A young musician in his ninth year at the Waitaki Summer Music Camp is contributing more than his cello playing this time.
Merlin Callister, who studied music at the University of Otago before moving to Wellington, has composed a piece called A Run in Ross Creek. It refers to a feature of the Dunedin landscape.
Mr Callister (24) trained to become a music teacher and did not envisage being a professional composer.
“Composing is more of a personal interest enjoyment.”
He said all composers would agree they could always find something to tinker with in their works.
The Ross Creek piece has been performed once and Mr Callister has already edited it.
He has also tailored it to suit the summer camp orchestra, which will play it at its concert in the Waitaki Boys’ High School auditorium tomorrow night.
Mr Callister said younger musicians such as himself enjoyed meeting up with the friends they made at previous camps, which have been held at Waitaki Boys’ for 10 days each January for 24 years.
It was also great to see newcomers blossom in its informal environment, he said.
He praised conductor Peter Adams, from the University of Otago, and the tutors for getting the best out of the musicians.
“We love Peter; he’s a great conductor. He’s extremely relaxed.
“The tutors are aware we’re not a professional orchestra. They treat it with enjoyment and professionalism. It’s a great combination that they bring.”
Camp spokesman Tim Wilkinson said 47 people were attending this year. Most had been before but there were “new ones as well”.
“They’re from all over the country.”
The camp offered participants a good opportunity to get to know the Oamaru area, Mr Wilkinson said.
There was often a bike ride to Kakanui in between music sessions, and local cafes and the penguin colonies were popular destinations.
The Whitestone Community Arts Council was “always pleased to sponsor the concert”, spokeswoman Helen Stead said.