Music school magic!

BOPMusicSchool I am just back from working with the concert band at another superb Bay of Plenty Music School. What a great weekend - there is something so great about gathering at the beginning of a weekend, meeting new people, working hard and presenting a wonderful concert together on Sunday before returning for another week of the real world.

I had a really fantastic group this year including a solid contingent from Auckland University which gave great depth to our woodwinds in particular. We ditched the easier pieces and launched into the challenging repertoire and with fine results - our set at the concert was so tight and I think the most technically advanced and polished performance since I've been conducting the group.

Our concert set was:

  • Stalter – Ignition
  • Shostakovich – Folk Dances
  • Berlin – Alexander’s Ragtime Band
  • Kahelin – Clown Act

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There was also some wonderful results in the orchestra (David Adlam) and choir (Peter Watts), as well as some impressive combined performances - which I was most happy to hand the baton on for this year and feature only in the percussion section!

The combined works were:

  • Mendelssohn - Hebrides Overture
  • Mozart - Requiem (excerpts)
  • Copland - Hoedown
  • Brahms - Symphony No.3

Congrats to the Taupo organising committee for a very fine job, thanks to all the players for your efforts and I hope to see you all again next year!

Shorts and Suites - a concert of NZ vocal music

Shorts and SuitesLast week I finished my new work for soprano and piano, Papatūānuku - based on a stunning NZ poem by John Waterman. I am hugely blessed to have written it for Elizabeth Mandeno (soprano) and David Kelly (piano). Here are the details...

The Committee would like to invite you to our final concert for the year: 'Shorts and Suites'. This will be an all vocal concert featuring new and recent song cycles (with piano accompaniment) by Auckland composers, plus a selection of vocal microscores. It will take place on Friday 22 November at 7.30pm, and the venue will be the Maclaurin Chapel on Princes St (next door to the ClockTower). With funding from Auckland Council Arts Alive, we have been able to engage some very fine local performers for this concert.

THE WORKS Helen Bowater, A Rough Sea for the Crossing, Claire Scholes (mezzo) Anthony Young, Night swimming, Te Oti Rakena (baritone) David Hamilton, No Other Heaven, Steven Rapana (tenor) Ryan Youens, Papatūānuku, Elizabeth Mandeno (soprano)

Plus a selection of vocal microscores (1 minute works), recently commissioned by The Committee in a 'call for scores'.

THE PERFORMERS Elizabeth Mandeno - soprano Claire Scholes - mezzo Steven Rapana - tenor Te Oti Rakena - baritone David Kelly - piano

THE DETAILS Shorts & Suites Maclaurin Chapel, University of Auckland, 18 Princes St Friday 22 November 2013 at 7.30pm Tickets: $17/$10 on the door only

Listen to Anthony Young from The Committee talk about the concert on Upbeat:

Please invite your friends and and family - the more the merrier!

Rhian Sheehan Live with Orchestra Wellington

Rhian Sheehan LIVELast year I collaborated with Rhian on several string arrangements for his latest album, Stories from Elsewhere. I am incredibly proud of these arrangements and they still give me goosebumps. Rhian has a live show with Orchestra Wellington tomorrow night and features these arrangements. The show is an amazing visual and sound experience and if you are available I'd highly recommend it!

Watch highlights from his 2011 live show here, listen to one of our arrangements, Nusquam, here or get details about the show here:

http://www.loop.co.nz/events/rhian-sheehan-live-with-orchestra-wellington/

Tweeting from the NZSO NYO

Pondering the @nzsonyo programme!I was very happy to get a twitter message from the NZSO National Youth Orchestra earlier in the week offering me free tickets to last night's concert if I would tweet from it through the night. Obviously, I jumped at the opportunity. I'm guessing they chose me as a composer - there was a new New Zealand work on the programme - and they also asked pianist Jason Bae - I'm sure to give insight on piano soloist Lara Melda.

You may be wondering, I wasn't allowed to tweet during the actual concert just before, during the interval and afterwards.

Here are some of my tweets:

Why am I telling you this? Firstly, because it's a great idea and good on the NZSO. Secondly, I want to go to more concerts so go on, give me some free tickets and I'll tweet live.

