Our players for 2019 have been announced - details will be here soon.
Jim began studying the violin at the age of seven, and his teachers include Elizabeth Holowell, senior lecturer in violin at the University of Auckland, and Dimitri Atanassov, former concertmaster of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. He has played with many ensembles and, as a member of the Moldau Quartet, reached the semi-finals of the NZCT Chamber Music Contest. He has also been a member of the NZSO National Youth Orchestra.
Jim joined the AYO in 2009, starting in the second violins. He has shown exceptional commitment to the orchestra, playing in all but one programme since then, including the 2011 tour to the Young Euro Classic Festival, and has gradually risen to the position of Concertmaster.
He performed as a soloist with the orchestra in 2014, playing Bruch’s Violin Concerto, and has performed with Bach Musica, playing Bach’s Concerto for Violin and Oboe. He is a holder of an LTCL from Trinity College London and is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Engineering degree.
Walter is currently a Year 13 School Prefect at Macleans College.
Walter began learning the violin at the age of five and is studying toward a dipABRSM with Olga Vorontsova. Having passed Grade 8, Walter is currently serving as the Principal Violinist of the Macleans College Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra. He was also a member of two chamber groups that were semifinalists in the Auckland District round of the NZCT National Chamber Contest.
He was the winner of the Senior String Championship at the South Auckland Performing Arts Festival in 2016 and the Junior Solo Competition at Macleans College in 2013. Walter is also employed by the Howick School of Music as an orchestral assistant and administrator.
Zosia holds an LTCL Diploma with Distinction in Performance Violin and is excited to be joining the AYO for her first time in 2018. A Suzuki student at heart, she loves performance opportunities and sharing her love of music with others.
Zosia has performed as a soloist to the Governor General of New Zealand, to the St. John Ambulance Association at a formal Investiture Ceremony, at the St. Heliers Bay Festival in Auckland and is much in demand as both a soloist and ensemble musician for weddings and events. She is Concertmaster of the Baradene College Senior Orchestra, Senior Organ Scholar at Baradene College of the Sacred Heart, a Scholar of the Pettman National Junior Academy where she studies with Elizabeth Holowell, and the current Organ Scholar at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Auckland.
Zosia is sought after by her peers as a sensitive piano accompanist, and also plays the Lever Harp (for fun!). As a violinist, Zosia is a regular participant in APO and NZSO opportunities, plays annually with the KBB Honours Orchestra, has played with the New Zealand Secondary Schools Symphony Orchestra in Christchurch, and has been a member of the NZSO National Youth Orchestra since 2016. In her spare time, she delights in Shakespearean acting, swimming (especially during winter), and flying gliders as a Corporal with the Air Training Corps 40 Squadron. When she grows up, she will probably be an astronaut.
Bryan is a Year 13 Westlake Boys High School student. He has learnt both piano and violin for 10 years, achieving grade 8 with Distinction in 2013.
He enjoys playing in musical groups very much as well as outdoor activities such as hiking with friends and family. Bryan looks forward to continuing his music studies at university.
Mana is a 15 year old violinist whose parents are Maori and Japanese. She is a year 11 student at Massey High School in West Auckland.
In 2017, Mana won the “Most Promising” Award at the AYO Soloist Competition. Mana started learning the violin at the age of 7 and this will be Mana’s 3rd year playing in AYO. This year, Mana is involved with AYO’s new Outreach Programme with fellow AYO players, Walter Xu and Jasper Lin.
Other than playing the violin, Mana enjoys surfing, skateboarding and visiting various cafes around Auckland.
Kauri began playing the violin at the age of three and passed her ATCL diploma in violin performance with distinction in 2015.
Kauri is in her first year studying towards a degree in biomedical science at the University of Auckland.
Outside of music, she enjoys contemporary dance and eating McDonald’s change range goods with friends. She is also able to play some sick beats on her violin.
Angeline Xiao is a Year 12 student at Epsom Girls’ Grammar School. She has played the violin for 8 years, the piano for 10 years and recently took up the bassoon. Angeline has played in AYO since 2017, and also played in NYO 2017-2018. She is committed to a variety of music groups at school, including the orchestras and concert bands. She is currently the associate concertmaster of the EGGS Symphonia.
Angeline has won the odd competition or two, and has also been a member of a chamber group with fellow AYOers Bryan Lin & Xutong Wang, which proceeded to the semifinals of the NZCT Chamber Contest.
In her spare time, Angeline enjoys eating good food, going to the beach, and wants to travel all around the world.
