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SOUNZ Community Commission

Community groups and professional composers have just over a week to come up with proposals for forming a creative partnership for a specific musical project in 2006.

Applications for the 2005 SOUNZ Community Commission close on Thursday 30 June. The commission, administered by SOUNZ, the Centre for New Zealand Music, provides up to $1500 for the creation of a new piece of music to be performed by May of the following year.

“The object of the Community Commission is to enable community groups and professional composers to work together in the creation of new music,” SOUNZ Executive Director Scilla Askew explains. “It is a very exciting process for both sides. The creation and performance of a new work often inspires a cooperative and energetic collaboration around a special event that community groups really enjoy and composers find very rewarding also. The proposals can come from either the community groups, or the composers themselves. The Community Commission has been an annual award since 1999 made possible through the generosity of an overseas benefactor who prefers to remain anonymous.”

The 2004 Community Commission enabled the Festival of Colour organisers in Wanaka to work with composer Rachel Clement. The result was a performance of her Taking Off by the Central Otago Regional Choir and Central Otago Regional Orchestra at the inaugural Festival of Colour held earlier this year. The work is likely to become the ‘anthem’ for the Festival with organisers anticipating its performance in some form each year the festival is held.

Other previous Community Commissions include Jonathan Besser’s New Dawn for the Millennium Parade in Gisborne (1999), Helen Bowater’s Hu - a work for massed recorders and gamelan for the NZ Recorder Conference in Christchurch (2001), Jeff Henderson’s work with senior instrumental students at the Auckland Academy of Music to create an improvised work for (09)03 Festival of Contemporary Music (2003).

More information about the SOUNZ Community Commission can be found on the SOUNZ website, or by contacting the Centre for New Zealand Music on 04 801 8602 or by e-mail:


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