2020 SOUNZ Commission for Orchestra and Sistema Youth Orchestra | Te Tono Mahinga a SOUNZ mā te Rāngi Puoro me te Rāngi Puoro Taiohi a Sistema winner announced.

SOUNZ Centre for New Zealand Music, Orchestra Wellington and Arohanui Strings – Sistema Hutt Valley are delighted to announce that Christchurch-based composer Alissa Long has been selected for the 2020 SOUNZ Commission for Orchestra and Sistema Youth Orchestra. Alissa will be working with Orchestra Wellington and Arohanui Strings – Sistema Hutt Valley on a new work and is looking forward to writing a ‘children-lead’ piece, enhanced by the Orchestra Wellington musicians.

Diana Marsh, SOUNZ’s Executive Director, said, “We are delighted to be able to work with Orchestra Wellington and Arohanui Strings on this highly collaborative project. At SOUNZ we want to offer the opportunity for everyone to enjoy New Zealand music and what better way to do this than by engaging one of our composers to write for the combined forces of an orchestra with these young musicians. We are looking forward to working with Alissa on the 2020 commission.

Alissa is a composer, arranger and educator with over a decade of experience in creating new music and arrangements for a large variety of soloists and ensembles at various levels.

Alissa said, “I feel very privileged and honoured that my proposal has been chosen by SOUNZ. This is a very unique project and I’m excited to get to work on it. I love working with children and composing for them – it brings me down to Earth and reminds me of a simpler time. I can’t wait to embark on this journey, and am looking forward to working with Orchestra Wellington and Arohanui Strings, meeting all the talented musicians involved, and enjoying the outcome!

The project, which is now in its third year, is a collaboration between SOUNZ Centre for New Zealand Music, Orchestra Wellington and Arohanui Strings – Sistema Hutt Valley. Orchestra Wellington and Arohanui Strings will perform the new commission as part of their family concert at the Walter Nash Stadium in Lower Hutt in May 2020.

Last year, the commission was awarded to Auckland composer Claire Scholes for her work Cuba on Cuba. The piece, inspired by Afro-Cuban rhythms and the vibrancy of Wellington’s Cuba Street, was performed twice by Orchestra Wellington during the 2019 season (after the original performance at Walter Nash Stadium in May, the work was re-programmed on an October subscription concert at Wellington’s Michael Fowler Centre).

To learn more about Alissa and her work, read a full interview here.