Music school magic!

BOPMusicSchool I am just back from working with the concert band at another superb Bay of Plenty Music School. What a great weekend - there is something so great about gathering at the beginning of a weekend, meeting new people, working hard and presenting a wonderful concert together on Sunday before returning for another week of the real world.

I had a really fantastic group this year including a solid contingent from Auckland University which gave great depth to our woodwinds in particular. We ditched the easier pieces and launched into the challenging repertoire and with fine results - our set at the concert was so tight and I think the most technically advanced and polished performance since I've been conducting the group.

Our concert set was:

  • Stalter – Ignition
  • Shostakovich – Folk Dances
  • Berlin – Alexander’s Ragtime Band
  • Kahelin – Clown Act

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There was also some wonderful results in the orchestra (David Adlam) and choir (Peter Watts), as well as some impressive combined performances - which I was most happy to hand the baton on for this year and feature only in the percussion section!

The combined works were:

  • Mendelssohn - Hebrides Overture
  • Mozart - Requiem (excerpts)
  • Copland - Hoedown
  • Brahms - Symphony No.3

Congrats to the Taupo organising committee for a very fine job, thanks to all the players for your efforts and I hope to see you all again next year!

Bay of Plenty Music School hits Taupo

I'm super excited about the Bay of Plenty Music School this year as it hits the shores of Lake Taupo. This year will be the 45th year of its existence making it the largest surviving music school in New Zealand which is fantastic.

I am conducting the concert band once again and our repertoire includes:

  • Stalter - Ignition
  • Shostakovich - Folk Dances for Concert Band
  • Whitacre - Seal Lullaby
  • Williams - Theme from ET
  • Kahelin - Clown Act
  • Berlin - Alexander's Ragtime Band

Some really great pieces which I look forward to putting together with everyone.

It's going to be great to get back to Taupo - one of my favourite places. In 2010 I worked with six of the school and community groups to create Moana Ataahua for the ERUPT Lake Taupo Festival (read more) - a project made possible by the SOUNZ Community Commission. I've been back several times since giving workshops (read more).

My two fellow conductors are David Adlam (orchestra) and Peter Watts (choir) and I know they have some wonderful repertoire to share with their groups.

It's on the 25th-27th of April and will be held at Taupo-nui-a-Tia College and the Anglican Church of St Andrew. If you're interested in attending visit the music school website for all of the information and registration details.

See you there!