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Musical excellence enhanced in Capital


Victorua and Massey Universities
Joint Media Release

September 5, 2003

Musical excellence enhanced in Capital

Joint statement by Massey University Vice-Chancellor Professor Judith Kinnear and Victoria University of Wellington Vice-Chancellor Professor Stuart McCutcheon.

The nation’s top music scholars will soon be studying in a new elite School of Music, combining the strengths of Massey University and Victoria University of Wellington.

The councils of the two universities have now approved the joint initiative which will be in operation for the 2004 academic year.

The vice-chancellors of the two universities, Professors Judith Kinnear and Stuart McCutcheon, say the decision to go ahead with the joint school represents an important new collaboration between the two institutions.

On the benefits for students, they say combining the two schools will establish a unique centre of excellence, with undisputed national strengths and an international reputation in musical education, research, composition and performance.

New degree programmes will be developed during 2004 and the new school will look for a suitable building in the central city area. Initially the school will work from the existing dual locations, but timetables will be adjusted to ensure co-ordination of key courses.

Some streamlining of courses will occur and existing areas of specialisation - such as Massey’s emphasis on jazz, and Victoria’s on composition – would create further benefits for students.

The Vice-Chancellors say the pooling of student talent will also lead to the development of outstanding orchestras and musical groups, increasing the capacity for professional quality productions. The new joint school will attract excellent overseas and local students and will continue the tradition of both universities in contributing to the cultural life of the capital.

Closer relationships will be built with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the Wellington Sinfonia and students can expect to take part in outstanding orchestras and musical groups. Students can also expect involvement in large-scale production for occasions such as the New Zealand Festival of the Arts.

Programmes of particular interest to Mâori and Pacific students will also be a feature of the new Joint School of Music.

ENDS

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