From audience member to top performer

22 February 2018

Noelle Dannenbring playing at Lakeside 2018. Photo by Rotorua Daily Post.

University of Waikato alumna Noelle Dannenbring performed at Rotorua’s Lakeside 2018 on Saturday 17 February, a concert she has watched her whole life. The classical pianist was proud to perform in her hometown, playing to a large crowd of locals.

Lakeside 2018 consisted of a star-studded group of artists who have a connection to Rotorua, celebrating the town’s homegrown talent. Dubbed Whenua #itsabouthome, the event drew thousands of supporters to the Village Green.

“I wasn’t nervous until I saw the size of the crowd!” Noelle says. “It’s the biggest audience I have ever played for and I was really honoured to be part of the concert.”

Noelle grew up in Rotorua, after moving to New Zealand from Taiwan at age four. She started playing the piano when she was six, and quickly fell in love with performing.

“I love being able to share my passion with an audience, and that’s exactly what I did on Saturday.”

In 2013, Noelle moved to Hamilton to study a Bachelor of Music (Honours) at the University of Waikato, focussing on piano performance. She stayed at the University to complete her Master of Music at the end of 2017. Noelle was a Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship recipient, recognising her academic achievement and leadership potential, as well as her musical talents.

Noelle now works as a piano teacher at St. Peter’s School in Cambridge. This year, she will embark on a concert tour around the North Island with her father, flautist Mark Dannenbring. She will also make her debut as concerto soloist with the Trust Waikato Symphony Orchestra (TWSO) in May.

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