A Very British Tribute
Aidan Bennett, Heather Vermeer, Crystal Sharp, Christine Young, Bridget Philips.

A Very British Tribute

Thoughts of Britain are strong as we put together our June issue. As is our want at Channel, we’ll focus on the positives: The British and Irish Lions are here, it’s The Queen’s Birthday and the very British ‘Last Night of the Proms’ concert performance is held, all this month. 

Starting with the latter, The Proms concert series has been a feature of London’s musical scene since the mid-17th century and now culminates in a raucous last night celebration, replicated in countries around the world. Here, Takapuna’s Bruce Mason Centre has played host to these concerts for 16 years and their popularity continues to grow. In this Queen’s Birthday month, we feature local conductor Peter Thomas and some of the assembled Auckland Symphony Orchestra in a warm up for the big event on our cover. We have a behind-the-scenes chat with the man behind the bunting, ASO and stage manager Stephen Pipes, and also have two double passes for the 23rd June concert to give away.

Aidan looks ahead to The British and Irish Lions’ tour this month. With rugby being one of his favourite subjects, our publisher is in his element as he looks forward not only to the games, but to meeting several of the players when they visit the Shore this month for a very special North Harbour Club rugby-themed event on the 23rd.

A another local musical success story, away from the British theme, is that of a young group of a cappella singers who have won praise and public recognition as part of TVNZ’s The Naked Choir. Students of various Shore schools, the group, Chord5, are a multi-talented bunch of local musicians (and sportspeople, and academics, and more) who stepped up to take part in the prime time Sunday evening TV1 show. We chatted to them ahead of this issue before the programme’s finals are aired, over Queen’s Birthday weekend. 

We introduce more fresh young talent in the form of several Shore sailors heading to Bermuda this month to compete in the Youth America’s Cup. Matthew Kempkers of Birkenhead learnt his sailing skills at Birkenhead Yacht Club and developed them at Wakatere Boating Club at Narrow Neck. He is one of four Shore sailors that make up half the New Zealand team selected to take part in this youth competition, which will take place from June 12th through to the 21st, alongside the main America’s Cup spectacle. 

By Heather Vermeer

Channel Magazine: Issue 77 June 2017

From The Team articles by Heather Vermeer