Hundreds of Students Take On Chamber Music this Month

Thursday, 6 June 2013

The district rounds of the 2013 NZCT Chamber Music Contest began this week with more than 450 ensembles taking part across 14 locations.

This year more than 30 groups participated in the contest's coaching programme, sponsored by ABRSM, to help them prepare for the big performance. For the first time in contest history Chamber Music New Zealand employed Mark Walton, a leading authority and pioneer in Distance Instrumental Music Education, to undertake long distance coaching with students from Wanganui and Hawke's Bay over skype.

After the coaching sessions Mark shared his thoughts on the experience:

"What a thrill it was to be asked this year to tutor some of the groups in smaller centres over the internet. Despite all the challenges that skype threw at us we still managed to talk about the wonders of the music, the intonation challenges, balance and playing from the heart.

Some groups were of an international standard whilst others were just starting out on their chamber music journey.

I wish every group the very best of luck. Winning is nice but not essential but making the composer happy is a definite must!"

Successful coaching also happened in person with this great feedback from Christchurch's Papanui High School's Music HOD: "Under the masterful tutelage of Iola Shelley (pictured below) four students spent a magic hour being put through their paces. The opportunity to experience a master class was such a treat for these talented young people and an experience they will treasure. They were rapt throughout the class and have learned so much and gained confidence as they prepare for the upcoming competition." 

With students' nerves increasing in the lead up to this week, Chamber Music New Zealand added some 'just for fun' antics to the event with a "Vote for your favourite ensemble name" poll. The CMNZ team selected a list of group names that made us smile and then put it to the contest Facebook followers to vote for their number one. The top name was Palmerston North's "Pain in the Brass" with "I'm a Potato Pie" and "The Girl Who Kicked the Horovitz Nest" getting a special mention.

All of the district rounds are open to the public to witness the emerging talent and musical participation around the country. For more event details on this event visit our Chamber Music Contest section.