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Inaugural Martinborough Music Festival

November 17, 2017 November 2017 Comments Off on Inaugural Martinborough Music Festival

The newly launched Martinborough Music Festival, held from September 29- October 1, brought together two musical treasures: the beautiful, warm-toned Schimmel grand piano bequeathed to the Martinborough community by the late Cherry van Kranen, and Michael Houstoun New Zealand’s pre-eminent concert pianist. “Without an instrument of this calibre we would never have been able to attract someone like Michael to play here” says Brendan Smyth, one of the festival organisers. “Cherry’s nephew, who came from Whangarei for the festival, said he was ‘blown away’ when he heard this was happening.”

With the Town Hall currently undergoing earthquake strengthening the organising committee chose St Andrew’s church hall for the four performances. The hall’s size proved ideal. It allowed the audience to see the performers and their technique up close and created the intimacy that is a hallmark of chamber performance. The acoustics also worked wonderfully well.

“You never now what to expect the first time you try something like this but we have been thrilled with the response both from the Martinborough community and from further afield. We sold over 400 tickets and the feedback has been very complimentary”, says Brendan. “ There were standing ovations, and comments like ‘world class’ and ‘top quality experience’.”

The musicians also paid tribute to the organisers and to the local audiences. There was unanimous agreement that the management, staging and atmosphere were superb. ”The audiences were so rapt and attentive. The sense of connection with them was very special.” The performers also appreciated the venue’s off stage facilities, and had all enjoyed the time they were able to spend in the village.

While Michael Houstoun was the star of the festival the programme also featured three outstanding NZ chamber music groups: The Zephyr Wind Quintet; The Schubert Octet; and a new group made up of NZSO principals put together especially for the Festival and fittingly named the Martinborough Festival Quartet.

In describing the pieces he chose for his own solo concert on the Friday night Michael noted that, “..the quality that permeates the music.. is serenity. An antidote to chaos”. His playing of J S Bach, Schubert and Satie perfectly exemplified this. Composers featured in the other programmes included Reicha, Ken Wilson (a former NZSO clarinettist), Ibert, Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms. Music lovers will find a detailed review of the performances and musical notes on the festival’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/martinboroughmusicfestival

This festival, like Jazz in Martinborough, was a dream of the late Ian Cresswell who would have been thrilled to see the idea being realised. Asked if the festival would be run again, the organisers joked that they were still recovering from the excitement and pressures of the first one! There is no doubt there is an audience out there, so hopefully Martinborough will be able to add a regular classical musical festival to the rich cultural scene that has developing in the town.
Chris Cassels

Business Association update

November 17, 2017 November 2017 Comments Off on Business Association update

It’s been another busy month for the Martinborough Business Association with the successful launch of a Sunday bus service to and from the Featherston train. Run by association member Green Jersey Cycles and underwritten by the business association, the purpose of this service is to support our local businesses by ensuring visitors who catch the Sunday train from Wellington have a bus service to Martinborough over the summer season. Running until Easter 2018, we hope that statistics collected of visitor demand for this service to Martinborough will give the association the ammunition to lobby for the subsidized Metlink service to run seven days a week from Featherston. … Continue Reading

Life Flight helicopter picking up a road accident patient

November 17, 2017 November 2017 Comments Off on Life Flight helicopter picking up a road accident patient

Life Flight’s Westpac Rescue Helicopter and Air Ambulance Plane helped 95 people across New Zealand between 1-24 October. 12 of those patients are from the Wairarapa region.
This included the search and rescue of an injured hunter, the roadside care and transfer of a patient following a motorcycle accident and the urgent transfer of a premature baby to the NICU Ward at Wellington Hospital.


November 17, 2017 November 2017 Comments Off on MARTINBOROUGH GOLF REPORT FOR THE STAR

A number of the gals from the District travelled up to Windross to watch Lydia and her pals competing in NZ first LPGA  Tournament. They put on a fine performance for the crowds, the weather unfortunately ruined Sundays viewing.
While back at home the  Club held the  Jennian Homes Mens 72/ 36 hole Strokeplay Championships, Big thanks to the Kahui family from Wainuiomata Golf Club for contributing six players to this tournament,four playing in the pure format and and two of the lads Dads playing in the 36 holes. 
The Spearman Burns brothers also returned, though they took the relaxed option playing in the 36 holes. A number of players from Royal Wellington also bolstered the numbers.
The Nett winners were the youngest and oldest competitors the field of 70 and both from Martinborough
Results of the 72 holes 1st local Wairarapa lad Troy Shaw from Mahunga  Gross 72,72,79,71=294, 2nd Caleb Kahui  Wainuiomata Gross 296, 3rd Craig Wilkins Te Maura Gross 309, 4th Joe Cuthers Judgeford Gross 313.
Nett: PNBH lad and local Liam Annis Nett 276, 2nd Dave Clarke Mornington 277, 3rd Hugo Daily RWGC 288, 4th Colin Whibley Smith  291 on a c/b to Davis Lester Clarke 6th Sheldon Mc Namara 292, 7th Mike Edginton Wainuiomata 294 8th Will O Connor 295. … Continue Reading


Golf news

November came and went pretty much without rain, finally the Course has dried out and that little dimpled ball is back running down the fairway, bringing a cheer to many who thought that the rain might never stop. The highlight of the month was the Women winning the Teams Stableford …

Martinborough Netball Club

Indeed while this year is almost over and this article slightly late, just to let you know what the season has been like for the Martinborough Netball Club. The Netball Premier Team moved up a grade this netball season from previous years having played in the Premier 2 grade. We …

Walking is a man’s best medicine. (Hippocrates)

SOUTH WAIRARAPA TRAMPING CLUB While crossing a busy intersection in Christchurch last week I spotted a banner sporting the message: WALK2freeTHE.MIND. This surely captures in a catch-phrase a credible philosophy. Throughout the decades numerous walking quotes have been recorded, many of which portray the physical and mental benefits of a …

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