Two choirs unite for performance
A leading authority on early New Zealand music will be in Taihape on October 1 for a combined concert at St David’s Church.
Wellingtonian David Dell will be bringing about 30 to 35 singers out of his total 250 Take Note choristers to Taihape for a combined concert with the town’s Arcadian Singers, whose musical director is Helen Gordon.
As well as being a singer and conductor, Dell is archivist for the Musical Heritage New Zealand Trust, which looks after the biggest collection of New Zealand sheet music in the world.
Dell said more than 10,000 pieces of music had been printed in this country since the 1850s, much of which most people knew little about. ’’There are some amazing stories to be told,’’ he said.
Dell was telling some of them at Waiouru last year at an exhibition titled Farewell Zealandia forgotten Kiwi songs of World War 1, after which he paid his first visit to Taihape. ‘‘It’s fascinating stuff,’’ he said.
Dell said a lot of New Zealand music that was heard was humorous because people thought that was what we did best, so anything else was under-played and underperformed. The big thing about New Zealand music was that it told ‘‘our stories’’, which went down really well with audiences.
But, he added, sheet music was becoming a thing of the past as by the late-1980s-early 1990s most artists were not putting it out. Gordon said Dell would be performing solo at the concert in addition to the programme the choirs would be undertaking under the title ‘‘Round the world in song’’.