MARCH Tutoring the Virtuoso Strings players, we are working towards being the support act for Symphony at the Park Porirua with Orchestra Wellington and Sole 3 Mio
FEBRUARY Cruise ship concert at St Pauls a splendid night out for passengers on a visiting cruise ship to Wellington. A wonderful opportunity for them to experience the cultural excellence Wellington has to offer with Orchestra Wellington playing popular classics and opera aria’s.
JANUARY began with a recording session with tenor Henry Chen singing his favourite Opera aria’s and jazz tunes. I always feel huge appreciation and pride when an artists manages to gather the forces and funding together to record and market a cd. Well done Henry.
A very proud mother moment. My daughter Jana's wedding to Katie, at Inner Most Gardens Wellington. Of course I had to play! Here I am with Simply Fantastic String Quartet, Hedda Oosterhoff, Belinda Veitch, Brenton Veitch...... the brides carefully selected the 28 pieces that we played. Wonderful hits from such artists such as David Bowie, Beyoncé, Sade, Queen, Depeche Mode, Talking Heads, The Cure, Prince and many more, beautifully arranged for String Quartet by Steve Bremner. A wonderful farewell celebration for 2017.
DECEMBER: The final Orchestra Wellington Subscription Concert headlining Stravinskys Rite of Spring brought to a close a very successful season for the orchestra.
NOVEMBER: I was very excited to be part of the orchestra for the Cantoris Choir of Wellington end of year concert conducted by my very good friend Thomas Nikora.
OCTOBER: I was delighted to be asked back by AMP & Ian Lawley of Productions Associates to open the 2017 AMP Scholarship Awards Celebration at the Auckland War Memorial Museum. The opening number was another great opportunity to work with Hemi Ruru again with Tumeke ki Tamaki. As I left the building I was totally blown away by the amazing transformation of the foyer that Ian and his team created. It was truly magnificent I thought I had time warped to another place entirely.
SEPTEMBER: Excitement is building as the nationwide tour of the Sound of Music draws close. The cast have been rehearsing for the last 2 weeks in Christchurch. Orchestra Wellington Colleagues Elyse Dalabakis viola and Margaret Guldborg Cello, and me will be joining the cast on Monday 25 September for the final rehearsals before the show opens in Lower Hutt 29 September. We are a very intimate ensemble of 5 including Sam Jones who plays all the wind instruments and percussion, led from the keyboard by Maestro Tim Bridgwater MD its going to be a new experience playing on the stage amongst the cast. Do get your tickets - we are playing 23 cities and on the road for 5 weeks. Woohoo
AMP 25yr Club celebration dinner St James Theatre Wellington. WOW a glamorous dinner setting - stunning chandeliers - elegant table settings dressed by Red Pebble, divine food by Ruth Pretty, all ingeniously created by Ian Lawley Production Associates Auckland. I was honoured to share the entertainment bill with Footnote Dance Company and Moses MacKay from Sol3Mio.
Another fabulous opportunity to play Romeo & Juliet in Dunedin -due to illness of one of the players I was fortunate enough to be invited to play with the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra.
MORGO conference in Kerikeri. Another fun gig for Agent Terri/ akka Verve Events
AUGUST: RNZB production of ROMEO & JULIET BALLET- the beautiful score by Prokofiev was an absolute joy to play under the expert guidance of Maestro Hamish McKeich conducting Orchestra Wellington. Wellington enjoyed sell out shows before the Royal New Zealand Ballet company went north touring this wonderful production to the rest of New Zealand. Again the Education programme Ballet in Schools workshops was a hit with the kids who participated in the workshops in the Wellington Region. It was great to catch up with some of the children who had attended the workshops last year and learn that their interest in music and dance has continued. Grateful thanks to Pascale Parenteau Education Officer RNZB, who works tirelessly to find sponsorship so the programme that can fund the “live music”
JULY: The lovely Sandy McFayden-Rew previously of Singapore Airlines whom I had done many gala celebration dinners for their A-list flyers, contacted me in her new role of Marketing Manager, Winger BMW Wellington to open the launch of the i8- electric sports car. This car is so MINE- I am sure I am the only one who can fit into it properly!!-lol
JUNE Off to China this time to Chengdu to the 6th International Festival of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Along with the latest incarnation of Tumeke Ki Tamaki, Hemi and I were delighted to attend this festival alongside groups representing Japan, Australia, Brazil, Iran, Spain these were just the ones in our hotel, all of us taking our unique culture to share. Off course the highlight was the visit to the Panda Park.
