Christchurch school orchestra to play at Westminster Abbey

04:04, Feb 21 2011
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Pupils from Linwood College School Orchestra practising. They have been invited to play at Westminster Abbey as part of this years ANZAC Day commemorations. Pictured: Sam Lane 14 (L) and Jack Orr 16, on double bass.

A Christchurch high school orchestra will play at the Westminster Abbey Anzac Day commemoration service this year.

Sixty-five students from Linwood College are travelling to Europe and the United Kingdom in April and will play at various events in Rome, Florence, Venice, Salzburg, Paris, Dorset and at the commemoration service in London on April 25.

The Linwood College Orchestra was invited  to play in Christchurch's sister city in Dorset a few years ago by visiting council members who heard the students  perform at the Christchurch Town Hall.

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Linwood College School Orchestra practising. They have been invited to play at Westminster Abbey as part of this years ANZAC Commemorations. Pictured: Serena Patel aged 14.

Once the tour was finalised the High Commission in London requested recordings of the orchestra and invited it to play in the opening hour of the Westminster Abbey Anzac Day commemoration service.

Linwood College head boy Joe Davies, who has played the tuba in the orchestra since year nine, said this was a "huge opportunity" and many of the travelling students had never been overseas before.

The head of the music department at Linwood College and the orchestra's conductor for the past 30 years, Tony Ryan, said the students in the orchestra were "very committed".

"It is a very committed school with a lot of very committed students and we have a very supportive community, so I think this shows people what we are capable of. We are glad of the opportunity to show what we can do and take our music out there," he said.

The college has managed to fundraise $150,000 for the trip but needs another $50,000 before leaving on April 9.

A Gala Concert in the Isaac Theatre Royal on March 25 will be the group's final fundraiser and performance before they depart.

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