Michael is currently a Year 12 student at Macleans College.
He began learning the violin at the age of 7 and is studying toward a Trinity College diploma with Olga Vorontsova. Having passed Performance Certificate (Trinity) as well as Grade 8 (ABRSM), Michael is currently in the first violin section of the Macleans Symphony Orchestra, Macleans Chamber Orchestra, and Manukau Symphony Orchestra.
Michael was also a member of many chamber groups that competed in the NZCT National Chamber Contest and the winner of Manukau Symphony Orchestra scholarships in 2016.
Amber is a tertiary student about to embark on her first year at Animation College. She is a Suzuki violin student and has been playing since the age of four and a half.
Her first orchestral experience was spending two years with the Aotea Sinfonietta during primary school. Since then she has played in both her intermediate and high school orchestras and chamber orchestras as a first violin, and a variety of ensembles, including the 2015 KBB Honours Orchestra. Amber has also sung in the school choir and had two of her compositions performed by the school orchestra. In 2016 she travelled to Switzerland to the Suzuki music conference to play with other students from all around the world.
Amber’s other hobbies include archery on the weekends, fantasy writing and video gaming. She also stays active as an online artist on DeviantArt under the name ShoutFinder where she creates fan art and commissioned pieces.
Kenny Li is a student at the University of Auckland currently studying Computer Systems Engineering.
He started learning the violin at the age of 10 and has achieved ATCL. Kenny is also competent at the piano and trombone.
Outside of music, Kenny plays a variety of sports and enjoys cooking.
Gemma is an over-enthusiastic 20 year old in her third year of an Engineering Science degree at the University of Auckland. She chose this specialisation because it involves lots of maths and allows her to stay blessedly far away from building hot dog stick bridges and learning about concrete.
To balance the countless hours she spends staring at broken code and differential equations, Gemma is back for her third year in AYO, and is again one of the orchestra’s player representatives on AYO’s Executive Committee.
Gemma is also a member of the Auckland Youth Choir, a volunteer with the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, and an avid reader and talker.
Emily is currently a Year 12 student at Avondale College. She has been playing violin for 9 years via the Suzuki method and is fully involved in her school’s music co-curricular groups; she is the Associate Principal Violinist of the Avondale College Symphony Orchestra, Principal Violinist in the String Ensemble, and performs as a solo violinist in the annual talent quest.
She has also been a finalist in the annual Auckland secondary schools music and dance competition, Stand Up Stand Out, which is delivered by the Auckland council as part of a regional arts and culture program for youth, performing as a solo violinist using a loop pedal.
Emily also enjoys contemporary dance and lacrosse, and is interested in science and psychology.
John is a 14-year-old student at King’s College. He has played violin for 10 years and has done Grade 8. He has also played piano for 6 years, in which he also has Grade 8 and is in the process of achieving ATCL.
His favourite composers would probably be Brahms and Mendelssohn. Favourite pop bands include Coldplay and Bastille.
Jasper is a Year 10 student at St Mary’s College. She has been playing the violin since the age of 6 and has recently decided to play viola as her second instrument.
Her experience includes being a part of the APPA for 5 years, attending the APO workshop for 3 years, Aotea Youth Symphony for 2 years, St Mary’s College orchestras and joining a Trio last year. She also participated at the 2014 WAPAC and SAPAC and received an award for being the Most Promising Junior String Player. Jasper was accepted into the NZSO Mentoring Programme this year.
Jasper enjoys snowboarding and skiing in her free time. She also loves going out with her family and friends.
Jennifer is a Year 12 student at Epsom Girls Grammar School. She played violin briefly when she was younger and decided to take up the viola in Year 8. As well as playing the viola, Jennifer also enjoys playing the flute and piano. At school, she plays in the orchestra, chamber orchestra, and concert band. She also sings in her school choirs, Epsom Singers and Paradisum.
This is Jennifer’s first year in AYO, and she looks forward to meeting lots of new people, improving her viola skills and playing great music!
Outside of music, Jennifer enjoys playing and umpiring badminton, volunteering, and meeting up with friends.
Marcus Ho, aged 15, is in his third year at Kings College and has been learning cello for 8 years, currently learning under Edith Salzmann, attaining his Grade 8 certificate in 2015. He has also played the trombone for 5 years and enjoys playing jazz as a change of pace.
Marcus is involved with the Pettman National Junior Academy and greatly enjoys the many opportunities he is given to play music with others both in and outside of school in the various orchestras, bands and chamber groups. He was awarded junior musician of the year at Kings College in 2017 and the John Philip Sousa award for jazz. He also participated in the Akaroa Music Festival and is looking forward to his second year in AYO.
