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1950s divas and old maids at UC Music concert

The University of Canterbury (UC) School of Music and The Arts Centre Te Matatiki Toi Ora present Sing! Sing! Sing! on Sunday 13 October, featuring almost all UC’s performance music students on stage in The Great Hall at the same time.

The concert, the third and final in the UC music series for 2019, features 1950s radio play The Old Maid & the Thief by Menotti and the experimental interactive work Artificial Life by George Lewis.

The Old Maid & the Thief is performed live complete with divas, sound effects and era-appropriate commercials composed by UC composers. It tells the entertaining and absurd story of an ‘old maid’ who takes a young, attractive man into her house, causing scandal in the neighbourhood.

UC vocal students Hayley Tait, playing Miss Todd, and Yumeka Hildreth playing Leticia the maid, can’t wait for another opportunity to perform in their favourite venue, the Great Hall.

Tait says the hall has amazing acoustics. “You just look up and the sound goes all the way to the back of the room! My voice sounds triple the size; I can hear it roaring in there.”

Hildreth agrees; “It’s super easy to sing in there. You don’t have to push, it’s just effortless.”

The second item Artificial Life by MacArthur Genius Grant recipient and jazz trombonist George Lewis, will be performed from an interactive score. The work can be performed by any number of players on any type of instrument; no two performances are the same. UC performance music students have been working towards a public performance of this work during the second half of the year.

Musicians are personally and collectively responsible for the sonic environment they create in this work; balancing personal freedom with the challenge of listening and responding to their fellow musicians. Students describe the work as “full of rapid changes, with moments of fun, as well as sudden silence and dramatic dynamics”. The score requires students to make smart decisions and follow the direction the music is taking them.

Sing! Sing! Sing! Sunday October 13 at 2pm in the Great Hall, The Arts Centre Te Matatiki Toi Ora. Tickets are $20/$10 students.


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