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Music transcending barriers

4 Dec 2017

This content is tagged as Creative NZ .

NEWS

Cathy Irons, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra. Photo by Fairfax Media NZ/The Press.
Cathy Irons, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra. Photo by Fairfax Media NZ/The Press.

Three musicians from the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra (CSO) gave offenders from the Christchurch Men’s Prison Youth Unit the chance to learn new skills and gain the confidence needed to make positive change in their lives.

The week-long programme gave the 12 participants, all aged between 17 and 20, the chance to develop basic music reading and playing skills, culminating in a concert performance. Their new-found abilities were showcased by performing ensemble pieces including Over the Rainbow and Hotel California to other participants and corrections officers.

“I found it really hard … but I was determined to stick it out for the full week and make the graduation. I want the certificate so that I can show my mum I am making changes.”

– A participant

CSO First Violin and Community Engagement Project Leader Cathy Irons acknowledged that both the participants and the teachers benefitted from the experience. “There were times when we sang and played that I felt we could be anywhere on the planet, just enjoying the moment in time together. Music transcends any barriers.”

The programme was supported by Pathway Trust, the Department of Corrections and the Christchurch Men’s Prison – which was also awarded the Arts Access Corrections Leadership Award in 2017 for its commitment to the arts in its prisoner rehabilitation programme.

Artform – Music
Location – Christchurch
Funding – Total Kahikatea Investment funding for CSO $799,000


This is one of 10 stories from our Annual Report 2016/17 about the diverse range of arts projects and organisations that Creative New Zealand funded.

For a quick visual overview of how much revenue was received and how it was invested see Our Year in Review: Creative New Zealand

For detailed information see Arts Council of New Zealand (Creative New Zealand) Annual Report 2016/17 (PDF 1.7MB)