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Bringing music to every corner of our city

Orchestra Wellington is one of the oldest orchestras in the country, performing for the Wellington region for over 75 years. Our goal is to be the most accessible orchestra in the country: we want people from all walks of life to experience the thrill of live orchestral music. Our concert series in the Michael Fowler Centre features internationally acclaimed soloists, we perform alongside the Royal New Zealand Ballet and New Zealand Opera, and we take the music out of the concert hall and into the streets, performing in all major Wellington festivals. We are also thinking big outside the concert hall to share the thrill of live music with communities throughout the Wellington region.

Our Community Engagement & Education Programme demonstrates the strong commitment to families, community, and education that is central to the mahi of Orchestra Wellington. Community concerts and educational partnerships make up a large part of our offerings throughout the year.  

Our musicians perform for thousands of children through our Music to Schools Programme, providing free and subsidised educational performances in schools across the region. We promote pathways to musical training and experiences for audiences of all ages through partnerships with community-based music education programmes and initiatives like Arohanui Strings, Virtuoso Strings, local brass bands, and music academies.

Supporting New Zealand composition is a strong aspect of our Community Engagement & Education Programme. Key elements include an annual SOUNZ Commission, an ongoing Composer-In-Residence Programme, annual singer-songwriter competitions, and regular Composer Workshops, which together provide a strong platform for education and exposure of emerging and experienced composers alike.

Our annual SOUNZ Commission engages the talents of an up-and-coming New Zealand composer to write an original work for our sideby-side concert with Arohanui Strings, included on our fifth Subscription Series performance of the season.  

Performances celebrating cultural diversity and community are a core part of our engagement including events such as CubaDupa, Pasifika Concerts with Signature Choir, Classical on Cuba, performances acknowledging and celebrating Matariki, Wellington Pride Festival, and more.  

The Orchestra Wellington Big Bash Festival is a regular fixture in our community engagement calendar, featuring an afternoon of side-byside rehearsals with community musicians and students with members of Orchestra Wellington. Under the direction of Music Director Marc Taddei, hundreds of musicians come together to rehearse and prepare repertoire written for all ability levels and perform an afternoon concert for their communities.  

We are always finding new and exciting ways to engage our communities. Our 2024 activities are shaping up to be bigger and better than ever, with the addition of new Orchestra Wellington Community Days, and of Regional Community Concerts, a new partnership with the MENZA Wellington Orchestra Festival for school-aged music students, the wonderful Synthony, and of course the return of our much-loved family concert Symphony in the Hutt for its sixth instalment!