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COUNTER POINT

THE MAGAZINE OF ORCHESTRAS CENTAL

ORCHESTRATING TRANSFORMATIVE CONNECTIONS THE VISION FOR ORCHESTRAL MUSIC IN OUR REGION

BLOWING THE DUST OFF RE-ENGAGING MUSICIANS SHOULD I CLAP NOW?

JUNE 2017 ISSUE 1

THE FIRST TIMER'S GUIDE TO THE ORCHESTRA

IT GIRL AMALIA HALL - RISING STAR OF STRING


INTRODUCING THE ORCHESTRAS

Comprising 30 young people aged 10-18, UYO was formed 13 years ago and meets at the band room for Friday night rehearsals. The orchestra performs four concerts each year. In 2016 UYO visited Te Awamutu for the first time, performing to a crowd of 150. The Orchestra also undertakes reciprocal visits with the Taranaki Youth Orchestra, giving both groups fantastic shared experiences. Music Director Yoshi Tatsumi has more than ten years’ experience leading the youth orchestra.

OPUS Orchestra, established 25 years ago, is a professional chamber orchestra that plays a vital role in the creative life of the region through collaborations with many high profile musical entities. Regular concert series are held in Hamilton, Tauranga and Rotorua, with performances also held in other regional centres such as Putaruru and Taupo. It also delivers one-off events including corporate education, choir collaborations and private engagements. OPUS attracts nationally and internationally recognised conductors such as James Judd, and soloists such as Michael Houston and Simon O’Neill.  Opus is thrilled to have had Peter Walls as Music Director and Principal conductor since 2009.

rusty player orchestra

A new initiative in 2016, this orchestra is for everyone! Around 30 players of all ages and abilities meet for the sheer pleasure of playing together and making music. Upcoming events in 2017 include training workshops for players, a ‘pop-up orchestra’ , allcomers ‘just play it’ day , and at the end of the year ‘A Very Rusty Christmas’ with the fledgling Rusty Singers. Rusty Player Orchestra is led by Oliver Barratt

Along with ‘Sunset Symphony’, performed to crowds of more than 5000 each summer, and education concerts attended by 1500 Waikato school children, TWSO also present two symphonic concerts each year, usually held at Clarence St Theatre.   This year, with the support of Creative NZ, the education concerts will also be livestreamed to rural schools . This is a community, all volunteer player, Hamilton-based orchestra, that rehearses at Waikato Diocesan school year around. TWSO has been performing in Hamilton for over 100 years and has been led by Music Director Rupert D’Cruze since 2007.

CONTACT US Upstairs @The Meteor, 1 Victoria St, Hamilton Ph. 07 949 9315 admin@orchestras.org.nz www.orchestras.org.nz


CREATING THE ORCHESTRAL ECOSYSTEM In 2016, Orchestras Central supported four orchestras to present 26 concerts in five towns, reaching audiences of more than 10,000 people.  International research tells us audiences are declining but this is not the case here. We experienced a 15% increase in audience last year, and maintained this in the first half of 2017 -  and our involvement in the Creative New Zealand funded Regional Arts Pilot will help drive our audience development even further as we get to know our communities even better.   We are thrilled to be working with Creative Waikato and other arts organisations in this project. We have welcomed new sponsors, partners and donors,  engaged more audience than ever before, grown our stable of musicians, supported our existing volunteers and recruited new ones, introduced partnerships and collaboration with other organisations, and continue to strive toward our strategic vision of Orchestrating Transformative Connections as we grow the ecosystem of orchestral music in our region.  Progress is not always easy, and we find ourselves in exceptionally challenging circumstances. As the needs and requirements of our funders change and our audiences become more demanding of the 'new and different',  we are continually challenges to balance this trend for innovation with our commitment to ensuring the orchestras themselves become more deeply connected to their communities, whilst also offering musicians opportunities to develop their craft.  It is impossible to acknowledge everyone who supported the establishment and subsequent evolution of our organisation. But I must give special mention to our Music Directors, musicians, the administration team, the Board and our large group of volunteers. As we move forward we must continue to balance the needs of all our stakeholders, including musicians,  funders and supporters to ensure we can develop and thrive.

''Orchestras Central Trust was formed in 2015, and our management and administrative hub has been fully operational for just over a year. There have been many challenges in this time, which have covered the breadth of our activity, including the radical changes to the funding landscape for not only us, but the wider arts community. As we navigate these complexities we are excited about the opportunities for the ongoing success of orchestral music making in our region''.

