement with a host of events, including the lead in school musical Fame.

Finn-Brown – a finalist at this year’s JazzFest youth comp – also helped his cause by playing in the school jazz band, helping to start a soul group, and directing a drama production.

Freeskier Matt Soundy, a competitor in the 2008 New Zealand Open and NZ Freeski Junior Nationals, collected the prize for most outstanding sporting performance.

Soundy will soon hit the northern hemisphere’s top freeski comps after being picked for the NZ Academy of Sport winter performance programme.