Samantha Gomez

Samantha (or Sam) is in her first year studying a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Auckland. She started learning cello in Year 9 from Anthony Elmsly, after being encouraged by her school music teacher. Ever since then her passion for music has grown, expanding her musicality. She also picked up drums in...

Harper Zhang

Eleven year old Harper Zhang started learning the cello at the age of seven with her teacher Taki Zhang, and within the span of four years, passed her Grade 8 examination with Distinction. Two years after starting cello, Harper took up the piano and has now passed her Grade 5 examination. Away from the...

Alimaifiti Ono

Ali is a Year 12 student currently attending Sacred Heart College.  He has been playing the cello since he was 6 years old and is a member of the chamber group Triosica, which received the Auckland region Adjudicator’s Award in the 2023 NZCT Chamber Contest and was 1st in the Sacred Heart College music...

Eleanor Christiansen

Eleanor started violin at age 7 and has been playing ever since, recently completing her ATCL exam.  She has received multiple scholarships during her schooling including the Heritage Foundation Dio Arts Award 6 times and the Ethel Sandford Music Scholarship. She also achieved the top prize in the Diocesan Concerto Competition as well as...

Hannah Bakuwel

Hannah has been playing classical Suzuki violin since 2014.  She lives on Waiheke Island and is currently a student at Waiheke High School. Hannah’s passions include music and astrophysics....

Lydia Zhu

Lydia is a fifteen year-old student studying at King’s College. She started playing the violin five years ago and is currently learning from Mark Bennett.  Lydia has achieved her Grade 8 ABRSM with distinction and is a Music Scholarship recipient at King’s College. 2024 is Lydia’s second year in AYO. She enjoys playing with...

William Wei

William is in his first year studying Engineering at the University of Auckland. He enjoys music and juggling and is looking forward to making music with AYO in 2024....

Sabrina Kung

Sabrina is a Year 11 student who holds a Royal Schools of Music Certificate in both Performance and Theory. She plays violin and piano. Sabrina not only likes music, but also drawing and sports.  She used to do Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, run 400m (placed 1st at school seniors) and ballet in Taiwan. At the end...

Daniel Li

Daniel is a Year 11 student at Mount Roskill Grammar School. He started playing violin at 6 years old and  passed ABRSM Grade 8 with distinction in 2022. Daniel enjoys playing in groups but is quite inexperienced in playing in orchestras so he is very excited to be joining AYO in 2024. Outside of...

Elvies Hu

Thirteen-year-old Elvies was born in Auckland and attends Pinehurst school. Elvies started playing the piano at the age of 6 and passed ABRSM Grade 8 piano exam three years later.  When he was 12, he started playing the cello and became very passionate about it – he is currently studying cello with James Yoo....

Esther Oh

Esther Oh (they/them), in their second year of university, studies violin and conducting. Qualifications include the NZQA Scholarship for Music, the Trinity College London Diploma in Violin Performance (with Distinction), and they are involved in secondary school music education across Tāmaki Makaurau as a violin teacher. They have performed in the Manukau Symphony Orchestra,...

Ray Zhang

Ray is a Year 10 student at King’s College.  He started violin and piano at 5 years of age. Ray’s hobbies are reading, drawing, chess, coding, running and swimming.  He also does some sports, mainly ice hockey, inline hockey, tennis, and Muay Thai. This is Ray’s second year in AYO and he is very...

Celestine Howard

Celestine started learning the violin at the age of 12 and she is a current student at Mount Albert Grammar School.  She has been passionate about music since a young age, when she learnt the piano, and has even had the opportunity to learn the trombone. Celestine plays in the orchestras at school and...

Archie Lamont-Bowden

Archie is 17 years old and is entering his final year of school at St Peter’s College in 2023. He has been playing the violin for 8 years and, having gained distinction in his Trinity College Grade 8 exam in 2019,  is currently working towards his LTCL diploma. He is the concertmaster of his...

Damon Herlihy-O’Brien

Damon began playing the cello shortly before his 4th birthday.  From his formative start through the Suzuki Method with Sally-Anne and Anna-Marie Alloway, Damon went on to intensive studies with baroque specialist James Bush. In 2020 his chamber group Trio Achilles was runner-up at the NZCT National Chamber Music Competition, winning the inaugural Helen Young...

Jessie Wu

Jessie is a 16-year-old double bass player who will be playing in the AYO for her fourth year in 2024. Her teacher is Evgeny Lanchtchikov and she has played since she was 10 years old. In Jessie’s spare time she enjoys painting and eating chocolate.  ...

Michael Tran

Michael Wai-Kit Tran is a 17 year old student born in New Zealand. He started playing the violin at 13 years old and has been passionate about playing music ever since. Michael is also very passionate about composing music, in particular composing symphonic orchestrations....

Justin Chan

Justin is a Year 11 student at Auckland Grammar School. He started playing the violin at the age of 6 with the Suzuki Music Program and achieved his Grade 8 exam in Nov 2019 with Distinction. In recent years, Justin has been searching for more performance opportunities to gain experience. Starting with the school...