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Wharekaka benefits from delightful musical soirée

September 13, 2017 September 2017 No Comments


One reason Martinborough is such a great place to live is the amazing range of amenities we have, many of which are no longer available in other small New Zealand towns.
Wharekaka Rest Home, run by locals for locals, is one of those treasures. With the recent upgrade to hospital-level care, it can now provide a place for older members of the community to live in supported care for the rest of their lives. They no longer have to move out of town, away from family and friends, when their care needs increase.
But the survival of such a facility is never guaranteed and the government funding model is particularly challenging for a smaller operation like Wharekaka. To remain viable and provide more than just basic services to residents, it requires ongoing fundraising.
What better way to raise money than by organising a concert that brings some of Martinborough’s talented musicians together with its community of music lovers. So, on Sunday, 6 August, Trish Logan, Chair of the Wharekaka Trust Board, and her husband Robert hosted 80 people at their beautiful rural home to hear a musical programme ranging from Handel to Gershwin.

The event was the brainchild of Suzanne Warner, who not only performed but also took on the challenging task of making it all happen. You may have met Suzanne already at her ‘day job’ – on the front desk at Wharekaka.
The concert featured the Martinborough String Quartet (Liz Patchett, Marion and Hugh Townend, and Victoria Jones). Also playing were Ed Allen, Howard Warner, Euan Huggett and Suzanne Warner. These musicians are vastly experienced performers who have played professionally in New Zealand and overseas. They generously donated their time to help develop an exciting programme, specially chosen for this fundraiser.
The 13 pieces took the audience on a journey through a broad musical landscape. It passed through the lyrical Berceuse from Fauré’s Dolly Suite (piano duet); the elegant Borodin String Quartet No 2; the quirky Frippery and Trippery by Lowell Shaw (horn and double bass); a heart-warming Romance by Schumann (clarinet and piano); and Bohm’s blood-stirring Slavonian Dance (violin and piano).
For the grand finale, most of the instrumentalists returned, along with Suzanne on percussion, to perform a fun and funky version of Debussy’s Golliwog’s Cakewalk, arranged by Euan.
The audience thoroughly enjoyed the polished playing as well as the musicians’ entertaining introductions to each piece. 
An event like this doesn’t happen without lots of behind-the-scenes effort. The Trust is grateful to the Lions Club of Martinborough and the Martinborough Ambulance Trust for the use of their chairs, and Ineke Kershaw for helping spread the word via her amazing email list.

The $4500 raised at the concert will go towards paying off Wharekaka’s wheelchair van. This vehicle makes it possible for less mobile residents to continue to enjoy outings and visits.
The concert added to the richness of cultural life in our community, and we hope to hear from these fine musicians again.

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