Christchurch Harp Orchestra’s midyear concert this year was a collaboration with the Garden City Orchestra. Held on 24 May at Avonhead School, the Sunday afternoon concert attracted a big crowd of all ages and filled the school hall.
Garden City Orchestra calls themselves ‘the friendly orchestra where tea is as important as the music’, and their director Beth Cohen does an amazing job conducting and serving trays of chocolate slice during the interval!
The Harp Orchestra played some short ensemble pieces: Brian Boru’s March, Carolan’s Welcome and the Dill Pickle Rag, arranged by Helen Webby.
Then we combined forces with Garden City Orchestra to play the famous Intermezzo Sinfonica from ‘Cavalleria Rusticana’ by Mascagni. This instrumental piece from an Italian opera set in Sicily was also used for the final scene of the Godfather III movie, when the daughter of the Mafia boss is killed on the steps of the opera house in Palermo. It is intensely beautiful, emotional music, and was a lot of fun to play with twelve harps sitting at the front of the orchestra, decorated with flowers to celebrate the occasion. The conductor Beth said it made her feel like Marlon Brando!
The original harp part of Mascagni’s Intermezzo Sinfonica is a series of chords in F major, and fits beautifully on lever harp. I did chop it up in to easy and intermediate parts however. If anybody would like to use these parts for school orchestra or harp orchestra, I am very happy to pass them on.
Helen Weby Director Christchurch Harp Orchestra
Harp Orchestra Christchurch meets once a month, and plays two concerts a year.
New players are warmly welcome, and parts are arranged for easy, intermediate and advanced players. Look out for our end of year Christmas Charity Concert on Saturday 28 November, 7pm. Venue for concert is Hohepa Canterbury, 23 Barrington St.