DYO 2015 – New Members Are Welcome!

The Dunedin Youth Orchestra has finished its programmes for 2014 and will return in 2015, featuring concerts conducted by Anthony Ritchie and David Burchell in May and September. Both concerts will feature a winner of the 2014 Young Musician’s Awards, Olive Butler and Matthew Scadden, and in addition, the winner of the 2015 Audrey Reid Composition Prize will also have their piece premiered in the September concert. (Entries for this competition are open until April, so get working on your compositions over the summer!)

We are now accepting registrations for interested (and returning) musicians – simply visit www.dyo.org.nz/register and fill in the online form. As per our auditions policy, entrance is by audition, which will be held in February 2015. Auditions will include a number of given extracts and sight-reading; you will not be asked to perform your own music. Applicants are suggested to be of approximately Grade 6 level and will receive further information about auditions after registering.

Thank you all for your support of the youth orchestra this year. We look forward to receiving many more registrations for next year’s orchestra and wish you all a safe and happy holiday!


DYO prepares the Force of Destiny

Peter Programme Photo

Peter Adams, conductor

Following from the success of our first semester concert “Dreams and Nightmares”, Dunedin Youth Orchestra are now preparing their second concert programme for 2014: a programme that includes a world premiere and a major symphony.

Conducted by Peter Adams, the orchestra is working towards its concert “The Force of Destiny”, to be held in Knox Church, 25 September 2014, at 7:30pm.

Peter has selected a challenging programme that plays with ideas of fate and destiny. Headlining the concert is Giuseppe Verdi’s The Force of Destiny Overture. This will be followed by Frederick Delius’s “A Walk to the Paradise Garden” from the opera A Village Romeo and Juliet.

Natasha Kumar, DYO principal clarinet and Young Musicians Award winner (2013) will perform solo accompanied by the orchestra; she will be playing the first two movements of the Stanford Clarinet Concerto.

We will also be premiering a new piece by University of Otago composition student Sam van Betuw. Sam’s composition, The Soprano Sorceress, was the 2014 winner of the Audrey Reid composition prize.

Finally, DYO will be tackling a major symphony: Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. This well-known symphony is technically challenging, but we are looking forward to bringing this work to the Dunedin public in a couple of months.

An update: three weeks to the concert

DYO Poster 2014 May SmallToday, the Dunedin Youth Orchestra resumes rehearsing for our upcoming concert after a couple of weeks off for Easter and Anzac Day. We are working hard towards our next concert, which will take place in just three weeks: our concert is 7:30pm, Saturday 24 May, at Knox Church.

Our preparations for this concert began back in February, when we started assembling our orchestra for the year. We are proud to boast the largest orchestra in recent years. Even sections that have been hard to fill–such as violas, cellos, bassoons, and horns–are bursting at the seams. The orchestra currently has over 60 players, all aged between 13 and 25.

This semester, David Burchell is our conductor. We previously worked with David in 2012, and are again enjoying his blend of humour and professionalism in rehearsals. David has prepared a programme on the themes of “dreams and nightmares.” Pieces we will perform include incidental music to Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty and–at the grittier end of things–the fifth movement of Berlioz’s Fantastic Symphony, entitled “March to the Scaffold.”

We are also enjoying Max Wilkinson’s contribution to the programme as our featured soloist. Max has been the youth orchestra’s principal trombone since he moved to Dunedin in 2011. He was awarded one of two DYO Young Musicians’ Award scholarships in 2013 and will be performing Ferdinand David’s Concertino for Trombone and Orchestra. After rehearsing the orchestra alone for several weeks, Max joined the orchestra for the first time in our last rehearsal before Easter. It’s sounding great already and we are certainly looking forward to performing this piece in concert in a coupe of weeks.

As a final update, the Incorporated Society (which runs the orchestra) held its AGM at the end of March. Some changes were made to our committee, including the election of a new Treasurer. The full list of committee members is on our contact page.

We are looking forward to getting back into rehearsals tonight, and can’t wait to see you at our concert later in the month.