Susan Trodden CEO - Orchestras Central


TELLING OUR STORIES: NOTES FROM THE MUSIC DIRECTORS Peter Walls: Music Director Opus Orchestra

Artistically, 2016 was an exciting year for Opus. The March programme, with Beethoven’s too-little-known complete music for Goethe’s Egmont presented with a dramatic narrative (delivered by Nigel Collins with Jayne Tankersley singing the role of Klärchen) was powerful stuff – and much enjoyed by our audiences. The June concerts featured an 18thcentury programme with Diedre Irons as soloist in Mozart’s Piano Concerto in Eflat, K. 271. I was especially pleased by the moving performances that Opus gave of Ross Harris’s Music for Jonny. In September, the Orchestra worked with guest conductor, Holly Matheson. Holly is a young New Zealander who is doing exceptionally well on the international stage. She is now Assistant Conductor at the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Resident Conductor of National Youth Orchestra of Scotland Junior Orchestra. Edward King (now Principal Cello in the Sydney Symphony) performed the Brahms Concerto for Violin and Cello with Amalia Hall, one of this country’s most brilliant young violinists. Opus Orchestra’s last series of concerts was with international mega-star Simon O’Neill. (After Opus, Simon’s next engagement was with Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.)  Despite working at the highest level with internationally-ranked orchestras, Simon was vocal in his appreciation of the standards achieved by Opus and the pleasures of making music with such a responsive group of musicians. Those concerts were deeply satisfying for both the musicians on stage and our audiences. 

Yoshi Tatsumi: Music Director - United Youth Orchestra

Rupert D'Cruze: Music Director Trust Waikato Symphony Orchestra 

United Youth Orchestra meet every Friday night during term time for rehearsals,  and deliver four concerts each year.  

2016 was a year of successes, opportunities and challenges for TWSO as the Orchestra moved its administration from the purely volunteer Waikato Orchestral Society to the professional management of Orchestras Central.

In 2016, the Orchestra visited Highfield Retirement Village in Te Awamutu for the first time, and also performed at Forest Lake Retirement Village - both to large and appreciative audiences. Two formal concerts were also presented at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts, and these featured a number of UYO players as solo performers. Players also took part in a String only workshop , and some were involved in  Trust Waikato Symphony Orchestra's fourth annual education concert for kids. This was successful and great experience for UYO members to play music with TWSO. Members will be invited to take part again in August this year. The final concert of 2016 featured Leader Lisa Chang as violin solo for her last concert with UYO. Membership currently sits at around 27 players, with Chelsea Lin as Leader, and this year we will visit New Plymouth for a joint concert with the Taranaki Youth Orchestra as part of our bi-annual exchange programme.

Apart from the performances themselves, which were all accomplished to a high standard for a non-professional orchestra, TWSO has maintained a strong spirit amongst its players. Our members appreciate the opportunity to make music together, whilst maintaining social connections and performing to a range of audiences with different musical offerings. The message we hear from guest players is that they look forward to playing with TWSO because it is such a friendly, open, and inclusive orchestra.   This year the shortage and relative weakness of the string sections has been keenly felt at times. It is often a challenge with a community orchestra like ours that there can be a disparity in skill levels between the woodwind/brass sections and the string sections.  Reportoire and rehearsals which balance the needs and demands of our players with widely-varied experience levels, and producing programmes which appeal to our audience has proved particularly challenging. Collectively we need to keep considering programming, rehearsal frequency, use of sectionals, tutoring sessions and so on to keep our members satisfied and to build up numbers, confidence and ability of players.  It is a tribute to the enthusiasm and dedication of our players that TWSO has continued in good heart through the challenges of the transition. 


ORCHESTRATING TRANSFORMATIVE CONNECTIONS THE VISION OF ORCHESTRAS CENTRAL

Attend an orchestral event and you will sense that everyone there - whether on the stage or in the audience - is engaged in what is happening. The high level of playing achieved by many of our musicians cannot easily be recreated. It is the result of individual players’ lifelong dedication to their craft, to each other, and to the communities they are part of and contribute to.    With its own orchestra, a community reaps the benefit of an expanding awareness of the wonderful diversity of music, and learns from the orchestra's unique ability to influence creativity. An orchestra’s responsibility to its community goes beyond the concert chamber too. An orchestra is a leader in showing value, and sets the standard for volunteering. An orchestra can also help a community cope with stress and pressure, by using music as a teaching tool and demonstrating harmony. And, an effective orchestra delivers musicians who are experts in expressing the complexities of life in ways otherwise inexpressible, but instantly recognised. The region is simply better for having such wonderful orchestras that continue to flourish. We are committed to growing orchestral music through the connections we create, the programmes we deliver, and the talent we develop. Ask a child who has attended one of our concerts - the orchestra provides them with inspiration that can last a lifetime.  


