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Young Musicians Programme students and famous musicians

NZSM Young Musicians Programme students work with famous musicians

Well-known musicians Gareth Farr and Gillian Ansell are two of the special guest teachers that will be part of the Open Day for the NZSM’s Young Musicians Programme (YMP) which runs this Saturday, 24 May from 10am – 5pm at the Mt Cook NZSM Campus.

The YMP Open Day is an opportunity for prospective students and interested families and teachers to come and observe YMP classes in action. In many cases, prospective students may be able to participate in YMP classes that day. Some YMP students will also be available to take visitors around the classes and answer questions.

New Zealand composer Gareth Farr is an alumnus of Victoria University and has been involved with teaching and research for composition and Balinese gamelan at the School. At the Open Day, Gareth will be attending the rehearsal between 2-3pm of YMP chamber music students performing his piece Dua Lagu, which was commissioned by former YMP piano class tutor Judith Clark, who passed away in February.

Gillian Ansell is an Associate Professor at NZSM, a member of IRMTNZ and violist with the New Zealand String Quartet, the NZSM’s quartet in residence. At this Open Day, she will be coaching two senior chamber music groups during the YMP string classes: 1 -3pm and 3 – 5pm – groups that are rehearsing for the NZCT chamber music contest in early June.

YMP Coordinator Shannon Digby explains “We are very lucky that Gillian and Gareth could make space in their busy schedules for us this YMP Open Day. Thanks to generous sponsorship, the YMP has incredibly low fees, scholarship options AND students get access to amazing tutors as well as to NZSM resources, masterclasses from NZSM staff and student rates (usually free) to NZSM concerts and masterclasses given by national and international visiting artists.”

The NZSM Young Musicians Programme (YMP) is part of the School’s commitment to share its internationally acclaimed staff, its music education values, and its high quality facilities and resources with pre-tertiary students.

“We have a lot of fun here and it is really inspiring to see how the students are developing personally, as well as developing their musical skills,” Ms Digby continues. “We still have some spaces in YMP classes to fill in 2014. Whether students have heard of us for the first time or not, we are welcoming enquiries for 2014 and 2015 now.”

The YMP currently still has a limited amount of spaces for:
• bass players (jazz 10am – 2pm on Saturdays)
• singers (jazz with Tessa Quayle and singing in front of a band 10am – 2pm or classical with Linden Loader noon – 2pm)
• string players (junior string class 1 – 2pm or senior string class 1 – 3pm with NZSO and Orchestra Wellington players Simeon Broom, Blythe Press and Margaret Guldborg, chamber music with similar tutors)
• junior pianists (8 – 12 years old, grade III – V level for junior piano class with Catherine McKay time TBA beginning on July 26)
• woodwind players (woodwind class 2 – 3pm with Mary Scott)
• guitarists (YMP large guitar ensemble 3 – 5pm begins on July 26 with Owen Moriarty)
• those who could do with help with theory and aural skills (KAT classes currently at 1pm or 2pm with Anton Killin)

Most YMP students are aged between 8 – 19 years old. They can already play their instruments, sing or compose with some confidence for their age. Students join YMP to extend themselves; to broaden and enrich the experience they are already getting from their private teachers and school music.

Guest tutors to the YMP in the last year include: Reuben Bradley, Mark Donlon, John Psathas, Jian Liu, Jane Curry, Inbal Meggido, Martin Riseley, Rodger Fox, Douglas Mews, John Rae, Geoffrey Coker, Roger Wilson, Margaret Medlyn, Rachel Thompson, Richard Greager, Julie Coulson and Robert Oliver.

“If you are unable to get to this YMP Open Day, there are further opportunities to see what we do at our free mid-year or end-of-year concerts in June or September,” says Ms Digby. “These are in calendars on our website and are advertised in the DawnChorus e-newsletter. Alternatively you could contact me to find another time to visit.”

For more information contact


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