Dunedin Youth Orchestra Presents: Dreams and Nightmares

Saturday 24 May, 7:30pm
Knox Church, Dunedin

David Burchell – conductor
Max Wilkinson – trombone

SULLIVAN Overture to Ruddigore
MENDELSSOHN Incidental music to A Midsummer Night’s Dream
SAINT-SAENS Danse Macabre
HUMPERDINCK Prelude to Hansel and Gretel
TCHAIKOVSKY Suite from Sleeping Beauty
BERLIOZ “March to the Scaffold” from Symhonie Fantastique
DAVID Concertino for Trombone and Orchestra

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$15 adults / $10 concession / $5 high-school / children free

2014 audition music available now

For all of you waiting to see the audition music for the Dunedin Youth Orchestra’s 2014 auditions, it is now available to be downloaded from this webpage.

If you have arranged to audition, you should have been sent an audition time by now. If you have not yet received an audition time (but were expecting one), please email the audition convener. If you have not yet arranged to audition, but would like to, please register online.

We have not uploaded parts for every instrument: only those for which we have received registrations. If you would like to audition for an instrument not listed below, first register for an audition, and parts will be provided as soon as possible.

Please note that you will also be given sight-reading to play at your audition.

Best of luck! We look forward to seeing you at your audition.

Audition Music

All files are PDF. Sizes are approximately 500-600 MB. If you have any problems with downloading files, please email dunedinyouthorchestra[at]gmail[dot]com and we will ensure you are able to get your music.

What beckons in 2014?

Hello everybody and welcome (belatedly) to 2014.

The orchestra is getting into gear for another fantastic year. Our first semester concert will be conducted by David Burchell, who last worked with the orchestra in 2011. David, who is also the musical director of City Choir Dunedin, has planned a dream-themed programme for our first semester, with music from A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Sleeping Beauty making up part of the orchestra’s new repertoire.

Max Wilkinson, trombone and 2013 Young Musicians Award recipient, will be the featured soloist. Max’s chosen piece will be announced soon, so watch this space.

Later in the year, Peter Adams will return to the DYO podium. Peter is one of Dunedin’s best-known conductors and the orchestra always relishes working under his baton. Peter’s concert will include a solo performance by Natasha Kumar, clarinet, and the world premiere of the most recent Audrey Reid Composition prize-winning piece (to be announced in May).

However, before we can get to the concerts we have to audition for an orchestra! There are still some gaps to be filled, so if you’re interested in joining DYO this year please check out our auditions page and fill in our online registration form. If you’ve got any questions, send an email to our auditions convener. We look forward to hearing from you!

TONIGHT: Dunedin Youth Orchestra presents “Musical Portraits”

Poster by Fern Grant. Click for more information.

Poster by Fern Grant. Click for more information.

Tonight the Dunedin Youth Orchestra performs its final concert for 2013. Come along to Knox Church at 7:30pm to hear a delightful range of music from every musical era.

The concert will be conducted by Anthony Ritchie, with soloists Maple Goh (violin) and Modi Deng (harpsichord).

The evening begins with Grieg’s Norwegian Dances, before we launch into the world premiere of Bene Stewart’s award-winning composition What If?. The first half of the concert is concluded by Bach’s Harpsichord Concerto in D Minor. After we’ve cleared the harpsichord off the stage (and you’ve all taken a short intermission), Maple will perform a Beethoven Romance. We return to the modern era with Robbie Ellis’s composition General Intransigence and finally conclude the concert by playing Britten’s Soiree Musicales, in honour of his centennial this year.

In this concert we also announce the two winners of the Dunedin Youth Orchestra Young Musicians’ Award. These will also be announced on this blog on Friday. The Young Musicians’ Awards are supported this year by Long Beach Consulting, Allied Concrete, and Naylor Love Construction. We are also grateful for the support of the Otago Community Trust and Southern Victorian Charitable Trust.

Entry to our “Musical Portraits” concert is by cash door sale only; $15 adults / $10 students and seniors / $5 high school students / children free. We look forward to seeing you there. In the meantime, follow the jump to see some photos from our final rehearsal last night.
Continue Reading →

DYO members Play with the Orchestra

Merlin Callister, viola

On Saturday 14 September 2013, the Southern Sinfonia held its annual ‘Play with the Orchestra’ event. This is when players from the Southern Sinfonia invite musicians from Dunedin’s other established musical ensembles such as the Collegiate Orchestra, Community Orchestra, Otago Symphonic Band and of course the Dunedin Youth Orchestra, to play some music that the Southern Sinfonia will soon be performing.

This year we were joined once again by London based conductor Simon Over who led us through Antonín Dvořák’s Slavonic Dances as well as the first movement of his Symphony No. 6.

