Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Sistema Aotearoa Concert Closes the Year in Style

Sistema Aotearoa Concert Closes the Year in Style

The children of Sistema Aotearoa today celebrate the end of their second year in style, with a gala concert in front of friends, family and dignitaries.

Drawn from seven Otara primary schools, the 180 pupils will play to a full TelstraClear Pacific Events Centre. Split into two groups – the 2011 intake and those who joined Sistema Aotearoa this year – they will honour the international spirit of the Sistema movement and play music from around the world including ‘The Open String Song’ (Venezuela), ‘Mission Mars (Scotland) and Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’ (Germany).

The concert is the culmination of many hours’ practice and rehearsal by the children and the Sistema Aotearoa tutor team, led by Programme Director Dr Joe Harrop.

It has been a landmark year for all concerned. Highlights include an all-star fundraising concert at the Auckland residence of Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, the Governor-General of New Zealand; regular public performances in front of large audiences at Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra events; and a special recital for Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, during November’s royal visit.

Sistema Aotearoa’s value to the children and the wider Otara community was also acknowledged in September when the Glenn Family Foundation pledged significant financial support for the next four years.

The positive effects of Sistema Aotearoa are more than anecdotal. An independent evaluation released today by AUT University’s Institute of Public Policy offers early evidence that Sistema Aotearoa may be contributing to a range of outcomes that are not only musical but also educational, social and developmental.

“It’s been incredible to see how Sistema Aotearoa has blossomed this year,” says Barbara Glaser, Chief Executive of Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, which leads the Sistema Aotearoa initiative with pilot funding from the Ministry for Culture & Heritage. “Two years ago many of the children had never seen a violin and now they’ve played to royalty. That success is testament to the work of Joe Harrop and his assistants, and of course the efforts of the children. Most of all it’s a sign that the community recognises the value of the programme, which is critical in an initiative like this one.

“The research from AUT University’s Institute of Public Policy is excellent news and confirms what we’ve always known to be true: that music enriches lives.”

About Sistema Aotearoa:
Launched in April 2011, Sistema Aotearoa is a music education and social intervention initiative led by Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, with funding for a two-year trial programme coming from the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Sistema Aotearoa is based at Otara Music Arts Centre (OMAC) in Otara town centre.

The first Sistema programme was founded in Venezuela in the mid-1970s. More than 400,000 children learn an orchestral instrument, and the programme is credited with improving the lives and lifting the aspirations of participants and their families, reducing crime, increasing school attendance rates and preventing anti-social behaviour.

In New Zealand, initial indications suggested that the first Sistema intake would comprise 50 students; however, 80 children turned up on the first day. Sistema Aotearoa now has more than 180 children enrolled and attending regular classes in music instrument instruction.

The students are drawn from seven primary schools, all within walking distance of OMAC. This is part of the Sistema philosophy, whereby there should be no cost – and therefore no economic barriers – to musical participation. Similarly, instruments are provided free of charge, as is the tuition, which is supplied by professional musicians and music teachers.

As well as the after-school classes and school holiday immersion courses attended by the core students, tutors from Sistema Aotearoa travel to the seven schools during class time to give lessons in general musicianship, meaning that the programme has now exposed 650 children in the Otara area to the joys of music making.


Photo credits Adrain Malloch


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Review - A Girl Named Mo

Moana Ete brought her three-piece band A Girl Named Mo to Wellington's intimate and iconic Bats Theatre last week for a five-night residency. Each show was recorded and filmed live for the release of her debut album 'Platonic/Romantic' on Loop records later this year. More>>

For The Birds: Who Will Be Crowned Bird Of The Year?

The competition involves well-known and enthusiastic New Zealanders acting as ‘campaign managers’ for their favourite birds with many going to great lengths to get New Zealanders to vote for their chosen bird... More>>


  • Image Out-Link - Giselle Clarkson on Twitter
  • Gordon Campbell: On Bob Dylan's Nobel (And The Surplus)

    So Bob Dylan has just won the Nobel Prize for… Literature? Wow. I’d be just as happy if he’d won for his work on particle physics (“One Grain of Sand”, “Simple Twist of Fate”) or got the Economics prize for his work on the theory of contracting (“Don’t Think Twice Its Alright”) ... More>>


    Scoop Review Of Books: Whose Goat Was That?

    Mysterious Mysteries of Aro Valley is a sharp, satirical and sometimes downright scary romp through and around that valley in ways that made me question the realities of the places I thought I knew so well. More>>


    NZ On Air TV Funding: More Comedy Comes Out Of The Shadows

    Paranormal Event Response Unit is a series conceived by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi as a TV spin-off from their highly acclaimed feature film What We Do In The Shadows. More>>


    Mars News: Winners Announced For The 2016 Apra Silver Scroll Awards

    Wellington singer-songwriter and internationally acclaimed musician Thomas Oliver has won the 2016 APRA Silver Scroll Award with his captivating love song ‘If I Move To Mars’. More>>


    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news