We recently shared a guest post from a 2013 Chamber Music Contest participant. Now it is time to hear from some audience member contest noobs. Katherine Dowie from Nelson writes about her first time at the event…
On Saturday the 15th of June, Ann Nighy and I, who are creative writing students at NMIT, teamed up to attend the Chamber Music Contest. Neither of us had been to a Chamber Music Contest before, though Ann has been involved with Chamber Music, but we both love classical music. As we entered the Nelson College for Girls hall both of us had broad grins on our faces. We listened to the Waimea College Brass Ensemble warm up. Their full sound, vibrating the entire hall. We sat and watched the last minute touch ups as seats were moved to and fro into their perfect positions and as cake was placed on the judges table. The hall started to fill up with parents and grandparents whom sat nervously tapping their feet, anticipation ripe in the air. Soon the first act was up, it was Black Velvet.
The audience welcomed the 4 nelson college for girls students on stage. The suave sounds of the sax melted everybody into their seats. They were complemented on their calm, centered and quality performance by the judges which earned them the KBB music award. Next was The Gem Trio, who impressed the audience with their great stage presence. The judges praised them on their poise and charm and described their style as delicate and introspective. They took home the adjudicators award.
Then it was Caelestis’s turn, their rendition of Prokofiev’s ‘Overture On Hebrew Themes’ was magical and beautiful, their strong sound made the room come alive. The judges thought their performance was very cleverly arranged and they earned the Chamber Music award for the best group overall. Next on was En Cemble Milonga, a trio from Nelson College for Girls. They came together in a conversation of sounds that were bright and cheerful which earned them the highly commended achievement.
The trio Aqua, performed ‘Piano Trio in G Major’ by Joesph Haydn. They played with gusto and flare which also earned them the highly commended achievement. The Motueka Saxophone quartet were next with their cheerful, full sound. They were praised for their excellent quality and were also highly commended.
The final act was the Waimea College Brass Ensemble, which had previously greeted us at the door with their magnificent sound. Their performance was a world premiere of the very special commissioned piece ‘Atoms’ composed by Dwayne Bloomfield of Timaru, which earned them the award for best performance of a New Zealand work as well as being highly commended. Their piece was spectacular and full of emotion, the perfect act to wrap up the evening.
There were moments during the performances that felt as if the music had aligned with the universe. Then you remember that these students are the next generation of musicians in Nelson and you cant help but feel very proud. The night was an extraordinary showcase of fine musical talent that was a delight to experience. We look forward to next year’s contest.
Find out more about the chamber music contest at: http://www.chambermusic.co.nz/music-contest