N E W S
Concerts for 2022 are in June, August, October and November. Solo oboe and cor anglais feature in the first concert, in Warkworth, plus the premiere performance of 'The Celestial Gate of Praise' by David Hamilton.
We are looking forward to this year's Auckland Heritage Festival which was cancelled during lockdown in 2021. This concert focuses on two of the first conductors of Leys Orchestra, and some of the challenges they overcame. The programme highlights heritage music from that era, and also includes Herold's 'Zampa Overture', which featured in the first concert given by the Orchestra 110 years ago.
Following a successful concert in Warkworth in June, our planned performances in August and October were cancelled due to Covid lockdown restrictions in Auckland.
We were fortunate in securing a replacement venue and date for our 'Mostly Baroque' programme in November, and grateful to have the support of all six of our soloists who agreed to play in this postponed performance.
However, the extended Delta restrictions in Auckland led to cancellation of this programme for 2021. We will work hard to bring this wonderful music to our audience next year.
The Auckland Heritage Festival, and our concert, was cancelled in October. We hope the festival will continue next year and we'll be able to perform our planned programme in 2022.
We feel privileged to have been able to perform our Heritage Festival concert in October during this extraordinary year. However, Auckland's Covid restrictions during August and September allowed much fewer than the planned number of rehearsals, which necessitated reverting to a 'plan B' programme.
The audience were treated to an historical outline of the early days of the orchestra over a century ago, and the very wide uses of live orchestral music at the time. The programme included examples of the music performed in Auckland a century ago, plus the premiere of a new work, 'Pohutukawa', written by David Hamilton specially for the concert.
The orchestra was very fortunate to hold rehearsals and perform the scheduled August concert in Warkworth between the end of alert level 2 and the reimposition of level 3 in Auckland.
Players were very happy to resume rehearsals for the first time in 2020 on 4 June after the Covid-19 restrictions were lifted.
Players had earlier been sent their parts for the first concert via email so they could practice their parts and maintain musical skills and sanity during lockdown.
The piano piece 'Together' was also circulated. This was written by UK composer Debbie Wiseman especially for playing at home during pandemic restrictions. Debbie Wiseman is well known for film and TV music, and is the current UK Classic FM radio station Composer in Residence. The music is "dedicated to anyone in self-isolation in the company of a piano – or any other instrument or object that can make a sound". Beginner and more advanced versions are available for download.
David Britten was inspired to write an orchestral arrangement of 'Together' that would be played when the orchestra's rehearsals could resume – lending greater significance to the title 'Together'.
The first performance was at their opening concert for 2020 in Warkworth on 9 August.
E V E N T S
J U N
Warkworth Town Hall
A U G
7 August 2022
Mt Albert War Memorial Hall
O C T
13 October 2022
Heritage Festival Concert
Freemans Bay Community Hall
N O V
27 November 2022
Freemans Bay Community Hall
Conductor: David Britten
Leader: Gordon Smith