The afternoon began with the Slavonic Dances (which, I found out, has some nasty viola passages!). I heard sighs of relief from the players when Simon decided to take the piece slightly under tempo, so instead of its proper Presto Vivace, we took it slower — just Presto. Simon did a great job of taking sections apart, allowing us to hear other parts we might not have noticed but were quite important, before adding other instruments part by part to create a bigger texture and sound.

After a final run through of the piece we took 20 minutes to have a break and grab a cup of tea, a great chance for us to mingle with other members of different ensembles and get any pointers from our assisting Sinfonia members!

After the break we began work on the Symphony. We ran it once right the way through, before taking a few sections apart. Simon showed us areas and motifs to bring out and which parts to accentuate or lean back on; all the little things that Dvořák wrote to add colour to the composition. The sound we produced was quite fantastic and I saw many toes tapping and smiling when we struck the final chord. The other musicians who attended all said they had a really enjoyable time and learned a great deal even in such a short time.

On behalf of the DYO members who attended I’d like to say thank you the Southern Sinfonia for letting us be a part of your music making, the organiser Hannah Cone, without whom we wouldn’t know what was going on! And of course to Simon Over for taking the time to teach us inspiring orchestral players some fantastic music!

(Personal thanks to my desk partner Alison Bowcott for teaching me the secrets of page turning…)

Hear the Southern Sinfonia perform Dvořák’s Symphony No. 6, conducted by Simon Over, in  their upcoming concert “Journey to Central Europe” this Saturday 21 September at 7:30pm in the Dunedin Town Hall. For further information, visit SouthernSinfonia.org. To book tickets online, visit TicketDirect.

Harpsichord rehearsal at Marama Hall

We spent Friday the 13th at Marama Hall, one of the historic concert venues at the University of Otago, to rehearse with our harpsichord soloist Modi Deng before our upcoming concert Musical Portraits.

Marama Hall exterior

As far as I know, this beautiful, 90-year-old building is not haunted! Although the weather was very fitting of Friday the 13th last night… very dark and rainy, nothing like the picture above.

Because Modi’s chosen piece, Concerto in D Minor by Bach, is written for strings only, we didn’t have to worry about fitting the entire orchestra onto a stage that is much smaller than we are used to! It also meant that our bass trombonist/very amateur photographer was able to take some poorly timed and out-of-focus pictures of the rest of the orchestra. Click through to see the best of the bunch… Continue Reading →

DYO presents “Musical Portraits”

It’s not long now until the final Dunedin Youth Orchestra concert for the year. Please join us in Knox Church on Thursday 26 September at 7:30pm for Musical Portraits.

This concert will be conducted by Anthony Ritchie, who is associate professor of music at the University of Otago. Anthony has been one of the DYO’s preferred conductors for many years and we are pleased to have him back on the podium for the first time since 2011. Anthony is also a well-known composer and will be traveling to Japan with the Southern Sinfonia in October as they play one of his latest compositions in the Asia something something.

We are fortunate to be able to show off two of Dunedin’s rising talents at this concert as well. Maple Goh, who was appointed DYO concertmaster for 2013, will be performing a Beethoven Romance accompanied by the orchestra. Maple was one of two Dunedin Youth Orchestra Young Musicians Award recipients in September 2012.

Our other soloist is Modi Deng, who will perform Bach’s Concerto in D Minor on harpsichord. Modi is a well-known in Dunedin pianist.

In addition to these fantastic works to be performed by fantastic soloists, we will also be playing new compositions by Robbie Ellis (University of Otago Mozart Fellow 2012) and Bene Stewart (Audrey Reid Composition Prize winner 2013). Bene’s piece What If? will be premiered at this concert, and the orchestra has found it a fun–but challenging–number to rehearse.

The other works to be performed include Grieg’s Norwegian Dances and Britten’s Soiree Musicales. In this concert, we will also announce the two winners of the Young Musicians Awards for 2013. These awards are supported this year by Long Beach Consulting, Allied Concrete, and Naylor Love Construction. We are also grateful for the support of the Otago Community Trust and Southern Victorian Charitable Trust.

Entry is by cash door sale only; $15 adults / $10 students and seniors / $5 high school students / children free.

We look forward to seeing you and are grateful for your continued support. (Click the jump to see our fantastic poster for this concert.) Continue Reading →