Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra's laudable In Your Neighbourhood initiative takes smallish groups of players out of the town hall and into the city suburbs.

This week, Huw Dann and his brass colleagues treated Takapuna to a programme titled Sacred and Profane, launched, with bells on the side, by the imposing sonorities of Graeme Koehne's The Voyage.

Similarly resonant, choir-like sonorities featured in Steven Verhelst's A Song for Japan, a tribute to victims of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and Dann's own canny arrangement of a Bruckner motet.

We heard music dear to brass players' hearts, from trombonists Jon Gluyas and Tim Sutton sprinting from salsa to fugue in a Daniel Schnyder duo, and Tak Chun Lai's bracing tuba workout on John Stevens' Triumph of the Demon Gods.


Gluyas and Dann were joined by horn player Emma Eden in Seven, by young Auckland composer Josiah Carr. These pithy miniatures, gleaming in the trio's chiselled ensemble, explored seven deadly sins, most wittily in the lazy, woozy harmonies of Sloth.

Luciano Berio's 1966 Sequenza for solo trombone is a masterpiece of music theatre and, dressed as a clown, with enough "stage business" to get him a job in the ring, the riveting Gluyas used voice and instrument for every sound imaginable.

What: Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra
Where: St Peter's Church
Reviewer: William Dart