Creating connections

City Choir Dunedin singers (from left) Maggie Peake, Tree Cocks, Ruth Taylor, Maud Schroder, Brenda  Jones and Jocelyn Le Petit and conductor David Burchall and trumpeter Ralph Miller take on the cycle theme  at rehearsal at the Mornington Presbyterian Ha
City Choir Dunedin singers (from left) Maggie Peake, Tree Cocks, Ruth Taylor, Maud Schroder, Brenda Jones and Jocelyn Le Petit and conductor David Burchall and trumpeter Ralph Miller take on the cycle theme at rehearsal at the Mornington Presbyterian Hall. Photo: Peter McIntosh
The City Choir Dunedin is shaking things up and trying something new — a jazz cafe.  Rebecca Fox discovers the collaboration between classical and jazz is working for all.

Toes will be tapping and hips swinging at the City Choir Dunedin's upcoming concert.

Instead of the soaring notes of Verdi or Bach, the sounds of a jazz orchestra will ring out from the Dunedin Town Hall.

It is part of a new endeavour from the City Choir Dunedin - a jazz cafe.

Conductor David Burchall said the choir wanted to do something different and liked the idea of a cafe-style performance.

''Jazz is not our main or usual style, but we thought it would be fun to do something different and something a different part of the community might identify with.''

So they called in the experts - the Dunedin City Jazz Orchestra led by Calder Prescott and a group of top Dunedin jazz musicians.

Jazz musician Bill Martin, who will play piano in the concert, said he was excited about the concert.

''As a genre, jazz is generally music found in small bars and with small audiences. I really like the idea of a big community concert.''

Playing in the Dunedin Town Hall was a ''much bigger platform'' than local jazz musicians were used to.

They had been trying to reach into the community more with the new Dunedin Youth Jazz Orchestra, which will also perform in the concert.

''Orchestras create connections, and coming together with choirs like this just broadens the base.''

Burchall said to create the cafe experience the town hall would be decked out with tables and chairs and a dance floor space provided, so people could eat and drink and have a dance if they felt like it.

The choir, accompanied by a jazz quintet, will perform a selection of jazz standards, as well as Alexander L'Estrange's quirky vive la Velorution - songs on the subject of cycling and the great outdoors.

''I thought the theme of cycling was quite a good one given the works in Dunedin in cycle lanes and the increasing popularity of e-bikes,'' Burchall said.

There will also be performances by Cafe Operana - Helen Webby on pedal harp, Sophia Bidwell on accordion and Lois Johnston on vocals, soprano Sophie Morris - and the Southern Youth Choir. Dance group Swing Riot Dunedin will hit the dance floor.

Thanks to funding from the Community Access Fund, the performance is free.

People will be asked for donations instead.

To see
Jazz Cafe, City Choir Dunedin, Dunedin Town Hall, Saturday 7.30pm.

Add a Comment

1218b006_620x60_v2.jpg

1218b006_620x40_v2.jpg