Saturday, March 14, 2009

Chillin Cello

Tony, the chillin' cellist

On Thursday we were lucky enough to have spent a couple of hours watching the Urban Soul Orchestra and a bunch of talented locals rehearsing for that evening's People In Your Neighbourhood performance at the Transmission Room - congrats to Gareth Farry and the substantial crew involved for pulling this great idea together. The Urban Soul Orchestra is a contemporary and versatile British string ensemble that has been breaking down barriers since their legendary early performances with Soul II Soul.

A line up of USOs

As we are featuring PIYN in Issue 10 of Black, photographer Shaun Pettigrew began setting up backstage for a series of portrait shots. I got talking to Tony Wollard USO cellist who told me about (and gave me a sneak preview of) a solo cello performance he was doing this Monday night at The Pumphouse, Takapuna. Tony is an award-winning cellist who has won many prizes including first prize at the John Lil Awards and the South East Music Awards. He said he would play a piece by William Walton which was actually written for Prince Charles - as all Princes Of Wales apparently play the cello and have a piece written for them. Prince Charles has never actually resined his bow for this piece though as it lay hidden in a draw for many years, until now. Among other pieces, Charlie's will be performed for the first time ever by Tony and a selection of local cellists on Monday night. See you there...