Modern songs, clas­si­cal twist

Hamilton Press - - FRONT PAGE - KEL­LEY TANTAU

A ‘‘one-off’’ or­ches­tral event can be given a re­cur­ring role if sup­ported by the com­mu­nity.

Or­ches­tral Moments, a mu­si­cal show­case bring­ing to­gether modern and clas­si­cal mu­sic, will be staged in Hamil­ton in Novem­ber.

It is in­tended to be a stand­alone show but singer Raewyn Watkins hopes en­thu­si­asm for the project means it can re­turn.

‘‘Sup­port could earn more con­certs down the line,’’ she said.

Fea­tur­ing the mu­sic of Paul McCart­ney, El­ton John, Billy Joel and Bacharach and oth­ers, pop­u­lar songs will get a clas­si­cal spin.

It’s the kind of mu­sic of­ten con­cealed in Hamil­ton, Watkins said.

‘‘Peo­ple say they want some­thing dif­fer­ent, well, this is dif­fer­ent.

‘‘Dis­cern­ing mu­sic tastes re­quire some­thing dif­fer­ent, el­e­gant and beau­ti­ful and it’s go­ing to be all of those things.’’

Join­ing Watkins on stage will be ten mu­si­cians, in­clud­ing pi­anist Stephen Small and cel­list Yo­tam Levy.

Child­hood friends, Watkins and Small met at Berkley In­ter­me­di­ate (now Berkley Nor­mal Mid­dle School) where they shared their in­ter­est in jazz. They were also the youngest mem­bers of Hamil­ton group Gen­tle Jazz.

As time pro­gressed, both mu­sos pur­sued their pas­sion.

Small has been or­ches­trat­ing the mu­sic of elec­tronic com­poser Michel Huy­gen for his record­ings with the Lon­don Sym­phony Orches­tra.

He is also the mu­sic direc­tor and ar­ranger for Grammy award win­ning artist Ki­taro.

‘‘We’re so lucky to have him back in the Waikato,’’ Watkins said.

‘‘He’s do­ing this be­cause he’s a Waikato boy and he’s sup­port­ing Waikato mu­si­cians.’’

Watkins and Small worked to­gether on their Moments per­for­mance at the 2016 Hamil­ton Gar­dens Arts Fes­ti­val.

Yo­tam Levy be­gan play­ing the cello at age eight in Is­rael.

At age 12, he moved with his fam­ily to New Zealand and at­tended Hill­crest High School.

The re­cip­i­ent of the 2007 Hamil­ton Civic Choir As­so­ciate Artist Award, Levy also par­tic­i­pated in the NZSO NYO in 2011 and 2012 as sub prin­ci­pal.

Or­ches­tral Moments, Novem­ber 11, 7.30pm, Gal­lagher Per­form­ing Arts Cen­tre, Univer­sity of Waikato.

To pur­chase tick­ets visit: www.waikato.ac.nz

Singer Raewyn Watkins and cel­list Yo­tam Levy col­lab­o­rate for Or­ches­tral Moments.

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