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Central Celebrates | Orchestral Festival

Aug 15 – 20, 2023

An orchestral mini-festival of concerts and workshops celebrating the joy of music making.


There’s something for everyone at Central Celebrates this August, our 5th annual mini-festival celebrating the joy of ensemble music making presented by Orchestras Central.

Experience a range of immersive concerts for whānau, tamariki, music lovers and sonic explorers of all kinds.

Dig out an old instrument and join our all-comers Rusty Player Orchestra, or witness the extraordinary talent of our rising young composers and performers of tomorrow at an exciting range of open workshops.

The natural world around us inspires a brand new commission The Adventures Pat the Pātētē by Janet Jennings, and provides pause for thought in our closing concert Our World – a unique evening of music and science.

Participate in the joy of community music making, and get inspired by the thrill of professional performance at its best! Central Celebrates – Waikato’s orchestral festival for all.

Free / Koha / Low Cost Entry

Events run 15-20 August, 2023
All events held at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts, University of Waikato.


Full Programme of Events:

  • Tuesday 15 August |  9.30am, 11am & 1pm

    The Adventures of Pat the Pātētē
    A tamariki-friendly musical story for schools, about courage, guardianship and the environment around us.

  • Friday 18 August | 7pm

    Open Rehearsal with Youth Orchestra Waikato
    See how an orchestra works! Come and experience our young musicians in rehearsal.

  • Saturday 19 August

    Youth Showcase | 1.30pm
    Showcasing the very best young musicians from across the Waikato, featuring Youth Orchestra Waikato, The Rauhī Project and the Waikato Community School of Music.

    The Adventures of Pat the Pātētē | 3.30pm
    An encore performance especially for our tamariki and whanau.

  • Sunday 20 August

    Composition Workshop | 10am
    Experience music, written by outstanding New Zealand secondary and tertiary composers, coming to life for the very first time.

    All-comer Rusty Player Orchestra | 12.30 – 3pm
    Join New Zealand’s most relaxed orchestra which welcomes returning and novice adult musicians.

    Our World – Music and the Environment | 7pm
    Closing gala concert. Multidisciplinary scientist, Monica Peters joins OCT Ensemble in an exploration of the imprint of culture on the geology and ecology of the landscape.


Aug 15 – 20, 2023


Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts
Knighton Road University of Waikato

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