Super excited. @nzsonyo here we go!

I survived 2012. This is how it was!

The New Year means it's time to have a look back over the past year and see, through my blog posts, what has taken shape and what I have to say for myself! January started with a very well deserved "Shout-out to VaultPress" after they marvellously got my website back up and running after a meltdown!

3100508059_5c99a0f9e1_zFebruary is the start of the school term and I posted about the preparation work I do for schools.

My typing fingers must have been tired at the end of March - it started with two popular posts, iOS apps for music professionals and Digital music stands vs iPads, following on from, again, two very popular posts I did in 2010.

2012-05-15 APO Open Days 236

Following that were four posts on current projects - "Working on workshops" looked at some teaching workshops I was involved with, "An opportunity to make the floor rumble" talked about my upcoming new work for the Auckland Philharmonia and the Auckland Town Hall Organ. I conducted at the Bay Of Plenty Music School once again and my post, "Bay Of Plenty music school hit Rotorua!", pre-empted my visit there, and finally "Opening up an orchestra" reviewed the first two Auckland Philharmonia Open Days were I ran the "meet the composer" area.

In April I reviewed my time at the Bay Of Plenty Music School in "Making music in Rotorua" and posted photos in "Checking out the pipes" after an inspiring tour of the Auckland Town Hall Organ.

My Confession image May is music month and "A month of New Zealand music" checked out the events me or my music was involved with. It's also 48 Hour Film Festival time and our film this year was "My Confession…".

In June I talked about my involvement with Auckland Symphony's "Night Of The Proms" concerts in "Promenading in the colony" and I posted "Questions for a composer" after answering questions for a student's school assignment.

In July I posted my one word review of each piece from the "Nelson Composers Workshop 2012" where I was very happy to go this year as a mentor.

APO "Tiraki" workshopAugust is KBB Music Festival time and I also posted on the ongoing saga regarding the future of Sibelius in "What the heck is happening with Sibelius!". My piece, Tiraki, started to take shape after another workshop with the Auckland Philharmonia.

September was rather dormant on the blog front but in October I reviewed “What Lurks Among Saints” after being invited by a student I met earlier in the year.

The-Hobbit1In November I had the privilege of "Playing my role in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey", and I posted about the experience.

December was busy with a number of projects. In "Little pieces of Christmas" I talked about a bunch of Christmas arrangements I did for the Auckland Philharmonia and Auckland Symphony orchestras. I also talked about a film I was involved with, called "Sounds Perfect" and its selection into the Tropfest final in “Sounds Perfect” to be in a final". I then prepared music for some very fine New Zealand singers and talked about it in "Preparing for some legends!".

christmas-musicFinally, no year is complete without a "Merry Christmas" post thanking you for all of your support during the year and the compliments of the season.

Another year ticked off the list, another year doing my absolute dream job - let's get ready for an even better 2013!

Little pieces of Christmas

Christmas is looming and I have been busy doing new orchestral arrangements for two of the many Christmas concerts that will fill December. christmas-musicLast Saturday the Auckland Philharmonia had their first APO 4 Kids Christmas concert at the Auckland Town Hall which was a great success. It was hosted by Kevin Keys, featured Tim Beveridge and was conducted by David Kay. They performed my arrangements of:

  • All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth - Don Gardner
  • Joy To The World - George Frideric Handel
  • Lullaby for Christmas Eve - Pete King
  • Snoopy's Christmas - George David Weiss, Luigi Creatore and Hugo Peretti
  • The Little Drummer Boy - Henry Onorati, Katherine K. Davis and Harry Simeone
  • When You Wish Upon A Star - Ned Washington

This coming Friday (7th December) the Auckland Symphony give their impressive annual Christmas Celebration, again at the Auckland Town Hall, and featuring the mighty choir from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. They will be performing my arrangements of:

  • Angel's Carol - John Rutter
  • Who Would Imagine A King - Mervyn Warren & Hallerin Hilton Hill with words for introduction by Ivoga Green & Fredda Sorensen, arranged by Niu Syddall (orchestration only)
  • Snoopy's Christmas - George David Weiss, Luigi Creatore and Hugo Peretti

Get festive, throw on some tinsel and come along and enjoy a wonderful evening.