Woolshed recital a first

Organ music is 'tuneful, rhythmic and colourful and nothing (much) to do with churches' says the organist about to play a concert in a Woolshed

Organ music is 'tuneful, rhythmic and colourful and nothing (much) to do with churches' says the organist about to play a concert in a Woolshed

TO THE WOOLSHED: Dr John Wells is soon to exchange his formal dress for (possibly) black T-shirt and gumboots when he brings his C330 digital organ to Gisborne to perform classics by Bach, Rheinberger and Widor, and the Dambusters’ March, in a woolshed. Picture supplied
TO THE WOOLSHED: Dr John Wells is soon to exchange his formal dress for (possibly) black T-shirt and gumboots when he brings his C330 digital organ to Gisborne to perform classics by Bach, Rheinberger and Widor, and the Dambusters’ March, in a woolshed. Picture supplied
John Wells
CATHEDRAL TO WOOLSHED: The C330 digital organ’s authentic cathedral-grade sound fits into trailer organist Dr John Wells will tow to a Gisborne woolshed for a performance next month.
Pictures supplied

He spent 14 years spearheading Auckland Town Hall’s pipe organ-rebuild project and now Dr John Wells is about to fulfil his long-held dream of presenting the world’s first organ recital in a woolshed. This might come as a surprise to organ-music aficionados but Gisborne has such a venue.

Early next month, the Auckland University organist and New Zealand director of the Australian and New Zealand College of Organists will pack his C330 digital organ into his yellow trailer and tow it to Rodney and Sarah Faulkner’s Muriwai woolshed at Wairakaia Station. No cathedral is required for Wells’ purposes.

Many places in New Zealand have rarely, or never, had an organ concert on an instrument that does justice to the great masterpieces written for this ancient instrument, says Wells.

“When I hear of my colleagues going across to Europe playing fabulous organs in marvellous cathedrals, it often perplexes me. I ask myself: what has that got to do with music lovers in New Zealand? Organ music is great stuff,” he says. “It’s tuneful, rhythmic and colourful and nothing (much) to do with churches.”

Digital technology (and a yellow trailer) has made Chartres Cathedral-grade organ music possible in any setting. Wells can perform just about anywhere with four walls and a power point — including a wool shed.

Wear your gumboots if you like

Dress code is optional. Organisers recommend leaving the tux and evening gown in the closet and pulling on a pair of gummies and black vest or Swandri instead.

Wells was Auckland City Organist from 1998 to 2012. He has given concerts throughout New Zealand, Australia, Europe and North America. His programme will include classics by Bach, Rheinberger and Widor, along with foot-stomping favourites such as the Dambusters’ March.

He spent 14 years spearheading Auckland Town Hall’s pipe organ-rebuild project and now Dr John Wells is about to fulfil his long-held dream of presenting the world’s first organ recital in a woolshed. This might come as a surprise to organ-music aficionados but Gisborne has such a venue.

Early next month, the Auckland University organist and New Zealand director of the Australian and New Zealand College of Organists will pack his C330 digital organ into his yellow trailer and tow it to Rodney and Sarah Faulkner’s Muriwai woolshed at Wairakaia Station. No cathedral is required for Wells’ purposes.

Many places in New Zealand have rarely, or never, had an organ concert on an instrument that does justice to the great masterpieces written for this ancient instrument, says Wells.

“When I hear of my colleagues going across to Europe playing fabulous organs in marvellous cathedrals, it often perplexes me. I ask myself: what has that got to do with music lovers in New Zealand? Organ music is great stuff,” he says. “It’s tuneful, rhythmic and colourful and nothing (much) to do with churches.”

Digital technology (and a yellow trailer) has made Chartres Cathedral-grade organ music possible in any setting. Wells can perform just about anywhere with four walls and a power point — including a wool shed.

Wear your gumboots if you like

Dress code is optional. Organisers recommend leaving the tux and evening gown in the closet and pulling on a pair of gummies and black vest or Swandri instead.

Wells was Auckland City Organist from 1998 to 2012. He has given concerts throughout New Zealand, Australia, Europe and North America. His programme will include classics by Bach, Rheinberger and Widor, along with foot-stomping favourites such as the Dambusters’ March.

Tuesday, March 7 at 7pm, Wairakaia Station, State Highway 2 South Muriwai. Admission $20, student $5. Limited seating. Bus departs Marina carpark 6.15pm and returns around 9.30pm, $7. Parking is limited so patrons are encouraged to take advantage of the bus option.

Inquiries and bookings ph Gill at 868 6443 or email gillco@gisborne.net.nz

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