Free use of Town Hall for schools music festival

For the first time in the 46-year history of the Otago Secondary Schools Music Festival, entry to this year's event will be free.

The festival is an annual celebration of musical talent within coastal Otago secondary schools, and features about 600 pupils performing in a massed choir, orchestra and jazz band, along with performances by the winners of various other school music competitions, such as the Big Sing and Smokefreerockquest.

It also includes a performance by the winner of this year's Trustpower Scholarship, soprano Sophie Morris, a former festival participant who is now studying for a master's degree at the University of Otago.

Organising committee member and Logan Park High School head of music John Dodd said the theme for the show was ''Bach to the Future''.

The programme contains music by Bach, through to an orchestral medley from the Hollywood blockbuster Back to the Future.

Mr Dodd said there was no need to pre-order tickets for the show on Monday at 6.30pm, because the Dunedin City Council and DVML had provided free use of the Dunedin Town Hall.

Mr Dodd was delighted entry to the concert was free this year.

''It's a stressful job putting on this festival when its run by a committee of very overworked music teachers, and to have that whole financial burden lifted makes everything a whole lot more easy.''

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