Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Whangarei, New Zealand

Whangarei is the northernmost city in New Zealand and it has a warm and humid subtropical climate. Summers occasionally exceed 30°C, and there is plenty of rain, spread relatively evenly throughout the year. It has a stunning harbour and coastline. Here’s a picture of Whangarei:
I gave a presentation on the 9th December for the Whangarei Registered Music Teachers and the good-sized audience was a nice mixture of teachers and students. Some had come some considerable distance to be there. The by-now-familiar game of two halves consisted of a talk about American Popular Piano (, great New Zealand tea and cakes and then a presentation on Microjazz, featuring both a greatest hits element and tracks from my latest album(s). The audience were both attentive and enthusiastic and I was pleased to have both teachers and students coming up to play and even to improvise.
Here are three very cheerful students from Northland:
The audience certainly “got” what I was talking about and there was lots of interest in the new material – APP of course, but also brand-new books like MicroLatin and MicroRock. And of course the Christmas material, both Concert Collection and New APP Christmas pieces, proved of interest (in spite of the sun blazing outside!)

One special feature of this workshop was the presence of a very gifted 9 year old composer, Joseph Kaptein, who played a very impressive piece of his own at the end of the workshop. New Zealand is still producing them! Here he is at the piano:
Thanks to Dora Harkness, the secretary of the Northland branch of the RMT, for putting this event on and for getting such a good crowd (and on such a nice day!)

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