Like two consecutive previous Januaries, just before the new school year begins, I participated in the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra Orchestral Summer School*. I simply adore this each year; for once the music is real – not arrangements like we play at school – and it’s beautiful. Four days of intensive rehearsal lead up to the Finale Concert, held in the gorgeous grounds of St Cuthbert’s College, Auckland. Each year we perform a concerto, such as the Forth Movement of the Elgar Cello Concerto in E minor (which we played in 2016), with a young soloist as well as the winning piece of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra’s Rising Star Young Composer competition. But I think that the most amazing thing about the summer school is how members of the APO come to support the sections and play. To have the professional musicians you see on stage (for I attend their concerts often) right there to lead and mentor you for the week is an amazing experience.
I also find that the music extends me and gives a great kick-start for the year. This time, as with the 2016 summer school, I sat up in the front with one of the APO mentors. I even got a chance to lead the cello section in one tutti rehearsal! I intend to apply for a place in it next year as well, it’s such fun to see how learning the music becomes less and less of a struggle each year!
– Phoebe P