Musicians breathe life into Old Library

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Whangarei Youth Music member Michelle Skovlund, 12, makes the most of the unseasonably warm weather with some pre-rehearsal preparation outside the group's base at the Old Library. Photo / Michael Cunningham
Whangarei Youth Music member Michelle Skovlund, 12, makes the most of the unseasonably warm weather with some pre-rehearsal preparation outside the group's base at the Old Library. Photo / Michael Cunningham

It's been shut for a year but now one of Whangarei's most established concert venues is back in business with a concert by young musicians on Friday.

The Old Library on Rust Ave now houses Whangarei Youth Music (WYM), with the non-profit trust using it as a base for performances, rehearsals, lessons and administration.

President Felicity Christian said it would be the first time WYM had used its "new home" as a concert venue.

The concert would feature three young musicians " John Ma (piano), Maia-Dean Martin (violin) and Frances Christian-Farrow (violin) " set to represent Northland in the Secondary School Chamber Music Competition. The trio were through to the competition finals after a recent performance in Auckland, putting them in the top 12 groups in the country.

"The competition is tough," Ms Christian said.

The trio had been tutored by WYM conductor Atsuko Fukuoka and musician Ngaruaroha Martin.

At least eight other groups would also take the stage during the evening of music, she said.

"It's to welcome people into the space and it'll be a fairly informal concert ... It's from beginner through to the full orchestra," Ms Christian said.

The Whangarei District Council-owned Old Library had been shut for more than a year while administration issues were worked through and maintenance was undertaken to bring the 80-year-old building up to scratch for its new tenant.

"It's good, in a good central location. We're just working through a few details of sounds travelling between spaces," Ms Christian said. "Generally, it's going really well."

WYM's concert is from 5.30pm on Friday, at the Old Library. Free entry, koha appreciated.

- Northern Advocate

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