Feel the BEAT at CPIT

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14 Nov 2013

CPIT Musical Arts student Dan Hitchens is getting set to showcase his guitar skills at Beat, but he also has an unusual hobby to keep him occupied.

On November 14, CPIT will be coming alive with the beats of some of Christchurch’s most promising young musicians. Part of the Creative Industries Festival, Beat is a cabaret style evening featuring live vocal and instrumental performances by CPIT’s hugely talented Musical Arts students.

The first and second year students will join forces with their tutors for a jam, performing an eclectic set of mostly original jazz, rock and pop numbers.

Hitchens, 21, will be performing with the “wire choir”, a group of ten students from the Jazz School who will be playing guitar.

However, as well as being a talented musician, Hitchens has a unique part-time job which also makes the most of his hands. In between studying, he helps demolish quake-damaged buildings - literally ripping and tearing them apart.

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“It’s great because it’s completely different to studying. Jazz school is quite technical and sometimes you can get mentally tired so to get outside and smash up a house is such a good change,” he says.

“You can get stuck in and tear and rip it down. You’re still doing stuff with your hands but it’s quite a good stress relief.”

Hitchens started playing guitar at just six years old and, after finishing high school, decided to study a Bachelor of Musical Arts at CPIT.

Among the crowd at Beat will be Hitchens’ family, who are making the journeying down from Nelson to see him perform.

“They’re really excited. I’m looking forward to getting up there and playing a few songs. It’s going to be fun.”

Hitchens has one year left of study to complete his degree, after which he hopes to travel the world sharing his jazz talents.

“I’d like to work on the cruise ships for a while and perhaps tour America. If that doesn’t work out I always have my demolition skills to fall back on.”

Beat will run from 7.30pm on November 14 at the CPSA Building, located on CPIT’s Madras St Campus. Tickets are $18 for adults and $12 for seniors and students.