When he has spare time, Marcus enjoys listening to music, playing table tennis and gaming.
John’s love for music started 5 years ago, when he started learning the Double Bass in year 8. His strong passion has lead him to rapidly increase his skill up to diploma level in a very short time, under the direction of Evgeny Lanchtchikov. John has been a member of AYO since 2015 and has been enjoying playing new music and meeting new people. He also has been a part of Manukau Symphony Orchestra since 2014 and the New Zealand Secondary School Symphony Orchestra as the Principal of his Section. He is currently attending Saint Kentigern College, taking part in the International Baccalaureate course. At school, he plays for many ensembles: Symphony orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, Big Band, Concert Band. He also sings in Saint Kentigern’s premier mixed choir Kentoris and men’s choir Menasing.
Jacob is in Year 12 and is in his 3rd year of being a scholarship recipient of the Pettman National Junior Academy. This is his first year playing with the AYO. He has played the flute for 8 years, his teacher is Eric Lamb and previously Catherine Bowie and Raewyn Donaldson.
In 2011 he won 1st place for NZ Woodwind Competition for Primary age. In 2014 he won the top prize in the APPA Knights Templar Competition culminating in a solo performance of Poulenc in the Auckland Town Hall. He achieved distinction for ABRSM grade 8 flute in 2015. In 2016 he won the position of section leader in both the Westlake Symphony Orchestra and Westlake Concert Band which he maintained throughout his years. He has played in the APPA Festival Orchestra and APO Summer School Orchestra for two years. He has attended Master classes at the 2016 NZ Flute Fest with Uwe Grodd where he also performed as a soloist. He also attended the Akaroa music festival, in 2017 placing 2nd in the solo competition for open instrumentalists.
Jacob hopes to become a professional flautist in the future, travelling around the world performing solos, doing chamber music and entering competitions.
Micah is a Year 11 Student at Liston College and has been playing the flute for 8 years. Micah loves to perform in orchestras as well as chamber groups and concert bands. He had the privilege of being in the award-winning West City Concert Band for 2 years which provided him with great experience in music-making with adults. He went to France with the Aotea Youth Orchestra in 2016 and absolutely loved it.
Micah enjoys being able to share the music passion with others and can’t wait to perform with AYO this year.
Akari is originally from Japan but has lived in Auckland for 4 years. She is in her final year at Glendowie College.
She has played the oboe for 4 years. Akari’s passion for the oboe is because she loves the sound of it. She also plays in the Aotea Youth Symphony and the Auckland Wind Orchestra and played in the NZSSO in Christchurch this year. Last year she played in two chamber groups.
This year Akari is part of the NZSO Mentoring Programme. She plans to study oboe and music at university next year and hopes this will lead to a musical career.
Clara started learning the clarinet at the age of 9 and since then has been a part of numerous music groups including the award winning Westlake Concert Band.
Her passion for music was developed during high school and she was the principal clarinettist in the KBB Honours Orchestra.
This is Clara’s first year in AYO. Clara currently studies as an Optometry undergraduate at the University of Auckland and enjoys tutoring music at a local intermediate school each week.
Charlotte is studying a Bachelor of Music/Bachelor of Science conjoint at the University of Auckland, majoring in Classical Bassoon Performance and Geography.
She has played with AYO for three years. She has also played with many other groups, including the University of Auckland Symphony Orchestra, Manukau Symphony Orchestra, New Zealand Youth Symphonic Winds and the Trust Waikato Symphony Orchestra.
Charlotte also plays the Contrabassoon and Scottish Fiddle, and her greatest music experience so far was spending the month of August 2016 playing in the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo with the Hjaltibonhoga Shetland Fiddlers.
Monica has been playing the bassoon since she was thirteen years old and is in her second year of studying towards a Bachelor of Music at the University of Auckland.
This is her second year with AYO, and she is also involved with other music groups such as the University of Auckland Symphony Orchestra and Fidelio Wind Octet. She has played with many groups over the years in high school, university and the community, and this experience helped her to achieve Trinity College London Grade 8 in bassoon in 2015.
Monica also enjoys playing the piano, guitar and singing, however the bassoon is her main passion.
Evan Metcalfe is 14 years old and in Year 10 at Saint Kentigern College. He has been playing French Horn for 6 years and has achieved Trinity Grade 8.
