Festival for all wanting to be in it
Over three decades Mary Pritchard’s energy has propelled Artsplash from a small community event into a region-wide event.
Pritchard was part of the Wellington City Council community arts team that organised the first Artsplash 27 years ago, run in Oriental Bay’s band rotunda.
This year’s 10,000 performers filled both the Opera House for the drama section and the Michael Fowler Centre for the music, dance, wearable and visual arts sections over a two- week period.
The young singers got a chance to perform alongside professional musicians.
Wellington band Supermodel performed with the children, using footage from one show as part of the video for their latest single, Fly by Night.
Youth Sinfonietta Orchestra and Chilton St James Amadeus Orchestra accompanied the massed choirs over three nights, alongside professional musicians making up the Artsplash Band.
‘‘I am very passionate that this is an amazing opportunity for these kids to get a taste and feel for what’s available to them out there,’’ Pritchard said.
‘‘That’s what I’m about – giving them the opportunity and opening their eyes to what is available.’’
Among the primary school talent Pritchard has seen on the Artsplash stage over the years has been tenor Ben Makisi and soprano Bianca Andrews, who will soon travel to London to begin her study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Although there were many events for secondary age pupils there were few opportunities at primary and intermediate age, she said.
Artsplash was unique in covering all the arts, Pritchard said. ‘‘The great thing about this festival is that it brings kids from the Wellington area together standing side by side.’’
Artsplash had such a profile because it was inclusive. ‘‘If you want to be in it, you’re in it.’’
Sweet harmonies: Sina Mngomezulu at Artsplash. She is in year 6 at Porirua East School.