Old schoolmates back together to celebrate CD launch


Musician and ex-Waitaki Boys High School pupil, Murray McIlwraith, recently launched a new CD in Auckland and will get nationwide exposure tomorrow on the TVNZ Good Morning Show.

Mr McIlwraith is going to perform one track from the new CD entitled You Go To My Head, which he describes as an eclectic mix of jazz, pop and “a couple of originals”.

The launching of the CD at the end of June was a significant event, he said, bringing together old school friends from the 1960s, family and professionals who had helped him achieve the milestone.

“It’s been a long project which started two years ago, ” Mr McIlwraith said.

“I’ve put together three CDs. This is the third, and the one which has taken the most work.”

“I’m nearly 63 and I’ve done a lot of recordings, but this is probably the best I’ve done.”

The musician credits some of this to the producers, Neville Granville and Bruce Lynch, who opened up a world of contacts which, he said, would never have been available otherwise.

Mr McIlwraith said he thought it was really neat that 12 ex-pupils of Waitaki Boys’ High School came together for the launch.

“It says something perhaps of old friendships and making an effort to keep in touch throughout the years,” he said.

“The reward, as I found out, was just wonderful.

“The good thing about old friends is that you can just be yourself.”

Mr McIlwraith has been a professional musician for 25 years and as a child, he studied classical piano.

Upon completing his masters degree in anthropology in 1975, he took up a position as an archaeologist with the Ministry of Conservation in Melbourne. Two years later, he said, the unrelenting desire to sing and play jazz and modern keyboards compelled him to head for London.

Since returning to New Zealand in 1975, Mr McIlwraith has been performing regularly at Auckland hotels and function centres, and also at other venues including Millbrook Resort, Queenstown, and Huka Lodge, Taupo.

He has played for celebrities like Mick Jagger, Audrey Hepburn, Joan Collins and Robin Williams.



REUNITED: Former Waitaki Boys’ High School student Murray McIlwraith, reunited with some old Waitaki schoolmates from the 1960s in Auckland for the launch of his new CD recently.

Mr McIlraith (seated) is pictured with (from left) Alwyn Harvey, Steven Ellis, Tony Vinicombe, Geoff McLeod, Stuart McDougall, Greg McGee, Ian Hurst, Simon Gomez, Roly Ellis, Peter Williams and Wayne McIlraith.

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