Free Unity Singers show to cel­e­brate sea­sons

The Tribune (NZ) - - COMMUNITY COOKBOOK - RICHARD MAYS

Forty-three years ago in Palmer­ston North’s old Opera House, the Unity Singers be­gan a long­stand­ing tra­di­tion.

On ev­ery fol­low­ing Mother’s Day, the choir per­formed a va­ri­ety show, which con­tin­ued at the Re­gent on Broad­way when the re­fur­bished theatre re­opened in 1998.

That was un­til last year, when the free themed va­ri­ety per­for­mance moved from Moth­ers Day in May to June.

The theme of that first ‘non-Moth­ers Day’ Moth­ers Day show was fan­tasy and clas­sic Disney.

This year, the choir’s mu­si­cal di­rec­tor He­len O’Con­nor said the concert would be a cel­e­bra­tion of the four sea­sons.

‘‘Spring sees us in Europe, fea­tur­ing a may­pole dance, with the songs Come to the Fair, Tulips from Am­s­ter­dam ac­com­pa­nied by a tra­di­tional Dutch clog dance, and Edel­weiss from The Sound of Mu­sic.’’

The sum­mer seg­ment will be in­tro­duced by The Bea­tles’ Here Comes the Sun, be­fore the lo­ca­tion crosses the At­lantic to the USA with the pre­sen­ta­tion of a Beach Boys med­ley.

Au­tum­nal songs will see the per­for­mance of stan­dards such as Pa­per Moon, Septem­ber Song and Au­tumn Leaves and the up­tempo Love Is In the Air.

Sup­port­ing the choir is a range of lo­cal guest per­form­ers.

Among them are vi­o­lin­ist Me­lanie Pinkney, ac­com­pa­nied by Guy Don­ald­son; the Hato Paora Col­lege choir and poi dancers; the Mau­reen Ax School of Ballet and the ABC Hip Hop Dance Group.

Fresh from the jazz fes­ti­val come the Sav­age Club Camp­bell Street Boys, while there’ll be a per­for­mance by skat­ing club fig­ure skaters, with Jack­son Bar­rett on ukulele.

The free ad­mis­sion mati­nee is on this Sun­day, June 11 in the Re­gent on Broad­way, Palmer­ston North, at 1.30pm.

PHOTO: MUR­RAY COOMBRIDGE

The Unity Singers re­hearse for their an­nual va­ri­ety concert in the Re­gent on Broad­way.

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