Christchurch School of Music


There is nothing quite like the experience of playing in an orchestra and at CSM we believe this is an important part of the learning process. An orchestra not only gives students the ability to be part of a “big” sound from very early stages of their musical development, but also helps students to develop a sense of rhythm, pitch and sight reading skills. It’s also great fun! All of our orchestras will play a mix of traditional orchestral repertoire along with a selection of more contemporary tunes that will appeal to younger students such as Harry Potter, Star Wars, etc.

  • PLAY! In the Junior Symphony Orchestra

    Saturday 8:45 – 9:55    Catholic Cathedral College Hall

    Conductor: Anne Robinson

    Assistant Conductor: Mandy Fleener

    Students choosing to learn an orchestral instrument should consider joining the Junior Symphony Orchestra (JSO) after they have been learning for about a year. Students need to have some confidence in reading music in order to enjoy the experience, but your teacher will be able to help you to decide the appropriate time to join. JSO is a fantastic introduction to orchestral playing where students will learn the concept of a beat and learn the importance of watching the conductor. Students of all ages are welcome to join this wonderful orchestra.

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  • PLAY! In the Intermediate Symphony Orchestra

    Saturday 10:00 – 11:25  Catholic Cathedral College Hall

    Conductor: Beth Cohen

    Assistant Conductor: Mandy Fleener

    The Intermediate Symphony Orchestra is generally appropriate for students who have been learning an instrument for 3-5 years. As many of our students in this orchestra are still quite young, the focus at this level is mostly on making the orchestral playing experience enjoyable, but students will also begin to learn more about advance musical concepts and interpretation (dynamics, phrasing, accents). A greater scope of repertoire including arrangements of well known classical pieces.

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  • PLAY! In Sinfonia

    Saturday 11:30 – 1:00 Catholic Cathedral College Hall

    Conductor: Neville Forsythe

    Assistant Conductor: Mandy Fleener

    Sinfonia is the training ground for our flagship Christchurch Youth Orchestra. Students need to be of at least a grade 5 standard in order to enjoy this orchestra where they will begin to play standard orchestral repertoire rather than simplified versions. Although still focused on fun, Sinfonia has a slightly more serious focus and students will begin to learn about the expectations placed on orchestral players.

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  • PLAY! In the UC Christchurch Youth Orchestra

    Tuesday 5.30pm-9.30pm

    Conductor: Helen Renaud

    Assistant Conductor: Matthew Lee

    The UC Christchurch Youth Orchestra (CYO) was founded in the 1970s and has offered talented students in the Christchurch area the opportunity to play challenging and exciting orchestral repertoire. Each year the orchestra will perform 3-4 concerts and can often be called on to perform at corporate and community events. Professional players from the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and occasionally the NZSO, will work with students at sectionals to coach them in the nuances of orchestral playing.

    In 2015 the CSM signed a sponsorship agreement with the University of Canterbury for the youth orchestra which is an exciting development in the orchestra’s history. This sponsorship gives naming rights to the university and ensures the players can have access to interesting repertoire and essential equipment.

    Entry into the Youth Orchestra is by audition. This not only ensures that talented students throughout Christchurch are given the opportunity to join the orchestra, but also that those students who might choose to pursue a musical career have the chance to experience the “live” audition process.

    Check out the orchestra’s Facebook page here

    Contact the office if you would like to schedule an audition.

    Latest News for the UC Christchurch Youth Orchestra:

    The orchestra is busy preparing for its upcoming Concert, “The Lark Ascending” which is being held in the new Salvation Army Citadel on Saturday 23 September at 7.30pm conducted by Helen Renaud.

    The programme for the concert is:

    Beethoven:  Overture to Leonore III

    Persichetti: Pageant
    Tchaikovsky: Waltz and Elergy from Serenade for Strings

    Vaughan-Williams: The LarkAscending with soloist, Sarang Roberts.

    Bizet: Carmen Suite No. 1

    Bernstein: On the Town Suite.

    Tickets can be booked through Eventfinda


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  • PLAY! In Stringendo (Adults)

    Thursday 6:30—7:30

    Conductor: Anne Robinson

    A string orchestra formed especially for mature string learners! This group focuses on learning through playing. Adult string players are welcome to join the group as soon as they’re comfortable reading easy music which is usually after 1-3 months of lessons. The group rehearses weekly and players will learn technical and orchestral aspects of playing in groups as well as playing ensemble music aimed at beginners. The group is very social and is perfect for adults wanting to have some fun with their music!

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  • PLAY! In Camerata Strings

    Conductor: Patrick Shepherd/ Beth Cohen

    Camerata Strings is a string orchestra made up of violins, violas, cellos and double bass for professional and advanced adult string players who enjoy playing the sublime string repertoire. Camerata is a performance based group that rehearses in the weeks leading up to a performance. Players can choose how many concerts they wish to participate in throughout the year. Rehearsals are held at Catholic Cathedral College in the music room and concerts at St. Augustine’s Church.

    The rehearsal and concert schedule for 2017 is as follows:

    CONCERT 1 – Patrick Shepherd

    Sunday 19 Feb 2.00 – 5.00pm

    Sunday 26 Feb 2.00 – 5.00pm

    Thursday 2 March 7.00 – 9.00pm

    Sunday 5 March 2.00 – 5.00pm

    Thursday 9 March 7.00 – 9.00pm

    CONCERT  Sunday 12 March 3.00 – 4.00pm

    Rehearsal 2.00 – 2.45pm

    St Augustine’s Church

    CONCERT 3 – Beth Cohen

    Sunday 8 October 2.00 – 5.00pm

    Sunday 15 October 2.00 – 5.00pm

    Thursday 26 October 7.00 – 9.00pm

    Sunday 29 September 2.00 – 5.00pm

    Thursday 2 November 7.00 – 9.00pm

    CONCERT  Sunday 5 November 3.00 – 4.00pm

    Rehearsal 2.00 – 2.45pm

    St Augustine’s Church


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Christchurch School of Music

60 Ferry Road
Christchurch Central
Christchurch 8011

P (03) 366 1711

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