Porirua clas­si­cal mu­si­cians pass the test


Liz Sneyd knows her mu­sic stu­dents are tal­ented but she wanted to prove it to them - and ev­ery­body else.

Last year 44 mem­bers of Sneyd’s Vir­tu­oso Strings Or­ches­tra sat Trin­ity Col­lege Lon­don mu­sic ex­ams and the re­sults were out­stand­ing, she said.

‘‘The ex­ams were a way of show­ing the kids and ev­ery­one else what they’re ca­pa­ble of.

‘‘All 44 stu­dents passed and ex­actly half passed with dis­tinc­tion.’’

With an av­er­age mark of 84 per cent, the stu­dent’s re­sults were all the more im­pres­sive given 38 of the mu­si­cians come from low decile schools in Porirua East, she said.

Sneyd, and part­ner Craig Ut­ting, first of­fered free mu­sic tu­ition to school stu­dents in 2013, ‘‘on a whim’’, and now have more than 130 chil­dren in the pro- gramme.

She could triple that num­ber if she had the re­sources.

The tu­tor­ing pro­gramme has a strict no cost ap­proach to teach­ing clas­si­cal mu­sic to chil­dren who might other­wise miss out.

‘‘To re­move bar­ri­ers you have to re­move cost and I’m not will­ing to com­pro­mise on that,’’ she said.

‘‘Ev­ery­body knows the ben­e­fits of learn­ing mu­sic, all the stud­ies prove it, yet at the same time we only give the op­por­tu­nity to a few se­lect peo­ple - that’s just hypocrisy.’’

Lara-Lee Lemi­sio got 92 per cent in her exam and loved see­ing peo­ple’s sur­prise when she played the vi­o­lin for them.

‘‘Liz says I’m get­ting bet­ter and bet­ter.’’

Nikky Teepa’s chil­dren played in the Vir­tu­oso Or­ches­tra and she learned to play the vi­o­lin so she could help Sneyd tu­tor more budding mu­si­cians.

‘‘This isn’t cute or to­kenism. These kids are tal­ented and se­ri­ous and hun­gry to suc­ceed.’’

Or­ches­tra Welling­ton gen­eral man­ager Kirsten Ma­son said the ex­ams re­sults showed just how tal­ented the Vir­tu­oso Or­ches­tra mu­si­cians were.

‘‘The tal­ent of many of their youngsters is re­ally ex­cit­ing, and this shows in the great re­sults.

‘‘We are look­ing for­ward to get­ting to know them, play­ing with them and plan­ning to do more to­gether in the fu­ture.’’


From left, Arno Stil, Ataahua Pakau­rangi, Veititi Ala­p­ati, Avril Stil and Jil­lian Tu­puse.

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