4 Jun 2000

Tuning Up: The story of the YC stations, Concert Programme and the Symphony Orchestra

From the collecton Resounding Radio

We launch a National Orchestra in 1946 and adopt the BBC's Third programme model to showcase music, arts and letters.

Programme contents

0' 00" Actuality: Concert FM classical chart 1999.

0' 40" Concert FM very different from YC stations 50 years ago.

1' 15" Actuality: 3YA studio orchestra's last concert 1945.

1' 25" Contrast in standard between old YA studio orchestras and new National Orchestra launched 1946. Peter Downes

2' 05" Actuality: First concert by National Orchestra, March 6 1947.

2' 50" Professional orchestras begin with cinema in 1920s. Radio absorbs players in 1930s. Geoffrey Newson

4' 40" Actuality: Speech launching orchestra showing attitude of Labour government. Walter Nash

5' 35" Genesis of YC serious music stations in 1931 as alternatives to YAs. Peter Downes

6' 35" Increased station power allows stations to specialise. We adopt BBC Third Programme model. Bill Yates

8' 50" YC stations allow much more flexible programming of serious music. Also change the style of script writing on YCs. Peter Downes

10' 40" Example of YC script 1950s.

11' 05" Orchestra now broadcast live needs score readers to judge dynamic range. 1958 new improved microphones used with Orchestra and violinist David Oistrakh.

13' 20" David Oistrakh plays (not original 1958 concert). Peter Avert

13' 50" Possible to link YC stations by early 1950s. John Schroeder

14' 35" Early 1960s permanent YC network forms but needs complicated programme schedules. YCs have rigorous presentation standards. Peter Avert

17' 30" Orchestra makes first commercial recording in 1959.

17' 55" 1959 new conductor John Hopkins launches National Youth Orchestra. John Hopkins

19' 10" 1961 John Hopkins founds orchestra trainees scheme later known as Schola Musica. Ashley Heenan

20' 15" Actuality: YC presentation. Bill Toft

20' 35" Guidelines and programme balance on evening yes. Peter Averi

22' 15" Extract from official instructions to YC announcers.

23' 15" Radio provides outlet for lesser known works by Orchestra. Peter Averi

24' 00" Poetry starts on YCs in late 1950s, producer English poet Peter Bland. Elizabeth Alley

24' 25" Actuality: Introduction to programme Poetry. Peter Bland

24' 45" In Talking About Poetry poets read own work instead of actors. Elizabeth Alley

25' 25" Actuality: Reading of own work. The Priests of Serrabonne. Owen Leeming

25' 40" David Delaney begins Writers in which New Zealand writers talk about their work. We are envied by other countries. Elizabeth Alley

26' 55" Early interview with New Zealand author Janet Frame. Janet Frame

27' 25" YC poetry and literature programmes, and readings and plays by Drama Department have contributed to high literature awareness in New Zealand. Elizabeth Alley

28' 20" Science, politics, economics, history talks also on YCs. But when network reformatted in 1990s spoken material moved to National Programme.

28' 50" 1975 orchestra re-named New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. First overseas tour to Australia in 1974.

29' 30" Humorous story of travel by orchestra within New Zealand. Clare Galambos Winter

31' 40" Actuality: 1966 Proms rehearsal by Arthur Fiedler with National Orchestra. Arthur Fiedler

32' 30" Birth of Summer Pops with lighter material. Peter Nisbet

33' 15" Reaction of orchestra members to Pops. John Dodds

33' 50" Appraisal of skills of English conductor and jazz man Johnny Dankworth. John Dodds

34' 25" During 1960s-1970s, Music Section serviced YCs and orchestra and developed New Zealand artists. Also responsible for visiting artists. Helen Young

36' 15" 1975 Concert Programme broadens and becomes more popular. Beverley Wakem

37' 40" By late 1970s ratings versus standards worrying Concert Programme. Also budget cuts. Culmination of philistine attitudes typified in mid-1990s by destruction of Wellington's Broadcasting House which housed some of finest studios in Australasia. Helen Young

39' 20" Early problems of YC/Concert Programme is fragmentary multi-use of YCs for sport and Parliament. Not sorted out till late 1980s. Patrick Day

40' 45" Early 1980s idea of looking at overseas models where 'FM music' stations are supported commercially. Beverley Wakem

41' 10" Concert Programme Manager goes to USA and UK to look at commercial classical stations but advised not to pursue this form. Back in New Zealand, Friends Of Concert Programme now a force to be reckoned with. Helen Young

43' 25"  Concert audience too small to support advertising base but non-commercial survival of Concert Programme made election issue by rampant Friends Of Concert Programme. Commercial idea dropped. Beverley Wakem

44' 45" Mid-1980s saw extended hours, sport dropped, adoption of FM: All strengthen Concert network. Helen Young

45' 55" Actuality: 1990s Concert FM Disc Drive – 'concert in a car'.

46' 50" Post-war high regard for orchestra diminishes and becomes financial millstone for radio in 1970s-1980s. Patrick Day

49' 40" Orchestra becomes State Owned Enterprise in1988 and separately funded.

50' 00" Orchestra more than just a workplace, also home. Clare Galambos Winter