Review – Aotearoa – an industrial journey

Kings and Queens Performing Arts Centre
1 September 2012
Conductor: Errol Moore
Guests: Deborah Wai Kapohe (soprano) and RASA School of Dance

Visual interest enhances fine show

St Kilda Brass, conducted by Errol Moore, presented another concert in their 2012 series on Saturday night in the King’s and Queen’s Performing Arts Centre.

A reasonable-sized audience enjoyed the programme, titled “Aotearoa – an industrial journey”, which was an eclectic mix of band music and arrangements within the overall theme.

“Overall” actually described the band uniform for the second half, when the musicians endorsed the programme title by dressing in work-men’s attire.

One of the best items of the evening was the opening number, Dam Busters, performed against a projected backdrop of Spitfires, a “busted dam” and historical archive news clips of Winston Churchill.

Another highlight was Pie Jesu (Webber) with soloists soprano Debbie Wai Kapohe and Rosie Evans (flugel horn).

Wai Kapohe also performed with other band items – A te Tarahiki, Hine e Hine and a spicy delivery of a Miles arrangement of All That Jazz, which showcased the versatility of this New Zealand singer.

Another quest was a large group of energetic dancers from Rasa School of Dance (Lisa Wilkinson), which visually enhanced several band numbers. The Enchanted Dance Hall (Ken Young) was particularly suited to their interpretive dance movement.

It was good to look back over historic footage of TSS Earnslaw and Lake Wakatipu, accompanied by the familiar strains of Ron Goodwin’s Earnslaw Theme (1983).

Haast Highway included poetry (narrated by Gladys Hope) and was performed against a backdrop of Haast archive footage.

The recital was presented in an enjoyable and relaxed atmosphere, with good musicianship, and appropriate visual additions and props.

Elizabeth Bouman

Review taken from the Otago Daily Times (September 03, 2012)

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