Aden James Angelo
Award Level:
Bronze
Favourite memory of the Award:
The sense of accomplishment that comes with filling in each log and watching the progress bar increase incrementally, moving me closer towards success. This was my favourite memory of the award
Age:
17
Biggest challenge from doing the Award:
One of my greatest challenges from the Duke of Ed Award was to undertake an Adventurous Journey, something that I have still not done because I have been unable to find a date, and because I have no experience camping at all. When it comes to the time where I do my tramp though, I think that this is a challenge that I will heavily enjoy conquering
Country:
New Zealand
Have you continued any of your Award activities? If so, what:
I have still continued singing in choirs, singing at home, and in my community. I continue to go to the gym and workout, and I volunteer at school events for a few hours every week!
Tell us the story behind your photo:
Coming from a non-musical family, singing both solo songs and choral music was not in my bailiwick. In 2019, after strong urging from my parents, I auditioned in my school for a choir. In my own ecstasy (and with suggestions from my mom), I sung an unconventional pop song by Twenty One Pilots - ‘Stressed Out’. However, I later learned that I was selected for a choir, after which I went home and got a high-five from mum. Caught up in my euphoria, in a few weeks I realized that I was in the development choir of my school, which to my standards meant that I was in the ‘bottom choir’, for the average singers. My choral development was slow, and after a whole year of singing, I was pumped to progress further into the better Premier choirs in my school, especially considering they were some of the best in the country. However, after auditioning again the following year to learn that I was in the bottom choir again, I was utterly dismayed, however I seemed to have a strong drive within me and I realized that I needed this development and needed to take small steps before I could get into the top choirs. I made it my mission to make the premier male choir in my school the following year. Third time’s the charm, so after receiving a plethora of useful advice for how I can get in to the top choirs, for the first time I felt like my singing journey had seemed to crescendo. I started preparing months before my audition the following year. Going out into the nearby park during cold nights to practice in an open space, recording myself, asking for feedback, getting advice from friends and learning how to improve my voice online. All of this was before my defining moment- my third year of auditioning. After receiving convivial nods from the pedagogues judging my audition, I left the room feeling mightily confident and exhilarated with my performance. When I heard that the results were out, I rushed over to our school’s music block and searched the lists for the top choir, rather frantically. To say the least, I left the room completely lackadaisical, feeling like I’ve been hitting the same brick wall for three years now and still had not found my way around it. 2021 was not my best year, regardless of how hard I tried, I often ended up at a dead-end. My choral development was an slow task and at many times and singing turned into a Sisyphean chore. I sought to change that, so after three full years of straggling, I worked notoriously hard, gaining momentum in my skills and developing my hobby. In 2022 I went from being in the ‘bottom choir’ of my school for three years to being selected into two of the best high-school choirs in the country. After competing in The Auckland Big Sing 2022, both the choirs that I sung in were crowned as the regional champions, we took the titles for the Best Festival Programme for both our Male and our Mixed choirs. Our mixed choir also were Runners-up for the Best A Capella Performance!This photo captures my moment with a lead role in the choreographed song ‘Pal So Seong’. This is one of my favorite performances, done at the national choir competition in New Zealand. After a massive round of applause, and several days of competing, our choir finished with a Gold Award and an everlasting lasting impact on our audience. I started the Duke of Edinburgh award this year, and it has instilled discipline and a passion for singing within me. From making continual logs and keeping organized records of my daily events, this Award has increased my range of skills and made me try new things that have benefitted my purview and capacities within a musical sphere. I reach out to all the other participants undertaking a DoE journey that you may be blessed with the rewards of your hard work! My message to you all is that you must continue to pursue what is meaningful to you regardless of the struggle, and you are guaranteed to live euphoric years of successful and special endeavor! Thank you DoE for sculpting excellence in youth across the world.
Award Role:
Participant