It has become an institution on the Taupō musical calendar but the 2020 version has fallen foul of Covid-19 restrictions.
The Big Music Day, which has been running for the last 20 years, involves close to 200 students from primary to secondary school age forming a giant orchestra and rehearsing four or five pieces before a one-off public performance.
But not this year for the event due on September 10.
“Though we don’t yet know whether we would technically be allowed to run this event, we feel that due to its nature, cancelling is the safest and most responsible decision,” said organiser Jo Paull.
“Since we have around 200 participants during the day, we are unable to physically social distance, and many of the instruments require blowing so we are unwilling to take the risk.”
In the 2019 incarnation 175 students attended from Taupō primary and secondary schools as well as homeschool students and a smattering from Rotorua and Tauranga schools.
With parts arranged for about 16 different instruments, the day, organised by the Taupō School of Music is designed to broaden the student’s musical experiences.
As well as learning to cope with different conducting styles and the skill of ensemble playing, such as learning how to count rests, come in on time and adjust volume, it also results in students looking to explore a wider range of music and instruments, said Paull following last year’s Big Music Day.
The call off follows the cancellation of the September 4 midday concert by Cellophonics as some Auckland members from the eight strong cello group had not been able to make rehearsals in Hamilton.
An exhibition of Waikanae artist’s Gillian Cronin’s bold colourful acrylic paintings celebrating the lives of ordinary women in the world’s developing countries, “Through Female Eyes”, opens at the Taupō Museum this Saturday 30 October.
Gillian has been painting for over 30 years and her preferred medium is acrylic on board or canvas.
The celebration of these women’s lives is a strong theme running through all her paintings, as Gillian loves telling stories, but she always balances this narrative in her own inner sense of harmony, colour, design, and spirituality.
Gillian said that often throughout the history of art, women have been the objects of the artist’s gaze, the artist generally being male, and the artist's model or muse being female.
“I want to turn the tables and paint a woman's eye view of the world. In particular, having travelled extensively I want my story in paint to be celebrating the lives of ordinary women in developing countries.”
Around twenty years ago, she visited Ethiopia. It was her first trip to Africa, and left a profound impression on her, both as a woman and as an artist, she said.
“Poverty in Africa exists on a completely different scale to the third-world living conditions I had previously encountered in Asia and South America.”
In 2017, she travelled around India and in 2019 she said she was lucky enough to visit Mexico and Guatemala. During these travels she gathered a rich tapestry of experiences and an overload of inspiration for subsequent paintings. She responded to the warm vibrant colours of India and Mexico as well as the people and the culture.
Taupō Museum exhibitions officer Kerence Stephen said Through Female Eyes will provide visitors with a feast for the eyes.
“We are excited to be hosting these works – Gillian’s balance and harmony between the colours and forms in her art is breath-taking,” she said.
The exhibition runs until 29 November. Taupō Museum is open seven days from 10am to 4.30pm and entry is free to Taupō District residents with proof of address.
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