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Young Voices Fill the New Wellington Arts Centre

Young Voices Fill the New Wellington Arts Centre

Local music educator Sharon Thorburn invites Wellington's young creative people to participate in a major new musical initiative

WELLINGTON -- The sound of young voices expressing themselves in harmony is now ringing through the halls of Wellington's new arts centre. Student singers from years 3 to 8 are invited to become part of "Little Big Voice," a growing choral effort to nurture the music skills of local young people. Weekly choir rehearsals are now underway, and the growing ensemble welcomes new voices from all parts of the Capital City. The innovative programme, developed by Thorburn, provides an inclusive approach to music performance and a repertoire of New Zealand and international songs.

"My son has attended Sharon's classes and now at 7 ? years, has the confidence to sing and dance in front of an audience and enjoy it!" said local parent Heather Ware. "And my daughter in year 5 has developed a way to express how she feels through composition and music. She's better equipped to deal with the life challenges that face young people today."

A second initiative, "Lights, Camera, Action!" is being developed by Thorburn to foster composition, scripting, rehearsal, and stage talents in local young people. Her multi-disciplinary workshops are designed to build performance confidence, identity and creativity through music, drama and dance. Both opportunities are based at the new Wellington Arts Centre in Abel Smith Street, and the accolades are already coming in.

"Congratulations on a strong compassionate vision with the inspired energetic leadership required to achieve highly successful outcomes for our children and for our city," said Catherine Gibbs, Music Curriculum Facilitator for the Ministry of Education.

Sharon Thorburn is an award winning composer and music educator with international primary and secondary school experience. Her Wellington-based choirs and a cappella groups have won national competitions at secondary school level and represented New Zealand internationally at primary and intermediate level. She has a passion for promoting the original voice of our young people, who discover their identity and creative potential through music.

"These exciting new initiatives will identify and develop the talent of our children...providing the foundation of artistic excellence for our city," said local bank executive and parent Sam Knowles. "My children have attended Sharon's composition classes and choirs, which have all achieved an outstanding international performance standard. Sharon has been inspirational in bringing out their natural talent and creativity."

Thorburn is one of many creative people hiring the spaces at the new facility at 61-63 Abel Smith Street. The Wellington Arts Centre offers meeting rooms, art workshops, an exhibition gallery, and project administration room for use by people and organisations involved in local creative developments. The new centre opened its doors in April, and a grand opening is set for late July.

"Even though our formal opening isn't until late July, Wellington's new arts centre is quickly becoming energised with creative people and activities," said arts centre manager Eric Holowacz. "Many of the spaces are ready to hire, over 35 artists have begun moving into the two floors of studio space, and almost a dozen organisations are using the centre for meetings and events."


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