A HEART FOR THE ARTS

WHY SUPPORTING ARTS AND CULTURE IS GOOD FOR BUSINESS

As someone who has supported the arts and the creative community for many years, I believe the arts are an integral part of society. The arts are a fundamental  expression of our deepest emotions as human beings and provide a common language across all languages and societies. In essence, the arts are absolutely a part of who we are. The arts enrich our lives, feed our spirits, fuel inspiration, and stimulate dialogue and new ways of thinking and perceiving. Without arts and culture, our communities would lose all sense of vibrancy and pride of place among our citizens. Our economy would also suffer. Studies show that the arts help attract and retain talent to our workforce, stimulate tourism, and encourage creativity and innovative thinking. In essence, investing in the arts just makes good business sense. A McKinsey & Company report commissioned by Business for the Arts in 2009 concluded that the arts can have a positive social impact on local communities by improving quality of life and community engagement, and by contributing to social innovation.  It has also been well documented that the inclusion of arts and culture in the revitalization strategies of many major cities has resulted in increased tourism, job creation, urban regeneration and business relocation to the downtown core.  And yet, arts and culture continues to struggle with the threat of cuts from the public sector and a volatile market that affects private sector investment. Public sector support is crucial as it provides the solid operating base from which arts leaders are able to fundraise and build stability.  

The McKinsey report reveals that for every public sector dollar invested, another dollar is stimulated from the private sector, and moreover generates a positive return through direct benefits (earned revenue, ticket sales), indirect benefits (boosting incidental business and tourism) and induced spending (organizational and employee spend) Overwhelmingly, businesses that are involved as investors in the arts tell us that they invest for both community investment priorities as well as to fulfill business objectives such as brand enhancement, employee engagement, client entertainment and niche marketing opportunities.  The arts and culture sector is at a distinct advantage in being able to provide tangible benefits that fulfill key business goals.

AS ARISTOTLE ONCE SAID, “THE AIM OF ART IS TO REPRESENT NOT THE OUTWARD APPEARANCE OF THINGS, BUT THEIR INWARD SIGNIFICANCE.”

Recent research in Canada showed 77% of Canadians are likely to buy brands that contribute to worthy causes. Interestingly, 68% of Canadians say they would remain loyal through a recession to a brand that contributes to a worthy cause – even if lower price brands were available. For business leaders who are looking for meaningful data that demonstrates the economic and social advantages of the arts, these are all compelling reasons to support the arts.* As a country teeming with artists, musicians, actors, writers, dancers, choreographers, composers, broadcasters and filmmakers, investing in the arts is simply good for business. This article was written by the founder of Fleck Manufacturing Co., Dr. James D. Fleck, O.C.. and first appeared in Equity Quarterly magazine in 2012 at www.businessforthearts.org. Fleck was deputy Minister and assistant to former Ontario Premier William Davis.

*As an economic generator, arts and culture industries in New Zealand represent $3.5 billion and employ some 30,000 people.


IT GIRL AMALIA HALL Widely recognised as one of the foremost young violinists to emerge from New Zealand, Amalia has received widespread acclaim for her ability to move audiences with her inherent musicality and natural facility. Her numerous competition successes include laureate prizes at the Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition in Hannover, as well as receiving the top prize at the Jeunesses International Music Competition Dinu Lipatti. Amalia was appointed concertmaster for Opus Orchestra for 2017, and was also soloist with the Trust Waikato Symphony Orchestra in its May concert. ''I have always had such passion for playing and listening to music - the depth of emotions that we can take from music is incredibly vast, and it brings so much fulfilment to me that it feels selfish to keep it to myself'' Amalia told us.  ''I want to share the wonder of music with as many people as possible! I truly believe that music enriches people's lives, and it really is a joy to bring music off the page for the audiences to enjoy''. We asked what excites her about playing with Opus and TWSO.  ''I love the sense of community within Opus Orchestra and TWSO, and to see how much the players enjoy working towards the concerts. Peter Walls does an incredible job with Opus and it's a privilege for the orchestra to have his expertise, as both conductor and musicologist, guiding them through the rehearsal process'' ''It's also wonderful that Opus reach out to the Waikato/Bay of Plenty region and to see how much the audiences appreciate hearing them perform''. Amalia plays on a violin made in 2013 by the Padova-based luthier Alberto Cassutti.  

