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SOUNZ Community Commission Recipient Announced

14 October 2004

SOUNZ Community Commission Recipient Announced

Rachel Clement of Christchurch is the recipient of the 2004 SOUNZ Community Commission.

Clement will write an anthem to open Wanaka’s brand new ‘Festival of Colour’ in April 2005, which will be performed by the Central Otago Regional Choir together with members of the Central Otago Regional Orchestra.

“Its terrific that an opportunity such as this is available to composers and community groups”, says SOUNZ Director Scilla Askew.

The SOUNZ Community Commission is funded by an anonymous international donor and gives community groups the opportunity to work closely with a professional composer.

“Composers often work in relative isolation and their work can seem to be a mysterious process,” says Askew. “This commission gives community musicians an opportunity to become involved in creating and performing a new work.”

Festival of Colour director Philip Tremewan, who put forward the proposal, wanted to celebrate local talent and is delighted that Clement agreed to take part.

“We’re very excited about the possibilities of an anthem which is specially composed to suit the strengths of our fine regional choir”, he says.

“It’s a completely new concept to have a festival anthem and it’s great that the SOUNZ Community Commission has allowed us to ask a New Zealand composer to write the work.”

Clement has a Masters degree in composition from Auckland University and has composed for some of New Zealand’s leading musical ensembles including 175 East and the New Zealand Trio.

She will use the title poem from Otago poet laureate Brian Turner’s latest book – “Taking Off” as text for the anthem.

“He (Turner) has kindly agreed to allow musical liberties to be taken with his text,” Philip Tremewan noted.

Clement feels privileged to be involved with the Festival in writing the Anthem.

“It’s very difficult to establish professional music ensembles in NZ and I believe that many supposedly ‘amateur’ groups outside of the main centres have immense skills, excellent direction and a great deal to offer.”

“I last worked with an amateur/community group in 2003 when I wrote Jam an opera for young voices which was commissioned and performed by Canterbury Opera Youth with instrumentalists from the Christchurch Youth Orchestra. I enjoyed this immensely and continue to be interested in writing for community groups.”

As well as composing, Clement works as the National Secondary Schools Arts Co-ordinator for Music and manages the library for the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra.

“The opportunity to compose an anthem for the Festival of Colour in Wanaka is very close to my heart”, she says. “One of my part-time jobs involves getting music opportunities into isolated areas so that secondary school students can access them”.

The SOUNZ community Commission is an annual project, which composers or community groups can apply for. Contact SOUNZ for further details.


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