Musical chairs: Turn Up The Music Trust's Sue Marshall, left, with her successor, Sarah Lyttle, and a recently-donated saxophone


The baton’s been passed on at Queenstown’s music school.

Sarah Lyttle is the first general manager of the Turn Up The Music Trust, replacing administrator Sue Marshall, who’s now become a trustee.

Lyttle — a Queenstown Jazz Orchestra saxophonist and one-time New Zealand Youth Jazz Band player — was for merly contracted to set up umbrella arts organisation, Three Lakes Cultural Trust.

Turn Up The Music, which took over from the Lakes Community Music School two years ago, last year had 113 students — from pre-primary age to Year 13 — and 13 teachers teaching a wide variety of instruments, and numbers are again looking good this year.

Students take either individual or group lessons, the newest of which are in ukulele.

The trust also runs a scholarship programme whereby it foots half of a student’s tuition cost if their family’s struggling.

A charitable trust, it survives on donations which it uses to buy instruments as well as funding those scholarships.

About a quarter of its instruments are donated — the latest is a saxophone from local couple Lizanne and Julian Knights.

Lyttle says she’s also out to raise the trust’s profile in her new part-time role.

‘‘I think people have heard about it but maybe don’t quite understand exactly what it is.’’

The mum of two young daughters showing a passion for music says she’s grateful she learnt a musical instrument from the age of eight.

‘‘I cannot tell you how many people as adults tell me how much they wish they had learnt
a musical instrument of some sort and feel it’s too late to do it now.’’

Meanwhile, Turn Up The Music sponsored last Saturday’s Queenstown Jazz Orchestra concert with jazz maestro Rodger Fox.

And on Sunday its music teachers across several instruments, including piano, violin, cello and trumpet, are put on a recital at Queenstown Memorial Centre.

●  Anyone who’d like to be involved in Turn Up the Music can email