Novella to play at Solway centenary

By Nathan Crombienathan.crombie@age.co.nz -
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Wairarapa music group Novella will perform at the Solway Bazaar as part of the Solway College celebrations. PHOTO/SUPPLIED
Wairarapa music group Novella will perform at the Solway Bazaar as part of the Solway College celebrations. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

South Wairarapa all-women music group Novella will serenade shoppers and boppers alike at the Solway College Bazaar during the school centenary celebrations over Waitangi weekend.

Judy Siers, event organiser and college old girl, said the group features four women players, and sometimes five, and was formed when the friends discovered a mutual "love for playing music and singing" while involved with a South Wairarapa book club.

"Hence the name Novella."

Members of the group who will perform at the Solway Bazaar include Tine McDougall on guitar, Michele Bargh on ukulele, Janet McAllister on mandolin and Lucinda Birch on guitar.

The women will all share singing duties during the performance and their eclectic repertoire of country, folk, pop and punk includes songs from Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood, Eddie Vedder, White Stripes, Op Shop, Gillian Welsh, and Old Crow Medicine Show.

"They play a mixture -- putting their own unique sound, harmonies and joyfulness to a wide mixture of songs."

Mrs Siers said the bazaar will run at the Masterton girls' college during the afternoon of Saturday, February 6, and had been a traditional event at each old girl reunion at the school since about 1930.

"It really will be one of the jewels in the crown of the weekend."

Veteran singer-songwriter Andrew London is the headline entertainer during the weekend and alongside his band, The London Derrieres, will entertain at the Solway College Centennial Dinner and Dance on the Saturday night. Other centenary events will include a re-enactment, based on a surviving photograph, of the 1916 opening ceremony of the school.

Mrs Siers said hundreds of old girls and college supporters had registered for the event from across New Zealand with 17 travelling from Australia.

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