As well as successfully auditioning for a place in the NZSSSO, Evan has achieved a place on the NZSO National Mentoring Programme for 2018. He is involved in many school music groups and this is Evan’s 3rd year in the Auckland Youth Orchestra.
Max is an 18 year old student who is attending University of Auckland this year for a french horn performance degree.
He has been playing the horn for round about 8 years now and has achieved grade 8 with Merit. Max is also involved with the New Zealand Youth Symphonic Winds this year.
Looking to the future, he wishes to improve his skills and eventually become a professional horn player.
Sean has been an amateur horn player for 5 years and this is his third year in the Auckland Youth Orchestra.
Having started in high school, Sean picked up the instrument rather quickly and has played in various ensembles throughout New Zealand such as the ASO and NYO.
Sean is currently in his second year of studying for a law degree and hopes to continue being involved in various music groups and events.
Benjamin Webster is 17 years old and is in year 13 at Westlake Boys. He has played the trumpet for 8 years and his current teacher is Huw Dann, the principal trumpet of the APO.
Benjamin has been a member of AYO since 2015 and is section leader in Westlake Boys’ High School’s premier Concert Band and Symphony Orchestra.
In 2016 he played lead trumpet in “Synq” brass quintet, making it into the Regional Finals of the NZ Secondary Schools Chamber Competition. He he has played in many other ensembles including the 2015-2016 NZ Youth Brass Ensemble, APPA Festival Orchestra, APO Summer School Orchestra, NSYO, AYSO and NSYWSB.
Benjamin is also a scholarship recipient for the National Pettman Junior Academy for 2016 and 2017. He hopes to become a professional trumpet player by continuing his studies at university after high school.
Jake is 19 years old and is currently a second year student at the University of Auckland, pursuing a conjoint degree in classical trumpet performance and computer science.
Jake’s interest in music began at the age of four, when his preschool teacher introduced him to the trumpet. Over the past 10 years Jake has been involved in many bands both at school and in the community.
He earned his ABRSM music performance diploma in trumpet in 2014, and his trombone performance diploma the year after. As well as AYO, Jake is currently a member of the Queen City Big Band.
In 2016 he played trumpet, cornet and flugelhorn in the Auckland Theatre Company’s production of Billy Elliot the Musical and also performed with Josh Groban at Vector Arena as a featured trumpet soloist.
Thomas began playing the trumpet at the age of 8 and a quickly discovered a passion for it. He became involved in all the major music groups at both Saint Kentigern Boys’ School and Saint Kentigern College. During secondary school, he was selected for the NZSSSO program in Christchurch as First Trumpet.
Thomas is in his first year of a Bachelor of Law and Bachelor of Music conjoint at the University of Auckland.
Outside of music, Thomas is a quiet, cheerful young man. His hobbies include fishing, computer games and family time.
Alexander is a Year 11 student at Selwyn College and this is his first year with AYO.
Beginning to play trombone in Year 8, he has acquired knowledge from tutors at school and at the APO Young Achievers programme, played at the KBB Music festival twice (Selwyn Jazz band) and played in the Senior Production band at Selwyn College for the past 2 years. He also attended the Trombone Aucktet day in 2016.
In 2017 Alexander was awarded Top Scholar in Music for year 9 (2016) and year 10 (2017), as well as the Hamish Arthur Trophy for contribution to Junior Music at Selwyn College.
In 2018 Alexander will further his formal trombone, piano and viola tuition and he looks forward to playing in the AYO.
Lachlan began playing tuba in 2010 when he was just 10 and the instrument was almost the same size as he was! Seven years later he is now entering his final year at Auckland Grammar School, and he is planning to pursue music at university next year.
Alongside the AYO, he is involved with music groups at school as well as several chamber groups outside of school. Tuba may seem like an odd choice, but to Lachlan, forming the foundation of the brass section and thus the whole orchestra, is an incomparable experience which he adores. If you attend AYO concerts this year, give some thought to the guy down the back – he probably waited 82 bars for that low note.
Naomi is currently in her final year at Epsom Girls Grammar School, where she started Percussion at the beginning of 2016. She also actively plays Cello and Oboe which she began in 2015.
Despite her number of years on her instruments, she is a part of her school’s Symphonic Orchestra, Concert Bands and ensembles on each respective instrument. Last year she had the opportunity of playing in KBBMF’s Honours Orchestra percussion section, and early this year she was accepted into the APO Summer School where she received mentoring from APO percussionists & performed alongside them.
This is her first year in AYO and she is very much looking forward to it.