During times of turmoil, war, tragedy and protest, music has brought people together. On Saturday, Hamilton City Brass will be performing Harmony Through Hard Times – a concert showcasing music of resilience, crisis and hope.
Under musical director Mason Elliot, the band have selected a programme that highlights how music has played a vital role in guiding humanity through times of adversity.
Tunes from wartime feature – both world war and also the American Civil War features along with music commemorating tragedies including the Manchester Arena bomb attack in 2017.
The programme spotlights several of the band's exceptionally talented musicians with solo performances of American Spirituals.
Stephen Towers features with 'Swing Low, Sweet Chariot' and Lisa Marshall will perform 'Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen'. Upbeat numbers also feature with a special Disney number.
The band have invited guest vocalists Lemau Sio-Lolesio and Aidan Scott-Nanthasack to share the stage with them.
Aidan is a local musician, currently studying towards a Bachelor of Music at the Waikato Institute of Technology.
Aspiring mezzo soprano Lemau has come from a background of choral music and is currently undergoing her 3rd year in a Bachelor of Music degree in the Classical Performance stream at Waikato University.
She is a current member of the New Zealand Youth Choir 2020-2022 cycle, and was first in the Dame Malvina Major Foundation Waikato Aria Competition 2020.
For performers and listeners alike, music creates a sense of belonging and identity. Now, as the world continues to face the challenges of Covid-19, musicians across the globe have turned to their craft, not only to stay connected to themselves but also to bring comfort, pleasure and connection to people everywhere.
With the current crisis, social distancing has meant that we've had to discover new ways of creating and sharing music and the concert will feature a collaboration music video made by the band's own manager, Malcolm Barr, during New Zealand's Covid-19 lockdown.
The band is also preparing for the 2021 New Zealand Brass Band Championships in Christchurch mid-year. The 'Contest' as it is affectionately known among brass bands was cancelled in 2020 so Hamilton City Brass' musicians are keen to be rehearsing again with the hope of attending the event in July.
Band spokeswoman Marilyn Edgecombe says: "They are embracing the challenges ahead as they prepare for the premier level required in the A-Grade."
What: Harmony Through Hard Times' with Hamilton City Brass
When: Saturday, March 27, 7.30pm
Where: Southwell School Performing Arts Centre, Peachgrove Road, Hamilton
Tickets: here or from i-Sites in Cambridge, Matamata, Morrinsville, Te Awamutu, Te Aroha, and Otorohanga. Booking fees apply. Door sales – cash only.