Seventy-five young Bay of Plenty musicians are tuning up to compete in the annual New Zealand Community Trust Chamber Music Contest.



The Bay of Plenty district contest of the New Zealand Community Trust Chamber Music Contest takes place on June 15 at the Bethlehem College Performing Arts Centre in Tauranga and is one of 15 district contests being held nationwide to select the top 12 ensembles that will compete in the national finals in Auckland in August.

This year the Bay of Plenty contest has attracted 17 ensembles involving 75 musicians, including two guitar ensembles from Tauranga Boys College - a sextet called Minor Guitasrophy and a quintet named Guitarchestra.

Ensembles competing in the contest include one from Rotorua and three groups travelling from Taupo. The Bay of Plenty contest will be adjudicated by well-known composer and conductor Kenneth Young.

Throughout New Zealand, 467 ensembles of between three and eight musicians involving almost 1800 students, will compete for spots in the National Finals. Musicians will perform on a wide variety of instruments from the saxophone, to the violin to the Chinese zither and playing music by more than 300 different composers from Bach to John Lennon and including more than 30 New Zealand composers.

Chamber Music New Zealand chief executive Peter Walls said he was delighted with entry numbers for the 2016 contest.

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The New Zealand Community Trust Chamber Music Contest is the longest running youth music competition in New Zealand and last year celebrated its 50th jubilee.

It is the only nationwide chamber music competition for young musicians and composers.

At the end of each district contest, the winning group from each district, and up to four highly commended groups, will be named and an award will be given for the overall best performance of a New Zealand work.

Following the Bay of Plenty District round, the top ensembles from Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Taranaki will travel to Auckland to compete in the Northern Regional Finals on June 26. The top 12 ensembles from the three regional finals compete in the national finals on August 5 and 6 in Auckland.

Each member of the winning group at the national final receives the Wallace Foundation Prize of $1000.