NEWCASTLE is known for producing great rock bands but now classically-trained youth are about to make their mark on the city.
Newcastle Improvised Music Association (NIMA) artistic director Rachel Pogson is helping to establish the Newcastle Youth Orchestra – the first of its kind in the Hunter region.
‘‘Newcastle hasn’t really had a youth symphony orchestra,’’ Ms Pogson said.
‘‘We were really surprised Newcastle didn’t have anything like that when areas such as Bathurst, Tamworth and Dubbo have had these orchestras for a long time.’’
The orchestra will include musicians aged between 14 and 25 and the group will perform a series of concerts next year in civic precinct locations such as Wheeler Place and City Hall.
The orchestra will include up to 70 players, who will rehearse from February on Saturday mornings at the Newcastle Museum.
‘‘The group will basically have every orchestral instrument represented, including percussion,’’ Ms Pogson said.
A cellist and former Sydney Conservatorium of Music student, Ms Pogson said concerts from the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Musica Viva consistently sell-out in Newcastle.
‘‘There is a huge classical audience and we need to produce students who can tap into that,’’ she said.
The Newcastle Youth Orchestra’s first public concert will feature children’s classics and will be held on Sunday April 7 at the Civic Theatre.
Applications to join the orchestra close on Tuesday with forms and further information available via the ‘‘NYO’’ tab at www.nima.org.au.