Wanaka Sun       

Going out on a high note

Posted at 5:08am Thursday 01 Nov, 2018 | By Emma Conyngham newsdesk@thewanakasun.co.nz


After 14 years leading the Central Otago Regional Choir as choir director and conductor John Buchanan is handing on his baton.

Buchanan arrived at Dunstan High School in 2006 for a one-year contract as director of music but 14 years later is only now moving on. Whilst at Dunstan, he helped the students excel to new choral heights, culminating in selection for the finale of  “The Big Sing” competition for secondary school choirs in 2017 and winning an award, which is a rare achievement for a small town school. He has also led the Roxburgh Brass Band to national success.

On Saturday, November 10, Buchanan will be leading the Central Otago Regional Choir in Viva Vivaldi, a celebration of music culminating in the performance of one of Vivaldi's most popular works: Gloria in D. The choir will be accompanied by a string quartet from Dunedin's Symphony Orchestra, with additional colour provided by oboe, bassoon and trumpet and the continuo part performed by Kemp English (harpsichord). English and the string quartet will also perform Haydn's elegant Concerto in D for Harpsichord. This half also includes a selection of favourite works, accompanied by Sharon McLennan (piano). These works were specially chosen by the choir who will perform them as a special tribute to Buchanan.

“He's a man with huge musical knowledge and talent,” said Debbie Kershaw, choir committee member. “He will be a considerable loss in musical circles around Central Otago.”

As Buchanan's swansong, the performance is tinged with sadness.

“I've made some good friends and we've bought magic to the choral community at a level that people wouldn't expect in a small rural community,” he said. “It's been a really great group of people and we've had some lovely times.”

Central Otago Regional Choir, Saturday, November 10, 7.30pm at St Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Tenby Street. Tickets will be on sale at the door.




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