Manawatu Sinfonia
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Manawatu Youth Orchestra Concert - 29 October 7.30pm

Our second concert will feature youth orchestra players as soloists, complemented by two pieces by New Zealand composers

Venue: Speirs Centre, Palmerston North Boys' High School

Time: 7:30pm on 29 October


Isaac Henderson - Toybox (with notes from the composer below)

When we hear babies and toddlers play and make sounds, we often see that they are excited, happy, or otherwise experiencing something that we may not fully appreciate. This suite imagines a child's world when they are playing an instrument so that we can experience a little more of what they experience in such moments. Each of the movements have been inspired by watching my son, Aidan, play with 'toy' instruments, an activity that he greatly enjoys. However, as adults we can forget that these are real instruments and that such experiences may be a child's first exposure to creating music.

The first movement features claves, which are essentially cylindrical wooden blocks to imitate the sound of clanging blocks together to make a sound. The second movement is based upon playing with miniature glockenspiels (metal sound) and xylophones (wooden sound) - his glockspiel is part of a percussion set, which also includes a triangle and a guiro, hence why these are scored. The third movement was inspired by Aidan's castanets - one painted as a cow, and the other as a pig, which he would snap at each other as if they were interacting. The fourth movement is based upon him playing with his miniature maracas, as well as his homemade shakers (milk bottles with rice or barley in them), which he shakes while walking around the house. The final movement was inspired by his toy drum with a neckstrap, which he wears, walks around, then finds somewhere to sit down and beat his drum. In all movements, the featured instrument is accompanied by the rest of orchestra.

  1. An Invitation to Play (Feature Instrument: Claves - Max Jenkinson, Other Percussion: Triangle, Cymbals, and Timpani)
  2. Percussive Melodies (Feature Instruments: Xylophone - Emma MacPherson and Glockenspiel - Max Jenkinson, Other Percussion: Triangle, Castanets, Guiro, and Timpani)
  3. Dance of the Cow and Pig Castanets (Feature Instrument: Castanets - Robbie Sutherland, Other Percussion: Triangle, Bass Drum, Xylophone, and Timpani)
  4. Rhythms of the Maracas (Feature Instrument: Maracas - Robbie Sutherland, Other Percussion: Triangle and Wind Chimes)
  5. Little Drummer Boy (Feature Instrument: Snare Drum - Max Jenkinson, Other Percussion: Triangle, Cymbals, and Timpani)

NB: Rather than following the convention of not clapping between movements, the audience is encouraged to applaud for the percussion section between movements in a similar fashion as for soloists.


Carl Stamitz - Third Movement from Clarinet Concerto No.3 in B-Flat Major (Soloist: Christina Jiao, picture and bio below)

Christina is currently the Music Prefect at Palmerston North Girls' High School. She started learning the piano when she was 6 and picked up the clarinet in 2017 with Heather de Ridder. She achieved her ATCL for Piano in 2020 and had just received her LTCL certificate for clarinet in August this year. Christina competes in many music competitions and enjoys taking part in chamber music, and also accompanying choirs. Christina loves sharing her passion for music with others through teaching, ensemble playing and performance.


Max Bruch - Second Movement from Violin Concerto No.1 in G Minor (Soloist: Lara Harjes, picture and bio below)


Lara began studying the violin at the age of four. From an early age she enjoyed solo performing, chamber music collaborations and playing in larger orchestral groups. This is Lara's second year as orchestra leader of the MYO (though not for this concert due to her being a soloist). This year she participated in the NZSO NYO course, and competed in PACANZ. She successfully gained her LTCL performance diploma earlier this year.




Max Bruch - Romance in F for Viola and Orchestra (Soloist: Sophie Ward, picture and bio below)

I started violin at age 7 and was fortunate to have several years learning with Marise McNeill, then Elizabeth Patchett. I first joined MYO in 2017, with 4 years on violin then 2 years on viola. I attained my ATCL diploma (violin) in 2021, and am currently working towards my LTCL diploma in viola. I played in the National Youth Orchestra this year, and in the NZSSSO last year. I enjoy composing music as well as playing, and reached the finals in the recent UOW Composition Competition. I hope to continue enjoying music with the community in the future. 


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - First Movement from Violin Concerto No.3 in G Major "Strassburg" (Soloist: Isabel Lu, picture and bio below)

Isabel Lu is a year 13 student studying at Palmerston North Girls' High School. She started music at the age of seven, learning piano with teacher Guy Donaldson. She then began learning violin with Marise McNeill at nine years old, and currently learns from Yury Gezentsvey. Isabel has now completed both her ATCL diplomas for piano and violin, and is currently working towards her LTCL diploma in piano. She also enjoys participating in orchestras and chamber music groups. Music is an important part of Isabel's life, and she is looking forward to performing this item on the concert night.


Eric Biddington - Cashmere Dances

  1. Moderato
  2. Andante
  3. Andantino
  4. Allegro









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Milverton Trust
Performance Trust




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