28 hours in Taupo

With thanks to the SOUNZ Community Commission, I have been commissioned to write a piece to open the 2010 ERUPT Lake Taupo Festival. The first part of this project was to head down there and see what exactly is available for me to work with, visit the venue and meet the people. So I arrived on Tuesday 15th and left on Wednesday 16th. I had a superb time and huge thanks to the Festival Director Drew James who organised the jam-packed trip. It was quite amazing to see just how much quality musical activity is happening in Taupo. Rather exciting. So now the next step is to confirm what resources I will actually use and start thinking about the music.

Here's an overview of the trip:

5pm venue visit - First stop was to check out the venue, and what a venue it is. An amphitheater with capacity of about 5000 backing on to the Waikato River:

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7pm Taupo Concert Band rehearsal - After a visit to the pub with Drew, first stop was the Taupo Concert Band. These guys sounded superb:

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830am Tauhara College Choir rehearsal - First thing on day two was the Tauhara College Choir rehearsal. We were horrified to discover it was "tight and bright" mufti day. If I had known maybe I would have worn something to blend in a little. Anyway, they sounded great:

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10am Library - During the trip I was also on the hunt for ideas of text to use from local poets or writers. So I visited the library - the ladies were very helpful.

11am Met with Tauhara College music HOD Justin Gibbs - I met with Justin Gibbs who is a very busy music figure in Taupo, and who I hope will have a key involvement in this project:

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1130am Composition tutorial - Had fun taking a composition tutorial with the year 13 composition students at Tauhara College.

1230pm Tuwharetoa Schools Kapa Haka Festival - Popped in to the Kapa Haka Festival - gosh there were a lot of people there:

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2pm Met with writer and poet Rowley Habib - On the continued hunt for what might be good text to use, I was lucky to meet Rowley Habib at his home and we went through a lot of his work.

4pm Taupo Wind Band rehearsal

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430pm Interview for the local paper - I talked and talked and talked, then smiled for a photo.

5pm Met with Taupo Nui Atia College HOD Winsome Wensley - Another key music figure in Taupo. Had several great ideas for the project.

7pm "Fang" musical rehearsal - The musical was two weeks out from opening night. The director, Sharon Shanks, kindly showcased all their key singers for us:

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8pm Taupo Choral Society rehearsal - We popped in to see the ladies (and girls ... in fact) of the Taupo Choral Society. They were wonderfully led by Stephen Cowley:

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So a fantastic trip. Look forward to getting into the project. Look forward to spending some more time in Taupo!!

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