"AMALIA HALL GAVE A STUNNING PERFORMANCE OF WIENIAWSKI’S VIOLIN CONCERTO NO.2 OP.22. THE LYRICAL HORN PASSAGE AND THE SOMBRE MAIN TUNE WERE WELL HANDLED BY THE ENSEMBLE, WHICH SUPPORTED AND NEVER OVERSHADOWED AMALIA’S SUMPTUOUS AND SWEET TONE, WHICH WAS GREATLY AIDED BY THE ITALIAN RUGGERI VIOLIN THAT SHE PLAYED. THE LILTING ROMANCE HAD AN IMPASSIONED CLIMAX FOLLOWED BY FIERY SOLO CADENZA AND AN ENERGETIC GYPSY STYLE RONDO FINALE, FULL OF VITALITY. HALL’S ENCORE, THE ANDANTE FROM BACH’S A MINOR SONATA WAS BEAUTIFUL'' REVIEW - TWSO 'SLAVIC MASTERPIECES'.


BLOWING THE DUST OFF

THE RISE AND RISE OF THE RUSTY PLAYER ORCHESTRA

In early 2016 , Susan Trodden, CEO of Orchestras Central, wondered aloud in a team meeting about how Orchestras Central could encourage all those musicians who were a little 'rusty' to get together and make music. And so, with the support of a grant from Creative New Zealand, the Rusty Player Orchestra was born. To capture the imagination of erstwhile musicans, a highly visible social media campaign invited people to 'blow the dust off their instrument' , aimed at engaging adult musicians (18+) of all levels from across the region.  The all-comer days are now an integral part of the Orchestras Central annual calendar. The first meeting comprised a series of 'sectionals' for each part of the orchestra, and then a play-through of some simple but well known music.  Since then the orchestra has performed at a Plunket Expo in Te Awamutu, delighting the young  audience with a rendition of Let It Go from 'Frozen', played the National Anthem whilst accompanied by a casually formed 'Rusty Singers' group at the Cambridge Avantidrome (whilst cyclists raced around the track), and more recently 42 musicians spent an afternoon in small group classes and then performed for friends and family. 

''WHO KNEW THERE WERE SO MANY PEOPLE WHO HAD INSTRUMENTS LANGUISHING UNDER THE BED!'' This month's event saw 42 musicians from as far afield as Auckland and Thames join together for an afternoon of music making. Local music teachers took workshops for strings, woodwind, brass and percussion.  Jody Thomas, who also plays with TWSO, was conductor for the day. ‘We have been thrilled to see players come back, teachers reconnecting with former pupils, others re-engaging as tutors, and even more people have put orchestra event attendance back on their 'must do' entertainment list.

‘’Two of the key themes in the Trust’s strategic plan are 'innovation' and ‘collaboration'’’ says Chair, Bob Simcock, ‘’so ‘Rusties’ is an exciting way to reintroduce musicians to the joy of being part of an orchestra, and then share this with other organisations and the wider community’’.  Local emerging conductor, Oliver Barratt, has been engaged to lead the orchestra and there are also experienced music teachers taking part as tutors.   The music is carefully selected to appeal to a broad range of abilities and tastes, and is aimed at those playing at Grade 4 and above. Musicians from the other orchestras in Hamilton are encouraged to join in, and family are welcome to attend the final play-throughs, making the 'Rusties' a truly collaborative experience for all involved.The programmes include well-known pieces Hine e Hine (The Goodnight Kiwi theme), Hallelujah Chorus, Ode to Joy and the ‘Game of Thrones’ theme music.  

The next Rusty Player event will take place during 'Sensing Music' - a weekend of orchestral experiences taking place 25-27 August at the newly renovated Meteor Theatre. 


SCENE AND HEARD UPCOMING EVENTS

As we grow the awareness and culture of Orchestral music in the region, we are developing ways to engage players of all levels, and develop our audiences in new, exciting and sometimes challenging ways. 'Sensing Music’ seeks to deliver this through the broad pretext that orchestral music can engage all the senses.  Not only can players from all our existing orchestras take part, this 'feast for the senses' will encourage other music lovers to reengage, the curious to come and experience orchestral music in fresh exciting ways.  and audience to participate in the orchestral world in ways never seen here before. This exciting weekend also includes collaboration with a high profile local artist, inviting our audiences in to the 'inner workings' of an orchestra, and sharing space with some of our most loyal audience groups - our Opus 'FRIENDS', our local choirs (who have started to form a Rusty Singers group to join with our players), and the special needs education units in Hamilton. Each part of the weekend has a focus on a difference sense - to listen, to see, to touch, to taste and to smell (yes really!),  culminating in the experience to truly immerse the audience (FEEL) using all their senses.

This is also about making the most of regional talent.  The weekend starts with an open rehearsal for young musicians (age 12-18) hosted by United Youth Orchestra. Players will take part in a readthrough of well known music and enjoy social time with other orchestra members.

