Hero photograph
Photo by Vicki Smith

CSO Meeting, Concert & Salina Fisher

Victoria Panckhurst —

Last Saturday evening, ten of our SMP students attended another concert by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra. The concert opened with “Rainphase”, a work by the internationally acclaimed, New York composer, and ex-Westburn SMP student, Salina Fisher.

Our students were able to attend this concert due to the generosity of the CSO. Our CSO Intermediate Ambassadors, Sara and Celine, attended a meeting last week with three principal players of the orchestra’s brass section - Emma, Thomas, and Pablo. These players spoke to the students about many things, including some very interesting information about the pieces that would be played at the concert.

In the Town Hall on Saturday night, along with Selina’s “Rainphase”, we were treated to Rachmaninov’s 4th Piano Concerto (yes, there is a 4th) performed by Chinese pianist Moye Chen, and Saint Saen’s third symphony which featured the marvelous Rieger organ.

After the concert some of our students were fortunate to meet Salina in the foyer, and it turned out that she was as keen to visit her old school as we were to have her visit us! Salina came along to class on Wednesday, with the score to her work, “Rainphase”. The students were able to see how she had notated the  sounds that were so evocative of how weather feels! Salina also spoke about how she composes, and talked about her time in Westburn and Burnside’s SMP with much affection. The students asked her so many questions and were really interested in everything she had to say. Salina is about to move back to New Zealand and take up the prestigious position of Composer in Residence at The New Zealand School of Music in Wellington. She will be able to live in Douglas Lilburn’s old house, and get to compose full time. As Salina will be visiting her home town of Christchurch often, she has promised to stay in touch and visit as often as she can, so we are very happy about that!