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APO Connecting kicks off partnership with the Blues

Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra’s (APO) Connecting education and outreach programme has teamed up with the Blues Super Rugby club.

The partnership will see up-and-coming musicians of APO Connecting’s Young Achievers initiative perform live at seven Blues rugby matches played at Eden Park and one match in Whangarei during the 2020 season.

APO Young Achievers are part of the orchestra’s Inspire Partnership Programme, which works with aspiring young musicians aged 16 to 25. The orchestra provides regular musical activities designed to nurture their talent and hone their craft, shaping Auckland’s future professional musicians. This partnership with The Blues is one of those activities.

“We’re thrilled to join forces with The Blues, who share our passion for Auckland and its communities,” says Director of APO Connecting Thomas Hamill.

“The partnership will give our Young Achievers a platform to step into the spotlight and showcase their talent. We hope that their passion for music will inspire Blues fans and be a fun, uplifting and engaging presence at Blues games.”

The partnership kicks off at Eden Park on Friday 31 January, when The Blues take on the Chiefs in their first game of the Super Rugby season.

“The Blues are delighted about the collaboration with APO Connecting and its Young Achievers. The partnership ties in with our focus around innovative partnerships that help us reward fans who come to the stadium, with an entertaining match experience,” says Robyn Rowley, General Manager Brand & Community for The Blues.

The first group of Young Achievers to take to the field is brass ensemble Toppee Flat, who has been part of the orchestra’s APO Connecting programme since 2018.   

“We feel extremely proud to support and represent our home city in the beautiful game of rugby. We look forward to hyping up the atmosphere and channel it through the crowd to the Blues. The opportunity provided by the partnership breaks the boundaries between sports and arts. Go, Blues!” says Toppee Flat trombonist Paul Cho.

As part of the collaboration, APO and the Blues are also giving school ensembles the opportunity to play at one of three matches during the team’s 2020 season. Ensembles can range from four to seven players and members must be in secondary school and will have the chance to perform at Blues games in March, April and May.

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