US concert band's visit a big opportunity for local music students

Dr Flemming Kristensen, director of music and performing arts at Lindisfarne College, Hastings, with some of the ...
SIMON HENDERY/ FAIRFAX NZ

Dr Flemming Kristensen, director of music and performing arts at Lindisfarne College, Hastings, with some of the school's students who will be performing alongside the University of Notre Dame Concert Band, from Indiana, USA, during the band's tour of New Zealand.

A friendship formed 24 years ago is continuing to benefit budding young musicians in Hastings.

Lindisfarne College's then-music director, John Snowling, was at a band festival in Hawaii in 1993 when he first met Kenneth Dye, director of bands at Indiana's University of Notre Dame.

Their subsequent friendship has led to an enduring relationship between the two institutions which will spark up again on   May 28 when more than 40 Notre Dame Concert Band members share the stage in Hastings with a combined Lindisfarne and Hastings Girls' High School concert symphonic band.

More than 40 members of the University of Notre Dame Concert Band will be in New Zealand this month as part of an ...
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More than 40 members of the University of Notre Dame Concert Band will be in New Zealand this month as part of an international tour.

Lindisfarne's director of music and performing arts, Flemming Kristensen, said the school had a strong band culture and the opportunity for students to play with a renowned university band was significant.

"We're going to be playing a challenging repertoire – that's the huge advantage," he said.

"It's a chance for the students to be exposed to an international standard and a different culture of music-making."

The University of Notre Dame, a Catholic university located in the city of South Bend, Indiana, was founded in 1842.

The Notre Dame Band dates back to 1845 and each year more than 500 students participate in concert bands, chamber ensembles, jazz bands and athletic bands.

More than 300 band members regularly perform at Notre Dame's home American football games, although only 43 musicians are travelling to New Zealand.

Their visit is part of an international tour that includes performances in Auckland, Gisborne and Sydney. 

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Dye, who remains the university's director of music, is a prolific music producer who served as composer and arranger for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Band.

The Notre Dame band is also performing a concert for Hawke's Bay intermediate students on Monday.

Sunday's concert is open to the public. Money raised would be put towards the cost of Lindisfarne students attending the national band festival in Whangarei in August.

*The concert begins at 4pm at the Lowe Family Performing Arts Theatre, Lindisfarne College, 600 Pakowhai Rd, Hastings. Door sales only. Adults $10, students $5 and families $25.

 - Stuff

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