The Kāpiti Concert Orchestra is giving two students from Kāpiti College an opportunity to perform as soloists and get a taste of working with a professional conductor and accomplished musicians.
Conducted by New Zealand Symphony Orchestra associate concertmaster Donald Armstrong, the orchestra will play music by Liszt and Brahms along with Clara Satherley performing Summer from Vivaldi's Four Seasons and Lucia Vidiella-Lopez playing the First Movement from Beethoven's Piano Concerto No 1.
Born in England before moving to New Zealand in 2018, Year 13 student Clara Satherley is playing the Presto from Vivaldi's Summer movement of his four seasons.
"I've really wanted to play the Summer movement since I started playing the violin, so to be able to play this as a soloist with a live orchestra is just amazing," Clara said.
With only a few rehearsals together with the orchestra Clara said, "It was quite scary having my first rehearsal with them but it was really fun.
"I've been practising with recordings so to practise with the orchestra felt so much more real and exciting.
"I'm so honoured to have the opportunity to play with them as these opportunities don't grow on trees."
Attending Kāpiti College, Clara is working towards her Grade 8 exam and currently plays in the Kāpiti Youth Orchestra and the college orchestra.
Also enjoying composition, Clara won joint third place in the Shakespeare Composition Competition in 2020 and one of Clara's original works was performed in the college's recent Parihaka production.
Clara has also taken part in the Young Musicians' Programme for Composition at the New Zealand School of Music where the New Zealand String Quartet played one of her chamber works.
"Music has always been a part of my life and I started composing when we had to do it for a music internal.
"I had an epiphany when my music teacher said you either love composition or you hate it. And if you love it, you're composing every day."
Finding herself regularly getting to school early to play and create music, Clara realised composition was something she loved and plans to study it along with studying neuroscience Otago University next year.
Lucia Vidiella-Lopez began playing the piano when her parents gave her piano lessons for her 8th birthday.
Born in Córdoba, Spain, Lucia moved to New Zealand in 2011 when she was 7 years old.
"I had always wanted to play piano and as a birthday present my parents gave me lessons," Lucia said.
"I love playing music, classical is my favourite."
Playing the first movement from Beethoven's Piano Concerto No 1, Lucia enjoys the energy of the piece.
"It's not like what I usually play, I usually play quite a few melancholic pieces but this is very bright and energetic which is fun to play.
"The timing will be the difficult part when putting it together with the orchestra.
"But I enjoy the connection you make with the other musicians, and it's fun."
Lucia is currently preparing to audition for a place at the New Zealand School of Music to study classical performance next year.
Kāpiti Concert Orchestra — Showcasing Young Musicians is on at Te Raukura ki Kāpiti on July 31 at 2pm. Tickets can be purchased from Eventfinda or in person at the Customer Service Desk within Coastlands Mall.