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Team Festival

September 23, 2019 September 2019 No Comments

L. Brendan Smythe and Andrew Morrison with the Bill Board they have just erected.

“…it also helps to have a wicked management team that knows what they are doing” STAR, June 2019 wrote 19 years old cello prodigy Matthias Balzat when listing the reasons he accepted an invitation to participate in the Martinborough Music Festival (MMF) again. This remark made the team smile. It also led to several readers wanting to know just who the team was/is behind the MMF- a list of names on the website just did not cut it for some inquirers.  

When I spoke of this idea with the team, there was a pregnant silence. As a prompt I suggested leaving out the stuff of CVs, a short bio was all that was required AND short they were. For those who do not know, the MMF team is led by Ed Allen. Other members are Sharon Cuzens, Andrew Morrison, Murray Pashby (all new on the team), Brendan Smythe, Marion Townend and me. Vicki Jones, with Wilma Smith, is Artistic Director. 

There are common threads. These are people who have achieved in their work environment as well as contributed to community. 

Ed Allen is known for his addiction to cycling as much as for his skills with the French Horn.  It is Ed who plays The Last Post at our local ANZAC ceremony.  His cycling has seen him involved in successful fundraising ventures, notably to help raise funds for the Martinborough Medical Centre.

Vicki Jones (Double Bass) was with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO) from 1993 until her retirement in 2012. This enabled her to build valuable friendships and networks which have been instrumental in securing the top drawer musicians who participate in the MMF. She leads the Martinborough Community Choir.

Marion Townend is an accomplished violinist. She has a particular interest in encouraging a love of classical music in children. Besides being our super-efficient secretary, Marion, together with Ed, drives the MMF school education component of our programme.

Vicki and Marion are part of the Martinborough String Quartet who participate in community fundraising and entertain in rest homes.

Brendan Smythe was in music administration most of his working life, responsible for increasing  popular  NZ music content on national commercial radio. Brendan is our super-skilled IT and marketing expert.  He played the Lagerfone in jug band,”the Ten Percent Supermarket Discount Jug Band” which plied the RSA circuit in Hawkes Bay” ( Google Lagerfone. You will learn how to make one as well as play it.)

Murray Pashby who prefers being “a back room boy” is our treasurer. 

Sharon Cuzens loves choral singing. She says she has “a bad habit of putting her hand up for committees”.  Sharon works with Brendan on IT and marketing. 

Andrew Morrison has a corporate background and looks after fundraising.

Ticket sales indicate that classical and chamber music is something our community values. Team MMF feel humbled knowing they are contributing to the cultural and economic fabric of Martinborough. www.martinboroughmusicfestival.co.nz     Winifred Bull

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