Insights into our IHC Accessible Concerts

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

With our free IHC accessible concerts well under way for the year with our first Auckland concert last month, I was interested to find out a little bit more from some of those involved about what their experience was like. Now in its sixth year, our mission is still the same: to break down any barriers that people may have around classical music and show the world that as an artform it is accessible to all!


We've teamed up with community musician Julian Raphael again this year, who has been involved with these concerts for a number of years. He recently had a chat to us about how he feels about being involved in something so special:

"There are a lot of different elements coming together: the initial meeting with the workshop participants and the time spent introducing songs and musical activities. This was especially powerful at Ranfurly a few weeks ago, because they didn’t know me, but by the end of the day the whole place was humming with song.

Then the musicians arrive and we start to meld some tunes and instrumental textures and the musicians start to feel a different vibe and (with any luck) start to loosen their grip on certain conventions and concerns about performance…

The concert event itself has a particular magic and if taken from the audience perspective – they become involved in the music from the beginning by joining in warm-up songs and chorus sections. The to and fro of participating and listening is an important dynamic I think. Somehow the active participation enhances the passive listening so that the whole event has a flow and embraces happiness in an all-encompassing way.

It should be the new normal I reckon."

Accompanying Julian at our Auckland concert last month was the highly versatile folk (Klezmer) ensemble The Kugels, who toured with us on our Regional Series this year. Being newcomers to the IHC accessible concerts did not stop them from getting in amongst the excitement. I spoke to Jacqueline Nordon (double-bass) about her impressions of the concert:

"It was a humbling experience to be a part of these concerts. The music chosen by Julian was very evocative of people's rights and playing it and watching personal responses in this context was highly rewarding. Particularly memorable were the blind students coming and touching the instruments at the end of the BLENNZ concert and asking lots of questions. We also have a family member who has special needs who spent 30 years in residential care in Kimberly, so this is very special for me."


The Kugels will again be performing with Julian Raphael in Christchurch this Friday 12 October.

The following concerts in Napier (25 October) and New Plymouth (9 November) will feature the Wellington based trio Ol' King Cole. 

Registrations are open for all concerts - book your spot now!