On Sunday 14 March at 2.30pm, St Paul’s Church in Tennyson Street will come alive with the sound of beautiful chamber music when the Hawke’s Bay Orchestra (HBO) holds a fundraising concert ‘Classics for Koha’. 

It will also be a chance for locals to see conductor José Aparicio swap his baton for his flute, performing Haydn’s London Trio No.3 and Mozart’s Flute Quartet No.1.

The concert, which features works from Bach to Bartok, is being held to raise funds for the orchestra to enable it to continue to present high quality musical events in Hawke’s Bay. 

The orchestra has a core of local musicians supplemented by a network of professional musicians from around the country. These musicians are invited to bring the orchestra to full strength and allow HBO to play repertoire of significant standard.

Principal conductor and 2018 Hawke’s Bay Person of the Year, Aparicio says HBO, like any community artistic group, is of “vital importance” to the health and wellbeing of our community and society. 

“Not only does HBO bring focus, joy, expression and a sense of achievement to all of its members, it also reminds our society of the great beauty of arts in a deeper way, at times when artifice is the common denominator in entertainment.”

The programme has been devised by José, using local musicians in a varied programme where “accessible” items are combined with less popular ones, but which audiences will benefit from hearing. 

“Conducting, playing or singing, I always look forward to getting on the stage. I am lucky it is my passion, my hobby and my job,” says José.

Cameron Stuart

Audiences will also be treated to works including a six-piece cello ensemble performing Faure’s Elegie, an Ibert wind trio, Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto and Bartok’s much-loved Romanian Folk Dances. Joining José are local players and soloists including former NZSO viola player Alice Sip, flautist Dana Parkhill and cellist Cameron Stuart.  

José, who has conducted many professional orchestras in his stellar career, says Hawke’s Bay is very lucky to have professional musicians living here.

“The most beautiful thing about these players is that they are extremely humble, are prepared to play any position and never demand to be treated differently. This is exceptionally good for a group like HBO, because the amateur players in the orchestra get to play alongside phenomenal quality players every week, which enhances their playing and also raises their expectations. The concert will have a standard of playing uncommon for a group the size of HBO and definitely a level above most regional orchestras.”

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