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New Zealand School of Music launches

Joint Media Release

September 30, 2004

New Zealand School of Music launches

Joint statement by Massey University Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Ken Heskin and Victoria University of Wellington Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor David Mackay.

The New Zealand School of Music, combining the strengths of Massey University and Victoria University of Wellington, is to be launched tomorrow (1 October) at a celebration concert designed to showcase the world-class talents of staff and students, before an invited audience.

The Concert, taking place at Soundings Theatre, Te Papa, includes special guest artists. The programme will also be presented as a free public concert at 12 noon tomorrow (1 October) in Soundings Theatre, Te Papa.

“This mix of genres is a unique combination. We will have a selection of old and new works including Handel, Psathas and Ravel, showcasing voice and orchestra and conducted by New Zealand Symphony Orchestra music director James Judd before we jazz things up with the Big Band conducted by Rodger Fox and Kenneth Young while Bill Cunliffe brings it all together with the orchestra and band,” said Professor Mackay.

A feature of the launch will also include the Massey and Victoria Gamelan orchestras to greet guests as they arrive, he said.

The two universities entered into the collaboration to create the New Zealand School of Music to benefit students. “We have established a unique centre of excellence, with undisputed national strengths and an international reputation in musical education, research, composition and performance,” said Professor Heskin.

“This year we have focused on getting approval to jointly award four music programmes and the search for a suitable home for the School in the central city area. We are delighted that the Wellington public have supported the proposal to enter into a partnership with the Wellington City Council to build the School’s new home on the former Circa theatre site at Ilott Green.” From 1 January 2005 the school will work from the existing dual locations, but students will be encouraged to include courses from both Massey and Victoria in their programmes and to take part in joint concerts and other activities.

The two universities will now apply to the Government's Partnerships for Excellence Fund for financial support to fund the new building and will undertake a major fundraising campaign to build a 600-seat auditorium suitable for a wide range of music performances.

MEDIA ARE INVITED TO ATTEND THE CONCERT AND LAUNCH Soundings Theatre, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Cable Street. Friday 1 October; RSVP jude.urlich@vuw.ac.nz; ph 04 463 5539 7.30pm Official Launch and Powhiri; 8.00pm Concert; 9.30pm Reception.

ENDS

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