The Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra, renowned for its hilarious cover versions of pop and rock classics, will entertain Queenstown for the second time on March 7. Photo supplied.
The Queenstown Memorial Centre will reopen in style after its
$3.1 million upgrade with a double bill of ukulele
entertainment to thrill music lovers of all ages.
The Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra shares the
bill with ''the best ukulele soloist in the world'', James
Hill, for a concert on March 7 at 7.30pm.
The talented musicians of the seven-year-old orchestra mix
heavenly harmonies and stunning solos with madcap antics and
mini instruments to bring sell-out, sing-along audiences to
The troupe have recorded and released four EPs which feature
their astonishing interpretations of such pop and rock hits
as Afternoon Delight by the Starland Vocal Band,
Africa by Toto, That's Amore made popular by
Dean Martin, This Charming Man by the Smiths,
Jolene by Dolly Parton and Cry Me a River by
Composer and player Hill is credited with ''enchanting''
''We're looking forward to audiences enjoying James Hill,''
said orchestra musician Gemma Gracewood.
''He's simply one of the best ukulele musicians in the world.
He's from Halifax, Nova Scotia, and not widely known outside
of ukulele circles - yet.''
The orchestra made its Queenstown debut last March and it was
a surprise sell-out.
''Queenstown is notorious for late ticket sales and one week
before [the concert] we were wondering if we would be playing
to an empty hall, but on the night there was a wonderful
audience and it was a very enjoyable show,''Ms Gracewood
The Queenstown audience on March 7 could look forward to new
additions to the orchestra's repertoire, seeing the musicians
in new outfits and even ''budget special effects'', she said.
• The Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra and James
Hill also play the Civic Theatre, Invercargill, on March 8
and the Regent Theatre, Dunedin, on March 9, as part of their
10-show national tour. Booking early is recommended. Tickets
cost $59 per person from Ticketek.