Musicians focus on better playing

Last updated 12:00 25/05/2012

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Playing in a youth orchestra is one of the best ways to quickly improve your musical skills, according to two Manawatu Youth Orchestra members Stephanie Gadd and Michael Barker.

Stephanie, 15, began playing clarinet in year 6, had a break for a couple of years at intermediate school, and picked it up seriously in year 9 when she went to Freyberg High School. She joined the youth orchestra not long after, and found that her playing performance skyrocketed.

"It's really improved. The first year, it was a struggle to keep up and play all the notes. Now it's natural to be there in the piece."

She and double bassist Michael, 16, also at Freyberg, will be part of the youth orchestra's concert tomorrow. This is the first for new conductor Isaac Henderson who has promised an exciting performance.

"Performing exciting music in youth orchestras is good for the audience, but it also encourages the orchestra members to keep performing.

"Dances and overtures are my favourite form of classical, and so I am hoping others will enjoy them too," Henderson says.

The programme includes Tchaikovsky's Waltz of the Flowers, the Nutcracker Suite, and The Barber of Seville.

Michael says he is really looking forward to The Barber of Seville.

"The overture's got some great string work for double bass. It'd be my favourite piece in this concert."

Stephanie's keen on music that comes at the end of Scottish Dances; there's a part where just the woodwinds play, and people will be able to hear what the section can do, she said.

The concert starts 7.30pm tomorrow at Palmerston North Boys' High School's Speirs Centre. Tickets at the door.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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