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Glamaphones Sing Bernstein: There's a Place for Us

Where: St Peter's on Willis, 211 Willis St, Te Aro, Wellington

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • General Admission: $10.25 ($10.00 + $0.25 fees)
  • Children under 13 years old: $0.00
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This October, the Glamaphones will be showcasing their versatility by performing two great works by Leonard Bernstein. This programme of two halves will feature songs from “the greatest musical of all-time”, West Side Story, as well as the choral classic, Chichester Psalms. While being pieces of contrasting genres, they were the works of a singular man of genius, and will again be brought together by the Glamaphones’ inimitable passion of delivery.

This concert is quite a departure for the Glamaphones. Rachel Hyde’s programmes for the choir have incorporated the music of all genres, and the choir was ready for a new challenge with a new, albeit temporary, director. Upon taking on the choir’s directorship this term, Thomas Nikora has challenged Wellington’s rainbow choir with Chichester Psalms, a decidedly difficult piece in the choral canon. This will be balanced by the familiarity and eternal popularity of the West Side Story pieces.

This concert will also be performed in a new venue - St Peter’s on Willis. This venue will not be unfamiliar. St Peter’s is a progressive church (not unlike our home, St Andrew’s on the Terrace) and is also where Jean Malcolm, the Glamaphones’ first musical director, is a co-vicar. A significant point of difference is, of course, its fully-functional organ, a vital element of our arrangement of the Psalms. St Andrew’s is currently fundraising to restore its own glorious pipe organ.

The Glamaphones continues its string of successful collaborations in this performance, with instrumentalists (including an organist) and a special guest countertenor singing in the Psalms.

Not uncommon in the music world, Leonard Bernstein was a homosexual. Composing in a less accepting time, Bernstein married a woman, perhaps to dispel rumours to help secure a major conducting appointment. His wife Felicia acknowledged his homosexuality: “you are a homosexual and may never change” and his West Side Story collaborator, Arthur Laurents, noted that Bernstein was “a gay man who got married. He wasn’t conflicted about it at all. He was just gay”.

Outside of music, Bernstein was known for his outspoken political views and his strong desire to further social change. West Side Story endures, decades after its Broadway debut in 1957, because of the deep social themes it explores: “bigotry, cultural misunderstanding and the social failure to fully integrate and empower young people in constructive ways”. We have seen much progress since 1957 but there is no doubt that we have a long way to go.

Rachel Hyde, the Glamaphones’ regular musical director, will return from her sabbatical in late 2019.

Buy your tickets from Eventfinda or direct from choir members. Pre-sales are $10 (or free for under 13-year-olds). Door sales will be $15.

Acknowledgements: Wikipedia

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