The Saturday night ticketed performance will be delivered in 'Round' style, offering an intimate experience for the audience, using a small ensemble of professional musicians and Sunday morning will be a true feast for the senses as 'Rusty Players' enjoy breakfast whilst they play not only what they see but what they smell as well!

Later in the evening, Friday night's collaboration, 'Sonoscopia', is with Paul Bradley, a well-known visual artist who will literally paint what he hears, whilst the musicians perform a newly commissioned work written especially for this performance by Hamilton composer Jeremy Mayall.

To round the weekend off, Sunday afternoon is for families. An opportunity to visit our 'Orchestral Petting Zoo, will be followed by a special 'cushion concert'.

On Saturday afternoon there will be masterclasses and workshops for each section of the orchestra, led by skilled music teachers. String, brass, woodwind players, along with new and existing percussionists can refine their skills - or learn new ones! Music Director for TWSO, Rupert D'Cruze will also be running a conductors workshop which will include the opportunity to get in front of an experienced orchestra. 

BYO cushion, and enjoy 'The Pied Piper of Pirongia', a new production for orchestra and narrator written especially for TWSO by a local author.  To the best of our knowledge, there has not been an event of this type in New Zealand before and it is being produced with the support of a Creative New Zealand Arts Grant. 

A full programme and ticketing details can be found on our website. www.orchestras.org.nz


THE FIRST TIMER'S GUIDE TO THE ORCHESTRA ENJOY THE MUSIC You have come to be entertained, moved, transported, or perhaps, to satisfy a loved one’s plea. Anyway, you’re there, so you might as well enjoy it. Some do this by watching the orchestra or the conductor. Some do this with their eyes shut. Experiment. Enjoy. Some people go to sleep – that’s OK as long as you don’t snore!   Please turn off your mobile device, and remember that photography or recording is not permitted in the concert hall. Invite a friend or another couple to go with you to the next concert - you’ll enjoy it all the better. MAKE LOTS OF NOISE IN THE LOBBY We love to hear the lobby “buzz” before and after the concert. Where possible we’ll have the bar open.  Please limit your conversations to before or after the music. Oh, and anything that makes unwanted noise should be left at home or turned off. This includes: cell phones, pagers, wrist watches, crinkly lolly wrappers, baby monitors, most pets, and some distant relatives. Speaking of children…Please consider leaving young children in the care of a competent relative or babysitter for our more formal concerts. Our concerts are generally two hours long, with a 15 minute intermission, with concerts marketed as ‘family friendly’ being around an hour long with a ten minute break. APPLAUD WHENEVER YOU FEEL MOVED TO DO SO Most people applaud a performer to express their awe and their appreciation for the performance. So, whenever so moved, please applaud. However, it may benefit your relationship to the loved one next to you to know that most symphony-goers feel bound to an unwritten contract to applaud only at the end of the entire musical work. For example, in a four movement work, people actually wait until the end of the fourth movement to applaud. But, they generally make up for lost applause by applauding a really long time. How long? Long enough for the conductor to bow, shake hands with some musicians, walk off the stage, pause, come back on the stage, invite the orchestra to stand, bow, shake hands with some musicians, and walk off again. So, when not wanting to totally embarrass your evening’s companion, wait until others applaud, then follow their lead.

WALK RIGHT IN, SIT RIGHT DOWN We perform at more than a dozen venues across the region with seats up high, down low (even on the ground for Sunset Symphony), and all of them are very comfortable. However, if you want to be among the leaders of the audience and take prime position, you need to arrive before the music begins. Once the music starts, the ushers will not allow you to enter until an appropriate break in the music, which in some cases may not be until intermission. Orchestras all over the world do things like this to ensure the enjoyment of the vast, vast, VAST majority of concert-goers who arrive and take their seat on time. I know you’ll understand. Ask questions anytime (except when the music is playing!) Please call our office to ask your concert etiquette questions, talk to the friendly hosts on our ‘Friends’ desk which is set up at every concert, or grab another concert goer who looks like they know what's what. P.S. We also often have our musicians out talking with the audience before and after concerts and in the break.  Don’t be shy to talk to them! Some might even sign your programme for you.

TOTHEUNINITIATED THERE'SALOTOF 'RULES'AROUNDHOW TOACTATACONCERTHERE'SOURGUIDETO MAKINGEVERY EXPERIENCEA FANTASTICONE


UPCOMING EVENTS


PROUDLY SUPPORTED BY

Glenice& JohnGallagher Foundation

Counterpoint issue 1, June 2017  
Counterpoint issue 1, June 2017  
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