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Children showcase violin and cello skills at free concert

Ebbett Park School students

Ebbett Park School students concentrating hard on their violin lessons.

For two and a half years the Orokohanga Music Trust has been offering free musical training to two Hastings primary schools and the results of this year’s efforts will be showcased at a free public concert next week.

The trust arose from the vision of long-time Hawke’s Bay music educator Ngaire Shand to develop a free string (violin and cello) instrumental programme for students in the community who would not otherwise have the opportunity to learn an instrument.

The trust was founded in 2015 by Mrs Shand and a group of like-minded educators and community members, and Camberley School was selected to be the first participant, with the trust providing weekly violin and cello classes for all Year 4 students starting in the second term of 2016.

In the fourth term of that year Ebbett Park School came on board, and by the start of 2017 close to 95 students were enrolled.

Mrs Shand said that while professional instrumental teachers were employed to teach the classes, Orokohanga Music Trust relied on the generosity and support of trustees and friends. 

This included funding support from the Hastings District Council, which provided the initial grant to get the programme up and running, and has continued to support it through its Youth Potential project. 

“Through both financial support and donations of instruments, we are able to provide a complete cello or violin outfit for each child to take home and enjoy,” Mrs Shand said.

“The instruments are maintained by and remain the property of the trust, and as the child grows, they are upgraded onto the next size instrument.

“The schools and whanau report a hugely positive impact on the children and the community as a result.” 

Currently 150 students are receiving tuition, and the general public will get a chance to hear the results of their hard work at the free concert on Tuesday 25 September, at Bay City Outreach Centre, starting at 5.30pm.

21 September 2018

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