ASQ International Music Academy 2020 - we’re keeping our options open!

...This was a most engaging performance, full of vitality, expressive intensity and a great commitment to the music, ensuring that the evening was a real joy for the audience throughout....
(Stephen Fisher, Manawatu Standard)

6 April 2020 - As most of us settle in to isolation to deal as best we can with COVID-19 it’s hard to plan ahead. How long will we be stuck at home? How will we and our families be affected?

In the Aroha Quartet we've already seen all our concerts for the first half of the year disappear, so we thought the 2020 Wellington Academy would inevitably go the same way.

Already more than a dozen people have registered, many of them loyal regulars. It seemed to us such a shame to rule out holding an Academy this year, our sixth. Then we realised we could keep alive the possibility that we might still be able to run it if, by mid-July, we were able to resume such activities. Mightn't it be just the thing we'd need after dealing with a pandemic, we wondered.

We know we’ll need to keep things very flexible and keep our costs down. These are our thoughts so far:
- the 2020 Academy will only take place if the Government’s public health directives allow it and at least 20 people register and pay their fees
- the dates will be the same as those already advertised: 13-18 July
the venue will still be Chilton St James school in Lower Hutt
- we’ll still take $100 as a deposit from applicants, but refund it if the Academy doesn’t take place
- applications will now close on Friday 26 June
- the total fee will be lower. $300 for a short course (first or second half) and $600 for the full six-day course, payable on the same date as the application deadline
- we’ll have fewer guest tutors, possibly only a couple
- we won’t pre-allocate people to chamber groups; instead we will choose two or three chamber works (e.g. a string quartet, a piano quintet) that we will all rehearse and perform together in one big chamber group, with the members of the Aroha Quartet leading the sections; we will be able to send out links to the sheet music so participants can prepare these pieces
- we are thinking we’ll probably also form smaller groups and help the members choose manageable repertoire on the first day, or shortly beforehand
- depending on the number of players on each instrument we hope to still have a string orchestra
- there’ll be no masterclasses, but we’ll run technique and musicianship classes
- there’ll be some great social activities...

We’re really excited to be thinking about doing things differently this year - it’ll be heaps of fun!

If you’ve already registered and have decided you definitely want to withdraw, just let us know and we’ll refund you your deposit. But if you’re willing to wait and see what happens, just hang on in there!

And if you’d originally thought you might come and then COVID-19 changed your mind, we hope you might think again.

If you decide to apply for the 2020 ASQ International Music Academy, just use the existing application form, accessible from the Academy page on this website.