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Immersed in music

23 May 2019

Seven College students successfully auditioned for places in the 2019 New Zealand Secondary Schools Symphony Orchestra (NZSSSO), driven by the opportunity to experience playing in a full symphony orchestra.

Joining talented young musicians from all over New Zealand, Year 9 students Joshua Hooker (violin), Sean Jang (oboe), James Drury (French horn) and Andrew Welsh (percussion), Year 10 student Bruce Chen (violin), and Year 12 students Will Simcock (viola) and Connor Graham (oboe), spent an intensive six days immersed in music – and, after training with specialist music teachers and rehearsing with renowned conductor Uwe Grodd, they were ready to perform.

Music teacher Nick Coxon says the high standard of musicianship and chance to perform full-scale orchestral works makes the NZSSSO a significant training ground for young players. In their first year in the orchestra, James, Andrew and Connor – and no doubt the other College musicians – all agree it was well worth it and a whole lot of fun.

The NZSSSO orchestral course took place in the April school holidays. The orchestra gave two public performances on Friday 26 and Saturday 27 April, playing Kabalevsky’s “Overture to Colas Breugnon Op. 24”, Sejourne’s “Concerto for Marimba & String Orchestra” and Mahler’s “Symphony No. 1”.

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