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Organ Revelation


Sun 22 Feb 2015, 4:00pm–5:30pm

Where: Whakatane Little Theatre, Rex Morpeth Park, Short St, Whakatane, Bay of Plenty

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • General Admission: $32.50 ($30.00 + $2.50 fees)
  • Eventfinda tickets no longer on sale

The Whakatane Music Society is bringing one of New Zealand’s leading musicians, Dr John Wells, to Whakatane to reveal the mysteries of the organ. This event ‘Organ Revelation’ is more than just a concert, as Dr Wells will also speak about the organ’s fascinating history and demonstrate its capabilities using his travelling Roland C330 digital organ. Most unusually there will also be an opportunity for audience members to have hands-on experience of the instrument at the end.

Tickets may be booked in person at The Good Life, 194 The Strand, Whakatane, using cash or cheque. The adult price is $30. For Music Society members and groups of six or more adults tickets are $25 each. As a very special concession students under 18 who are accompanied by a paying adult will get in free. To obtain these concessions tickets must be obtained from The Good Life or at the door. Full adult tickets may be purchased on-line.

Some of the music to be played in ‘Organ Revelation’ will have not been heard before in Whakatane. It includes both works written for the organ, like Vierne’s ‘Pièces de Fantasie’, as well as ones that have been arranged for it, such as Tchaikowsky’s ‘Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy’. There is at least one virtuosic piece: George Thalben-Ball’s ‘Variations on a Theme by Paganini’, which is played almost exclusively on the pedals.
John Wells is no stranger to Whakatane, as he has accompanied the Edgecumbe Choir on many occasions, but this is probably his first solo organ concert here. He is the first New Zealand musician to live primarily as a free-lance professional organist and has won over audiences throughout the country and abroad with the skill of his playing, the variety of his programmes and the engaging way he relates to his audiences.

Dr Wells is a graduate of Cambridge University where he was organ scholar at King's College Chapel. He received his organ performance doctorate with high distinction from Indiana University and is well-known as a concert performer, composer, recording artist and teacher. Tours have taken him to Australia, England, Poland, Germany, France and North America. Dr Wells is currently Organist to the University of Auckland and Visiting Artist-Tutor at the School of Music. As Auckland City Organist from 1998 to 2012 he played a key role in the campaign to rebuild the Auckland Town Hall organ.
Wells has made a number of CDs including the very first New Zealand organ CD in 1989. A recent one ‘John Wells: Auckland City Organist’ (Atoll ACD641) includes Well’s ‘Kokako Fanfare & March’, based on recordings supplied by the Manawahe Kokako Trust. He is in steady demand as a composer and tours to the Far East regularly as a music examiner. He also works as a pianist and festival adjudicator. He is particularly keen to bring organ music to the many places in New Zealand where the organs are too limited to support anything except simple church requirements. The amazing sounds available on his Roland C330 digital organ now enables John Wells to be completely mobile and, in his capacity as National Director of the NZ branch of the Australian & New Zealand College of Organists, offer schools an ‘Impact Organ!’ programme. While in Whakatane he will be visiting two schools.
Of John Wells’ performance it has been said:

More information about the ‘Organ Revelation’ event can be obtained from Warner Haldane on (07) 308 0215 or at or by finding the Whakatane Music Society on Facebook.