Young musicians showcase skills
The Manawatu Strings features young musicians at the top of their craft; hand-picked by teacher and performer Pamela Dowsett, they will be showcasing their abilities at a concert next week.
Formed last year and boosted by a Creative New Zealand grant from Palmerston North City Council, the group will be part of their second Te Manawa Concert Series.
Dowsett said the idea behind the formation of the group was to bring advanced young string players together.
"It is an opportunity for them to aim for a professional standard. This extends their musical experience."
The group is made up of 14 musicians ranging in age from 12 to 16 and Dowsett said that most learnt with her as advanced students.
"All the students in the group are of a grade seven level and upwards. The principal players (Stephanie Huang and YiGe Cao) both have diplomas, as does co-leader Maize Cao. They all play at a high level and some will go on into musical careers."
The group will be playing some popular pieces and Dowsett describes the programme as a chamber music experience.
"The difference between an orchestra and chamber music such as this is that the players respond to each other. It will be a colourful and appealing programme."
The group doesn't get a lot of time to rehearse together because of the members' school and other musical commitments, with about 20 hours of group practice going into the performance. But Dowsett said the students did a lot of work in their own time.
"These are top level students who are very motivated and committed. They prepare their parts themselves and we come together for the finishing touches."
The Manawatu Strings will play as part of the Te Manawa Concert Series on August 24.