With the Central Otago Regional Choir, our area has a real taonga – perhaps even a ‘hidden treasure’, though it deserves to be highly prized and celebrated.

Conducted by Richard Madden, the groups May 2021 Concert series was brought to Wanaka, Queenstown and Alexandra. 

The large choir performed spirit-lifting music by Will Todd in the first half, and by Haydn in the second. 

They were accompanied by Kemp English (organ), Sandra Crawshaw (piano) and a String Ensemble led by NZ Symphony Orchestra Assistant Concert Master Yuki Eguchi.

Richard Madden seems able to attract outstanding guests. 

Eguchi has been concertmaster of the Japan Philharmonic Orchesta, the Tokyo Mozart Players, and is now assistant concertmaster and first violin of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. 

Her beautiful, soulful rendition of Meditation, from the opera Thais, had most of the audience wiping their eyes.

Egushi’s partner Kemp English is another internationally-acclaimed guest.  He brings his unique organ on a bespoke trailer, from their home on the Kapiti Coast. 

He has performed all over the world, and given masterclasses in the UK, China and Australia.

He often joined with pianist Sandra Crawshaw to accompany the choir in this concert. 

Sandra, a pianist and violinist from Dunedin, has played violin in the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra for more than 25 years.

Hugely popular with the audience were young guests Victoria Williamson and Skyla Murray, both on violin. 

Victoria is a second year science student at University of Otago, and this year she is also studying Music Performance. 

She has played in the NZ Secondary Schools’ Symphony Orchestra.

Skyla is a Year 11 student at Columba College in Dunedin with an impressive resume for her age.  This year she was Concertmaster for the NZSSSO and has been a member of the National Youth Orchestra for the last two years.

They performed together and solo, with impressive mastery and panache, and the audience were hugely engaged and appreciative of their young talent and assurance.

The Central Otago Regional Choir will be back this year in the Spring – try not to miss it!

Note to male singers:  The CORC are keen to bolster the tenor and bass sections of the choir.  If you enjoy singing in harmony and would like to join them, please contact Chris Allan on 027 321 1585

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