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The Central Otago Regional Choir - "Bach, Bacharach and The Beatles" in Alexandra, Arrowtown and Wanaka.

Region: Central Otago
Dates: Fri, 10 May 2024 - Sun, 12 May 2024

  • The Central Otago Regional Choir - "Bach, Bacharach and The Beatles" in Alexandra, Arrowtown and Wanaka.

Choir sings the three B’s: Bach, Bacharach and The Beatles.

Nostalgic, melodic, catchy, and stirring music will be performed by the Central Otago Regional Choir in their upcoming concerts from May 10 – 12.

As a variation on the “three B’s” of music, Bach, Beethoven and Brahms, the Choir will sing choral arrangements of music by Bach, Burt Bacharach and The Beatles. It’s music most of the audience and choir have grown up with and will know well. Lennon and McCartney’s Here, There and Everywhere, And I love Her and Yesterday, Bacharach’s I Say a Little Prayer, Alfie and What the World Needs Now, and Bach’s Sleepytime Bach (Swingle Singers style) and Flocks in Pastures Green Abiding are just some of the highlights. On the face of it the music of these three composers may have little in common, yet there are connections. Choir director Richard Madden says Lennon and McCartney both sang in church choirs as boys and McCartney had a high regard for Bach’s music. In fact, his song “Blackbird” was influenced by the chord progressions of Bach’s Bourrée in E minor for lute, a piece McCartney learned to play at an early age. “Bach was always one of our favourite composers; we felt we had a lot in common with him. For some reason we thought his music was very similar to ours and we latched on to him amazingly quickly. We also liked the stories of him being the church organist and wopping this stuff out weekly, which was rather similar to what we were doing” McCartney is recorded as saying. “It’s well known that Bach doesn’t take any prisoners, and the rhythm makes The Beatles and Bacharach music difficult to handle. It’ll be a challenge for the choir to be able to go from one style to the other and it’ll be up to the audience to decide if they work together” Madden says. If choir members’ enthusiasm for the programme is anything to go by, the answer is likely to be a resounding yes. As is the choir’s tradition, the three guest artists are young yet with already well recognised talent. Music student and baritone Kieran Kelly is highly involved in the Dunedin and national choral scene and was winner of the under-21 NZ Aria competition in 2023. He will entertain with four fabulous songs showcasing his classical and musical theatre abilities. Callum Fotheringham recently successfully auditioned for the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra and is a member of the 2023 New Zealand Secondary Schools Symphony Orchestra. While currently in Year 13 at Logan Park High School, he’s studying 1st year performance oboe with teacher Nick Cornish at the University of Otago. Callum will play the oboe obligato with the choir in Bach’s glorious Ich Harre Des Herrn as well as solo pieces. Choir favourite Cameron Monteath will accompany both Kieran and Callum’s solo pieces and also play Rachmaninoff’s beautiful arrangement of Kreisler’s Liebesleid for solo piano. Queenstown pianist Alison Frude will accompany the choir, with Wanaka double bass Kate Lovell and legendary drummer Peter Doyle of Queenstown adding the essential percussive elements to particular numbers. The nine-piece Chamber Ensemble comprising local string players and young professional musicians from Dunedin join in the Bach pieces for a full and impressive sound. Join the choir and guests for a marvellous musical feast of varied, well known and much-loved music.

Arrowtown: Athenaeum Hall, Friday, May 10th at 7.30pm

Wanaka: Lake Wanaka Centre, Saturday, May 11th, at 7.30pm

Alexandra: Dunstan High School, Sunday, May 12th at 2.30pm

Tickets $30

Door cash sales

School students free