Howick and Pakuranga Times
Botany and Ormiston Times : Howick and Botany Times, Wednesday, August 21, 2013
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Kumon Dannemora Education Centre Call Philomena: 533 0584 or 022 636 2425 Visit http://nz.kumonglobal.com By Chris Harrowell TWENTY years ago, a commu- nity orchestra was born through a unique marriage of passion and determination. The Manukau Symphony Orchestra (MSO) was founded in 1993. To celebrate its 20th birthday, it’s staging a public music con- cert featuring the performance of works written by Jewish Czech composer Gustav Mahler. The showcase is entitled The Titan – Mahler Concert and it’s held at Vodafone Events Centre in Manukau this Saturday night. The MSO is comprised of musi- cians hailing from across the super-city. Chairwoman Terry Spragg is largely responsible for its success, having helped to found its pred- ecessor group. The former Howickian, now liv- ing in Manurewa, still attends its rehearsals and concerts. “It all started in the mid-1970s,” Mrs Spragg told the Times. “A group of us founded the Howick Orchestra and played in that for some years. “In the mid-1980s, we saw the need to establish the Howick- Pakuranga Youth Orchestra. “We then decided to create a citywide orchestra, and that’s how we came to establish the Manukau Symphony.” The MSO became an incorpo- rated society in September 1993. It was supported in its early days by then Manukau City councillor Keith Hyland and the Lions Club of Howick. Mr Hyland was the orchestra’s frst chairman, while Howick Local Board member Jim Donald was a member of its establishment committee. The MSO rehearses at Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts in Pakuranga and has provided many up-and- coming musicians a chance to develop their talent. “This orchestra is community- based and we’ve had lots of volun- teers,” says Mrs Spragg. “Right from the start we brought in professional musicians to help with tutorials and sit beside our community players. “One third of the orchestra is comprised of community players, a third of professionals, and a third of young people. “I don’t think another orchestra in New Zealand would have that mix.” Two East Aucklanders with important roles in the MSO are Brendan Agnew, who plays trum- pet, and Patricia Robertson-Bick- ers, on fugelhorn. Ms Robertson-Bickers, a former Pakuranga College pupil, is a previ- ous recipient of the MSO’s annual scholarship. Mr Agnew is one of the orches- tra’s present scholars. Mrs Spragg says one of the orchestra’s biggest strengths is its musical director and conductor, University of Auckland associate professor of music Uwe Grodd. “He has a way of bringing every- one together,” she says. “It doesn’t matter how young a player is. Uwe has a way of lifting the standard so everyone plays bet- ter. It’s a particular gift he has.” Mrs Spragg, who used to play viola for the MSO, is proud the entity created so many years ago is still going strong. She has no doubt the orchestra will keep on getting bigger and better. “It has a life of its own now,” she says. “I’m confdent the orches- tra will be here for a long time to come. “The players want to be there on stage and they rise to it.” Mrs Spragg was awarded mem- bership of the NZ Order of Merit (MNZM) for her contribution to the performing arts in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in March 2006. The Manukau Symphony Orchestra performs its 20th anniversary concert, The Titan – Mahler Concert, at 7.30pm this Saturday at Vodafone Events Cen- tre, 770 Great South Road. Tickets cost $26-$60. To book, phone 966-7777, email manu- firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.ticketdirect.co.nz. Set to star in the Manukau Symphony Orchestra's 20th anniversary concert this Saturday are musicians, from left, Brendan Agnew, Matthew Verrill, Oliver Furneaux and Patricia Robertson-Bickers. Photo supplied Two decades of concerts ELECTIONS 2013 Humbled to pursue job F ➤ rompage1 "Under new ownership, the Pakuranga Plaza is looking really sharp. Retail energy is as strong as ever with Botany Town Centre and with plans for the new Ormiston Town centre. But the most important transformational shift was to have a great CBD." And, with the impending introduction of electric trains, the new Wiri train depot, a second airport runway and expansion of tertiary education facilities, he says Manukau remains an important hub. While mayoral contender and business entrepreneur John Palino is weighing in on Mr Brown's traditional territory, talking about making Manukau a satellite city, Mr Brown says "we've been rolling that vision for Manukau out for the past 40 years". "I take my hat o to whoever wants to stand for the role, which can often be a thankless task and personally tough on you and your family," says Mr Brown. "But I'm humbled to be the rst mayor and would love the chance to continue the work." Mayoral candidates' face-off AUCKLAND Mayor Len Brown will be joined by four contenders for his job at an upcoming Grey Power meeting. Candidates for the super-city mayoralty in the upcoming Auckland Council elections, John Palino, John Minto, Penny Bright and Uesi li Unasa, take part in a debate with Mr Brown at the Grey Power Howick/Pakuranga Association meeting this Friday. The general meeting starts with refreshments from 9.30-10am, followed by the mayoral candidates' forum and question time. The open public meeting is held at Pakuranga Bowling Club, Lloyd Elsmore Park. Grey Power members and non-members are welcome. More details are available from Sandy Feringa, phone 534-9409.
Howick and Botany Times Wednesday August 14
Howick and Botany Times, Wednesday, August 29, 2013