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Chamber Music New Zealand gets connected

MEDIA RELEASE
Chamber Music New Zealand gets connected

For Immediate Release / 20 March 2006 / 477 words

New Zealand's largest chamber music presenter, Chamber Music New Zealand has implemented a number of new technologies into its marketing campaign over the last four years to encourage more young people to enjoy chamber music. This year, CMNZ has introduced a few changes to its website to help make it easier for secondary school students to get involved.

Last year, a record number of 562 groups, involving over 2,000 students nationwide, entered the New Zealand Community Trust Chamber Music Contest. The contest is New Zealand's longest running music contest of its kind for secondary school students, and is organised by Chamber Music New Zealand.

CMNZ recognises that times have changed since the contest was established 41 years ago, and that a large percentage of secondary school entrants are now more likely to source information via the Internet rather than through the mail or their music teacher. The CMNZ website receives around 1,500 visits a week, spiking at up to 2,000 around the time of the contest.

In 2004, CMNZ was awarded an Audience Development grant from Creative New Zealand to create an email newsletter for secondary school students. Called ŒIn The Loop', the newsletter was designed to inform contest participants about news, reviews and updates on chamber music events across the country. After its inception, a number of CMNZ supporters wanted to receive an email newsletter to find-out about chamber music events in their region. In 2005, CMNZ launched an additional version of In The Loop for music lovers and CMNZ subscribers.

In 2005, it became abundantly clear that more and more students were using the Internet as a tool to get the information on the New Zealand Community Trust Chamber Music Contest. This year, CMNZ hopes to encourage even more students to get involved by making it easier to enter online at www.chambermusic.co.nz/music-contest.

Recent changes to CMNZ's website allow contestants to partially complete their entry and update it with further details at a later date. Another development enables entrants to complete multiple entries but make a single payment (rather than many single transactions). An automated response system has been implemented to acknowledge entries and an electronic receipt will also be sent to users who pay online. Hard copy PDF entry forms can also be downloaded from the website if information is needed quickly.

New Zealand Community Trust CEO Mike Knell says the Trust is delighted to support a contest that motivates and encourages aspiring young musicians. "NZCT is committed to ensuring funds are distributed back into the communities in which they were raised. Events that benefit and inspire so many musicians across the country - such as the New Zealand Community Trust Chamber Music Contest - are a perfect match for our charity gaming programme".

Chamber Music New Zealand acknowledges major funding from Creative New Zealand, New Zealand Community Trust and the James Wallace Arts Trust.

ENDS

About the contest

Chamber Music New Zealand presents local and international chamber music ensembles throughout New Zealand. Its annual Celebrity Season showcases premier international artists, while the Associate Societies programme focuses on New Zealand performers. The New Zealand Community Trust Chamber Music Contest, which celebrated its 40th anniversary last year, fosters the musical stars of the future.

There are two sections in the contest. The Instrumental Performance Section encourages secondary school students to form a group of 3-8 players and perform together. The Original Composition Section requires students to compose a work of their own, which must also be performed at the District Contests. In June, 14 District Contests will be held nationwide. Adjudicators will then select up to eight groups to compete at the National Final in Wellington on Saturday 5 August. Entries for the 2006 contest close on Friday 31 March.

The contest was established by CMNZ Chairman Arthur Hilton to encourage young musicians across New Zealand, regardless of standard or experience, to perform together and strive towards excellence. It was envisaged that all participants would be able to compete in a positive environment that asked the very best of them.

The New Zealand Community Trust Chamber Music Contest has become a rite of passage for many of the country's top classical musicians with both past winners and participants establishing careers in live performance and composition. Since its inception in 1965, around 40,000 New Zealanders have participated in the contest.

The names of participants involved over the years reads like a roll call of New Zealand's most successful musicians. Past competitors are now members of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, New Zealand String Quartet, New Zealand Trio and include composers Anthony Ritchie and Dan Poynton.

The winner of the Original Composition Section receives the SOUNZ prize of $500 and has their piece performed at the National Final alongside competing groups. Past winners of this section have gone on to become accomplished composers, enjoying success locally and internationally, including top New Zealand concert pianists Michael Houstoun and John Chen, and former NZSO Concertmaster Wilma Smith.

In 2004, CMNZ welcomed the New Zealand Community Trust on board as the new funder of the contest. The New Zealand Community Trust is a non-profit organisation established in 1998. The Trust distributes an excess of $40 million each year to cultural, sporting, educational, health and community groups throughout New Zealand.


Visit http://www.chambermusic.co.nz/music-contest

The CMNZ website is designed by Springload: http://www.springload.co.nz

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