Orchestra to weave some storytelling magic


A concert for all ages will combine the magic of storytelling with full orchestration.
The Central Otago Regional Orchestra’s ‘‘Winter Magic’’ concert will celebrate the joy of children’s books with themes from Harry Potter movies and storybook narration by Central Otago’s Mayor Tim Cadogan.
He will read the story of Ferdinand the Bull by Munro Leaf,with music composed by Alan Ridout, and Perky the Pukeko by Michelle Osment, with music composed by Christchurch violinist Cathy Irons.

Storytime . . . Composer and violin soloist Cathy Irons, of Christchurch, is delighted to bring her musical tale of Perky the Pukeko to Central Otago.

A simple accompaniment on the piano while her husband read to their children was the beginning of this fully orchestrated piece, said Mrs Irons.
‘‘When my children were little my husband used to read stories to them, and I liked to sit at the piano and I would create a musical background.’’
As the children got older and began learning musical instruments, Mrs Irons created a four-piece score.
Realising there were four characters in the book — Perky the Pukeko, Bantom Hen, the Farmer and Farmer’s wife — she created music for her family.
With her daughter on clarinet, her son on the trumpet, her husband on bass guitar and herself on the violin, she created a score so the whole family could play.
With her mother as narrator, Mrs Irons recorded the story with her family, and later she approached some members of the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra about doing a professional recording with them.The piece proved popular, and Perky the Pukeko began to be performed at schools around Christchurch.
‘‘It reached out to hundreds of children.’’
Mrs Irons then rewrote the score for a full orchestra, and this is the version that will be presented at concerts in Alexandra and Wanaka.
The story written by Michelle Osment remained unchanged — ‘‘It is the story that children will recognise’’, Mrs Irons said.
‘‘It is great fun and I’m very lucky that people like it.’’


The Central Otago Regional Orchestra Winter Magic Concert, with conductor Ashley Hopkins .

★ June 8, 7pm Presbyterian Community Church, Tenby St, Wanaka

★ June 9, 2.30pm Dunstan High School, Enterprise St, Alexandra

★ Tickets available at Unichem Pharmacy Bookshop, Alexandra and Gifted Design, Wanaka.

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