Southern Strings

Friday 6 August 2010, 10:17AM
By Christchurch Symphony Orchestra


Residents of the South are in for a treat this month when players from the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra take to the road. A string quartet from the CSO is scheduled to perform in Gore from 9th August as part of the orchestra’s Outreach & Education programme.

The Outreach & Education programme is a music education and community based initiative designed to take classical music to the community. The CSO programme tours a variety of string and wind groups to locations throughout the South Island every year. Through the support of Solid Energy, primary, intermediate and secondary schools and the general community of Gore will have the opportunity to experience live professional music performed in their hometown. The programme aims to educate and entertain school children and community groups and to introduce them to the world of classical music through interaction with professional musicians, their instruments and a wide range of music.

“Solid Energy invests in initiatives which directly benefit our local communities and the CSO’s Outreach & Education programme is a winning partnership” said Vicki Blyth, Communications Director for Solid Energy. “We enjoy being able to bring the CSO to the South.

In addition to performing, the quartet will spend five days working in schools participating in demonstrations and coaching both students and local instrumental teachers. Visits to schools include a lively fun and interactive performance in which the students learn how each instrument produces its sound and hear a varied programme of music.

The tour will also feature a public concert at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Hall on Wednesday 11th August at 7pm.

For the players involved performing outside the concert hall is a unique opportunity. "Outreach gives us the opportunity to interact with the public and share our passion for music. I've played on a steam train and even in an empty fish pond so sharing music where people are is a fantastic experience," says Cathy Irons, CSO first violinist. "Why limit music to the concert stage when it can be enjoyed by all anywhere? I have also done an arrangement of Green Days' "Twenty-one Guns" especially for the tour so we can relate to the younger age group and show how relevant classical music is today."

Getting into the community is a major part of the CSO’s Outreach and Education programme. No doubt the opportunity to share in live classical music will be as rewarding for the community as it is for the players themselves.