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Orchestra Wins International Award - for Rap Music

Orchestra Wins International Award - for Rap Music

An innovative programme that melds classical music with hip-hop has been recognised with an international award.

Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra’s (APO) Remix the Orchestra, which combines members of the APO and professional hip-hop mentors with talented young urban musicians and at-risk youth, is one of only three organisations in the world to receive the 2013 International Music Council (IMC) Musical Rights Award. IMC is an NGO in official partnership with UNESCO.

Since 2008, Remix the Orchestra has given dozens of young people an outlet for their creative talents, while at the same time providing a context for them to develop valuable life skills such as the ability to work with others, an appreciation of self-worth, the reward of taking a project through to completion and a better understanding of their own potential.

The results are tangible. Annual workshops have resulted in several CDs, many participants have performed in public with members of the APO, while three particularly talented graduates have received Remix scholarships to professionally record and release songs and videos. Another participant has graduated from university with a Bachelor of Music and has produced her own single and video, while yet another is currently finishing a music PhD.

In 2012 Remix the Orchestra celebrated its fifth birthday with a concert in front of 1000 people at Auckland Town Hall, featuring the full APO and participants drawn from Remix’s rich history.

The Remix programme’s music director is classically trained musician Matthew Faiumu Salapu, aka hip-hop producer Anonymouz. Other professional hip-hop musicians to have taken part in Remix include David Dallas, Dei Hamo, King Kapisi, Ermehn, Tyree, Frisko and DJCXL.

Remix was nominated for the award by SOUNZ, Centre for New Zealand Music.

“In the 21st century orchestras must reach beyond the concert stage to bring people together, whether they are horn players or hip-hop fans,” says Barbara Glaser, Chief Executive of Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. “We are honoured to receive this award, because it recognises what all Remix the Orchestra participants share: a love of music and a belief in its power to change lives.”

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