Nov 2013. HVO in Hollywood   

St James Church, Lower Hutt.  Saturday, 23rd Nov, 7:30
Carterton Events Centre, Sunday 24th Nov, 3:30

Pirates moreporkSummary

This concert was our end-of-year fun event, playing theme music from a number of movies. Two concerts were given, one in Lower Hutt as usual, and the other in Carterton.

In the second half, fragments of movies were shown as background to the music, and the musicians entered to the stage dressed in pirate costume and singing a pirate song.

The unconvincing parrot at right is a morepork statuette that can be found in a lovely courtyard in the centre of the Carterton Events Centre. The cobwebs are genuine, but the eye patch and medallion are CGI. That's Hollywood now.

The Concert

As is usual with end-of-the year concerts, there is the posh half and the folk half.
This division probably arose in England where class still has meaning. What it means here is that the orchestra are dressed up in the standard 'evening at the manor' with any formal pieces played, and in the second half, they dress down (up actually) and let rip a bit more. The divisions are getting murky though. Bond accompanying Her Majesty to the opening of the Olympics? Some people probably had kittens.

The signature fanfares were those associated with some major film studios. In the opening of 2001 A Space Odyssey, as the sun rises over a planet (and the studio credits appear), the tone poem Also Sprach Zarathustra begins with its deep rumble. We were fortunate to have this portrayed by the organ at St James.

The organ Orchestra

The first half began with The William Tell Overture. The opening cello solo set the scene for an expressive and spirited performance. This was developed by the other strings and culminated in a virtuoso flute solo before the trumpets heralded the part known to all as the Lone Ranger theme.

Brent introduced pieces with his own inimitable style.The orchestra then played Phantom of the Opera and a medley Movie Spectacular.

The first half closed with Schindler's List which has been scored with a moving violin part. This was brilliantly portrayed by our soloist, Wellington violinist Blythe Press.

Blythe is a talented player who had returned from overseas and is now heavily involved in a mix of roles in Wellington, including the NZSO.

Blythe Tait

 What every modern orchestra needs...
A film projector and a computer to drive it. Members of the audience may have noted the IT Crowd (of 1) hunched behind the screen mid stage. Thus Sprang Movieklippen

The trombone was just left there over an interval. Players like instruments to be visible rather than underfoot.

Trombone and computer

The second half began with the march in of the pirates. Not a real march - motley crews don't do marches - but there was a drum, they were singing in 3/4 time albeit in a minor key, and the Drum Major had a blue phosphorescent knife-like object in his mouth, so it was about as formal as you could expect outside a brass band. The two parrots carried were not Norwegian Blues, but they were stuffed. Rather soft and friendly looking. There is one on the home page.

Pirates-in-waiting Pirates entering

The movies were Pirates of the Caribbean, Bond, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Mission Impossible. 

Pirates of the Carribean Lord of the Rings Lord of the Rings

Three of the films clips. Pirates of the Caribbean, Lord of the Rings, and a series of clips of cats playing during the Bond Theme. An unaffordable sum was requested to play just 1 minute of actual Bond. Hence, agent 007 was replace by various cats interpreting Bond. Or is Bond really a big pussy. 

Judging by audience reaction, this concert was thoroughly enjoyed by all and the pirates' entrance in particular made a lasting impression.