MAY Recording with Charles Royal of his piece composed for violin and piano. The recording is for TV series Artefac which featured the Michael Parekowha carved piano that was commissioned for a Biennelle Exhibition in Venice.
Los Angeles here we come. A stunning gig at the Los Angeles convention centre for Education NZ Plenary presentation at the NAFSA international conference. Terri of Verve Events had engaged Tumeke and me to play at the Education NZ National conference last year so we were both delighted that they wanted to tell my story at this international conference.
Waihau delight. This special wedding ceremony for Miriama and Chris held in the isolated church in the Bay of Islands. To get there required a early morning flight to Rotorua then 3 hour car journey to the coast. Beautiful scenery along with delightful conversation with Richard (driver) made the early start fun
FEBRUARY Clemintine’s amazing Blenheim Winery ceremony. I was so impressed with this bride who had tickets booked on Soundzair within 24 hours of confirmation of players plus had purchased online the special music Home for her bridal march.
See our special green room outside the Luxloos!
Orchestra Wellington started the year with a bang as part of Porirua City Council Summer programme. A collaboration with Virtuoso Strings, cinematic music from Stars Wars, Lord of the Rings, Opera arias and Jazz themes delighted the hardcore audience who turned up in the rain with their umbrella's, tarpaulins and thermos flasks.
A glorious magical wedding celebration scene held at Western Park Auckland. Truly a scene out of a fairy woodland glade for Jess and Dan. They chose the park for their ceremony as it was their hang out spot for the last 4 years.
A truly lovely farewell to 2016 was Kelly and Ben's marriage held at the beautiful Davenport Naval Base Auckland, just after Christmas. Ben's family and I have history!! Ben's mothers publication Spacifika interviewed me over 10 years ago. Anne had promised herself that if any of her children were to get married I would play at the wedding. Well Ben is all grown up and has had 3 weddings. One in Vietnam where Kelly comes from, one in Auckland registry office and the 3rd a wonderful family and friends ceremony in Davenport.
NOVEMBER: Another collaboration with Terri van- Schooten for the Alzheimers NZ conference at the TSB Arena. Performing with Tumeke with new personnel member Tim Whitta we played well known Maori waiata to a very enthusiastic audience.
Lester Hall - what a exciting discovery to see this artists latest work pop up on my FB page. It was love at first sight with his Pania (Blue Lady). I emailed him immediately to request that I must have her. To my delight while browsing at Ora Gallery, I saw his work on display there. I was excited to learn that Lester was coming to town to promote a Colabronation Exhibition with fellow artist Paora Tiatoa. It was with great pleasure to play at this exhibition and take Pania home!
Mayoral Inauguration- Haere mai Justin. What an honour to be part of this very special ceremony at the MFC. I was delighted that Justin Lester had won this position and am really looking forward to his leadership of our city. Just three weeks earlier I had performed at the Farewell celebration for the outgoing Mayor Celia Wade- Brown at Te Marae Te Papa. It was lovely to see many familiar faces to send Celia on her way. Haere ra Celia.
OCTOBER: 80th Birthday Party held at the Lowry Bay Yacht Club. An intimate gathering of happy family and friends to celebrate this milestone occasion. Playing at Old St Pauls Cathedral always engenders a sense of awe in me. This occasion for the NZ Law Conference Dinner was quite different as It was the first time I had seen the church set up as a dinning room. The pews have been fitted so they can be turned - it looked very elegantly ethereal.
SEPTEMBER: A fusion of many creative talents collaborated for the Resene Total Colour Awards held at Shed 6. The atrium was beautifully decorated with potted punga and harakeke plants and along with subdued lighting set up a wonderful welcoming stage for me to perform on. A gorgeous Resene paint splattered tutu was specially made for the event. It is now part of my wardrobe!
AUGUST: Royal New Zealand Ballet production of Giselle was a hit with audiences. Running alongside the production is a Education programme Ballet in Schools Workshops. I was fortunate to be part of a trio with fellow colleagues, Moira on Clarinet and Brenton on Cello. We presented workshops in secondary schools in Wellington, Tawa and Upper Hutt. It was fulfilling to witness the progress in a hour of coaching from RNZ Ballet Master Pagan to see the students creating beautifully elegant forms that they would see when they attend the Giselle shows. It gave them a sense of achievement and also appreciation of how dedicated the dancers are.
