Mother's Day has special significance for Manawatū Sinfonia musicians this year.
The orchestra's concert on Mother's Day is a tribute to Clace Schwabe, well known to many as the mother of Palmerston North's own orchestra, quite apart from teaching instrumental music in the city's secondary schools. Schwabe died last year.
Musicians growing up in Palmerston North over the past 50 years will almost certainly have encountered her. Audiences and players alike will remember spotting the silver-haired French horn player in the back row in youth orchestra concerts.
In her memory, the sinfonia under guest conductor Peter van Drimmelen will perform her piece, Tutaki (Meeting), with viola soloist Jamie Oemcke.
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"It is very much a New Zealand work," van Drimmelen says. "It's an exciting piece for the audience and I am honoured to conduct it."
The audience will hear orchestral instruments give the effect of various Māori instruments through the piece, such as the pūtatara (shell trumpet) and kōauau (flute). But there are also native birds and Scottish folksong. "It truly is a meeting," he says.
The concert also features a concertino for flute and orchestra by Cécile Chaminade, of whom it was said, "This is not a woman who composes, but a composer who is a woman".
The concertino will be performed by Palmerston North flautist Emma Minchin.
"Emma is a great musician and flautist", van Drimmelen says. "She has a great musical presence and the piece absolutely sparkles."
In the aftermath of last year, when they were able to perform only one concert, sinfonia members are looking forward to a fuller year of music making.
What: Manawatū Sinfonia Autumn Concert
When: Sunday, May 9, 2.30pm
Where: Speirs Centre
Tickets: Adult $20, concession $15, child $5