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Ear for music, heart for people

The talented Thorin Williams in action. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Anisha Satya

One student. A stage technician, a musician, director and filmmaker. All while sitting NCEA level 3.

Thorin Williams is a year 13 student at Wairarapa College and has made a name for himself as one of the college’s finest entertainers, leaders and mentors. Simply put, one of the college’s finest.

A Wairarapa-born boy, Thorin attended Solway Primary and Masterton Intermediate School.

His exposure to guitar and music at a young age had Thorin develop an eye and ear for all things performance. It was after occasionally assisting with MIS’s stage lighting and sound that he began to explore this gift.

“Nobody did it at MIS. I sort of just said ‘How does this work?’.”

Parents, Tony and Rochelle Williams, have long supported Thorin’s pursuit of a performance pathway.

“Both my mum and dad encouraged me to do music. They got me into guitar lessons when I was four.”

Marian Williams, his grandmother [known by most as ‘Gran’], has also been instrumental in his upbringing. Having involved herself in Thorin’s chocolate business, ‘Thorin’s Treats’, and showing support for his musical endeavours, Gran has helped Thorin build the resolve required for leadership.

After receiving the McCormick Boys Cup at his MIS prizegiving, it became apparent to those around him that Thorin was destined for leadership.

Wairarapa College saw a quietly eager, fresh-out-out-of-intermediate Thorin begin his college career by forming a year 9 band, and in year 10, he joined Wairarapa College’s tech crew.

Now, four years on, he has obtained the title of tech crew’s director, and his three-man band holds the title of two-time regional champions of the SmokeFree RockQuest Competition.

Over the course of five years, co-ordinating events, acting in shows, and performing as lead singer and guitarist in his rock band, Signs of Life, Wairarapa College’s stage has become somewhat of a second home to Thorin.

In preparation for his departure from college, come year’s end, Thorin has taken junior students under his wing to learn the ropes in stage tech.

He’s also helping cultivate new musicians, filmmakers, and actors through the more than 15 college groups he has joined.

Always the humble role model, Thorin refuses to claim sole responsibility for his successes.
“I consider myself to not be a very strong leader. I’ve been encouraged by a lot of people to keep going.”

Victoria University of Wellington is Thorin’s first choice to study at, though he’s weighing up all his options. “[Music is] exactly what I want to do as a career; I want to be a professional musician.”

No matter where he attends, one thing is certain: with his ear for music, eye for lighting, head for mentorship and heart for people, there’s no doubt Thorin will lead a charge at whichever university winds up lucky enough to have him.

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