Leithfield School's orchestral ensemble video

JONATHAN LEASK/Fairfax NZ

Video of Room 2 practicing their performance piece.

Leithfield School became the Leithfield Orchestra this week.

Christchurch Symphony Orchestra (CSO) members Jenny Johnson, Cathy Irons and Mark La Roche spent two days teaching each class to be a different section of an orchestra before bringing them all together on Friday.

The CSO players collaborated with the students over several sessions to prepare the performance pieces for their end of term production.

Leithfield School pupils "jumped" at the chance to play with an orchestra.
JONATHAN LEASK/FAIRFAX NZ

Leithfield School pupils "jumped" at the chance to play with an orchestra.

"We jumped at the opportunity to work with such passionate and talented performers," Leithfield School principal Sharon Marsh said.

"The CSO staff had such enthusiasm; the kids really feed off that and they really connect with what they are being taught."

The three-day residency is part of the orchestra's widely acclaimed Karawhiua ! Let's Play! programme. The programme aims to introduce and interest children in live orchestral music by working with them on different aspects of music -  including composition, instrument making and live performance.

Leithfield School became the Leithfield Orchestra this week.
JONATHAN LEASK/FAIRFAX NZ

Leithfield School became the Leithfield Orchestra this week.

"We had limited mucic in the school. Some general classroom music programmes and a teacher that comes in to provide individual, private lessons.

"This was a unique opportunity for our students to have access to specialist music teachers."

The CSO members provided a mixture of traditional and non-traditional instruments.

As well as ukulele, xylophones  and bongo drums, there was a specially crafted chair stack, tin cans and homemade shakers.

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Each class learned an individual piece of music with a set of instruments as well as piece that contributed to a whole-school item 

Friday's live performance was open to the young performer friends and family in the Leithfield community, with a big turnout to see the maiden Leithfield orchestra performance.

The CSO said the award-winning Community Engagement programme was "at the heart of our organisation and we are incredibly proud of it".

In 2014, the CSO said the programme brought the wonder of live instrumental music to 15,600 people in over 100 different projects throughout the South Island. 

 - Stuff

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