Two choirs unite for per­for­mance

Feilding-Rangitikei Herald - - TAIHAPE - ALIS­TER BROWNE

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’’.

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David Dell

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