Its always a pleasant surprise and blessing to get repeat work from a client so I was delighted when Terri van- Schooten from Verve Events contacted me to create a Mini Cultural Symphony for Education NZ conference in Auckland. Along with Tumeke kapa haka my story was delivered to a very attentive audience. I saw many of the attendees at the airport the next day and they told me how blown away they were with our performance.
JULY- SEPTEMBER Wellington Light Opera’s production of The Merry Widow was a joy to play as it’s full of gorgeous melodies and waltzes. We played to almost full houses in Southwards Museum, Wellington, Palmerston North and Napier. Again Hugh Mc Millan was the MD and as usual it was a joy to play under his encouragement and appreciation of his orchestra.
JUNE: Mozarts glorious Magic Flute was NBR Opera’s first production of the year. A highlight for me always, is when Maestro Wynne Davies is in town to conduct the opera season. Following directly on it’s heels was Orchestra Wellingtons Subscription Concert 1 with Beethovens 9 symphony as it’s headline act. This was another successful collaboration with the Orpheus Choir.
MAY: Sea Symphony by Vaughn Williams not often performed work was the first collaboration with Orchestra Wellington and Orpheus Choir for the year. A great conducting job by our colleague, timpanist Brett Stewart who is now the Musical Director of Orpheus. Tommy’s Real Estate Ball was a very glamous event held at Te Papa. I must admit it is great seeing everyone elegantly turned out as it is such a special occasion.
APRIL: I had a delightful time playing for the Kapiti Chorale production of Hiawatha MD Conductor Eric Sidoti. This production was made even more special by having the composer Robert Hanson who travelled from his home in America to give expert guidance to us.
MARCH: It was lovely to be contacted by Jan Mc Andrews for the IPENZ conference Dinner at the MFC. Jan hired me some years ago when she was with TranzPower so I was delighted that she had decided I was going to be the surprise act for the dinner. Spent a busy day juggling time and distance between the CubaDuppa Festival for Orchestra Wellington and a beautiful Wedding ceremony for Ange and Rob at their glorious family home in the Ohariau Valley. Institute of IT Professionals, NZ expo conference held at the TSB Arena where a cameo stage was created in the stands along with mood lighting, dry ice and drapery provided a impressive back drop to perform in.
A stunning day out at Waikanae for Jamie and Anne's Party, "great time party for friends", with a Spanish dress up theme. Fun times of spontaneous duo with Sharon on accordion and a unique rendition of Lonely Bull by the Fabulous Bull Trio- Jamie on vocals, Elena on violin and Chris Parkin on air trumpet.
ORCHESTRA WELLINGTON opened the year with it's annual Opera in the Park concert in Nelson. Soloists included Anna Leese, Gerald Holt, Jackie Clarke, Modern Maori Quartet and Dave Dobbin. A beautiful hot balmy night with fabulous music and singing. Alas all too soon shortly after the final notes were played and a mouth full of wine supped, we were whisked off to the airport to fly back to our fun city Wellington before the midnight curfew clocked in.
WAITANGI DAY 2016: Another successful performance at Festival of the Elements- Te Raraparahau Park Porirua. With Tumeke kapa haka (Hemi Ruru pictured) we had such a blast entertaining the happy crowd.
I also performed with Virtuoso Strings in the arena to a very appreciative audience.
The opening of the Chinese Cultural Centre was a very special event complete with red carpet and dancing lions. The centre celebrates the importance of Chinese culture through performance and art, strengthening cultural ties between our two countries. After speeches given by our Mayor Celia Wade Brown, Minister of Culture and Heritage Paul James, Director of CCC Mr Guo Zhonguang and Vice Minister of China Ministry of Culture Mr Ding Wei, we were treated to beautiful traditional music played by the Guangdong National Orchestra of China who also played Po Karekareana and delightful entertainment by the local Chinese tamariki (children). We were then taken on a tour of the centre to view the large exhibition of contemporary art by leading Chinese artists throughout China. A very exciting venture particularly given the work I have done in China so I am looking forward to more cultural collaborations.