I have been a cellist since 1997, which seems like quite a long time. The reason for starting cello was because I wanted to play another instrument (I have played violin since 1992), but did not want to play the viola ( which was the suggestion of my friends: "you have long' arms. . ." and even my violin teacher!). At that stage I did not know about the existence of viola jokes, or even the viola stigma (not stigmata - they do not practice enough to get one of those desirable red or brown marks on the left side of the neck).
I started at a Community music school, but my lessons were quite informal because I was in a group. It was also my first experience of non-Suzuki music teaching, and was amazed that so many people could play so badly, and were so unmotivated to practice. Why play an instrument if you do not want to become proficient? So, for the first year I was never really taught anything. I bought an "All for Strings" book to learn about fingering, a beautiful book of photos of cellists and Suzuki Cello Bk. I, and worked through them all. I practiced by a mirror, making reference to the photos and was pleased to see that I looked like a cellist (not a violinist playing the cello!). I wasn't sure at the end of the year whether I wanted to keep on playing, but I went to a Summer Suzuki camp and had some private lessons, and having learnt some cellistic technique felt much happier.
In 1998 I was at the CMS again, but had a lovely teacher who stayed on late to give me some private lessons. I learnt a lot from her, and enjoyed my lessons very much. In the February of 1998 I audition for the New Zealand Post Wellington Youth Orchestra, and suddenly I found that I was desperate to be a musician. That year we played Schubert's Unfinished Symphony, Brahm's Fourth Symphony, Bruckner's Eighth Symphony and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, as well as Schoenburg's Survivor from Warsaw. Having never played in an orchestra before it was very hard work. I attended every N.Z. Symphony Orchestra concert and discovered MUSIC!(especially the German Late Romantic Repertoire and Second Viennese School). I find that this music mesmerizes me and I am so caught up in the often devastating beauty. It seems to be more enduring and enthralling than any other music, especially to play. However the most compelling sensation was that This Is What I Want To Do, and All the Time. Is it healthy to sacrifice one's life on the Shrine of Mahler at the tender age of 15?? It seemed like a good thing to do at the time, and I seem unable to escape now. Last year and this year we have continued to play other wonderful pieces and they seem to have added a lot to my philosophy! I think that we are very lucky because we have an excellent conductor, who does not so much inspires us, as puts the music in front of us, and the expectation is that we will play it well. Thankfully we usually do.
In August 1999 I started having proper lessons, almost weekly, with David Chickering, and have discovered modal scales, Dotzauer, Shroeder and Bach. I love to play Bach, especially as this year is his 250th Anniversary.
I have read a lot about him, and what he wrote (not music, letters etc.) and it makes him seem very alive. So many people worry about Bach. . .am I doing this right? Should I play it this way? What sound should I achieve? . . .without remembering that he himself was a mortal, who suffered the foibles of human kind. He was divinely inspired, and a genius, but still a human. However, I do not want to sound blasphemous, and do not want to suggest that I play Bach in a shoddy manner - I try my hardest to play the best I can.
One of the most wonderful things about playing the cello is that it has given me the fortuity of being able to explore the repertoire of another stringed instrument, and to contrast and correlate the differences and similarities between these two marvelous and evocative instruments. They can both portray the same emotions in black and white, but can depict the infinite number of shades of gray. An example of this analogy is the solo Bach works. Both the violin and cello works are completely different, while containing many similarities. Part of this is to do with J.S. Bach, of course, and his knowledge of what these two instruments can yield, but part is to do with the individual instrument and the person playing it. Thanks to the cello, I feel that my musical perceptions have been infused with a greater meaning and understanding.
Corrina Juliet Connor
Date of Birth:
25 November 1982
Place of Birth: Brisbane (Qld, Australia)
Place of Residence: Wellington (New Zealand)
Distinguishing Features: Tallish,
Brown eyes (large),
Brown hair (longish).
Can often be seen carrying large musical instruments.
Heroes (role models?):
G. Mahler (1860 - 1911)
W. A. Mozart (1756 - 1791)
M. Rostropovich (1927 - )
I. Perlman (1945 -)
Favourite Occupations: Talking, arguing, reading.
Playing, practicing and rehearsing (Mahler!).
Cooking and plastering ceilings.
WELLINGTON YOUTH ORCHESTRA
The Wellington Youth Orchestra was founded in 1959. I have been a member since 1998.
The orchestra has around 80 members, aged between 12 and 25 years, and performs 3 - 4 concerts per year.
The current Musical Director is Marc Taddei, who is a member of the NZSO and the staff at the School of Music at Victoria University of Wellington.
In 1999 we celebrated the 40th Anniversary of the orchestra with a Gala Concert as the culmination of the 40th Anniversary Season.
We performed Mahler's 2nd 'The Resurrections' Symphony, with past members of the orchestra, many of whom are now members of professional orchestras around New Zealand. It was a very exciting, and unforgettable experience.
The 2001 Season will include
Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4
Brahms' Symphony No.3
Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante.
A Concerto competition will be held, and the winner will be able to peform their concerto with the orchestra in a public concert.
The Concerto Competition was instated in 1999. The first winner was sub-principal cellist Anna Bull, who played Beethoven's 4th Piano Concerto.
The Orchestra rehearses on a Monday from 6.30 pm - 9pm. We also have frequent Workshop Days, with Sectionals and Tutorials, led by NZSO members.
Many members of the WYO are also members of the Wellington Sinfonia and NZ National Youth Orchestra.
New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
New Zealand String Quartet
Internet Cello Society
New Zealand Suzuki Institute
Victoria University of Wellington
|Authors whose books I enjoy, and whom YOU might also enjoy!
Nancy Mitford (no relation to Nancey Drew)
The Pursuit of Love
Love in a Cold Climate
Don't Tell Alfred
Jessica Mitford (Nancey's Younger sister)
The American Way of Death
Hons and Rebels
The American Way of Birth
The Rapstone Chronicals
A Summer's Lease
|My brother, Vivian (right),
and myself (left!)
In 1992, against my will, I was forced into violin lessons, which, strangely enough I ENJOYED after a while. My mother said that I could stop after a year, and we had many practicing arguments, with threats of 'That's it! You're not playing anymore!". However after just 7 months I couldn't imagine not playing.
We became a very dedicated Suzuki 'family' and went to all the camps, workshops and conferences, which I loved, and still do, at a Teacher Trainee Stage.
In 1998 I started having lessons with Gillian Ansell, who is the violist in the NZ String Quartet (she also plays violin.) and decided, after a year in the Wellington Youth Orchestra, that I wanted to be a musician. In October 2000 I auditioned at the School of Music, Victoria University of Wgtn, and was accepted into the BMus Performance course!
It is my goal to be a professional orchestral musician and teacher.
Music is now an enormous part of my life, and I couldn't survive, happily that is, without it.