March 28, 2010
More than 60 ‘Take Note Singers’ from four choirs in Kapiti, Mana, the Hutt and Wellington took part in a combined choir concert of old Kiwi songs in Whanganui recently.
The singers were led by the Kiwi entertainer and music historian David Dell and Jo Pegler.
They took with them a cardboard ‘H’ to reinforce the message of harmony and love contained within the historic songs, such as Waiata Poi, Hoea Ra, Blue Smoke and Po Ataru (Now is the Hour).
Harmony was certainly needed in Whanganui as their visit coincided with reports in the local press about Mayor Michael Law’s campaign to remove newly-erected New Zealand Transport Agency road signs with the dreaded ‘H’ word on them.
The visit to Whanganui was organised by David Dell to bring an evening of nostalgia to the town — and to give the singers a weekend away.
But the singers got a good reception, if not from the Mayor himself.
The singers all sing for pure enjoyment — there is no audition for the Take Note choirs and no previous singing experience is required.
However, choir conductors David Dell and Jo Pegler certainly have great experience in bringing out the best from people who sing for fun.
David Dell also curates — and selects music for — the Sheet Music Archive of NZ, which contains a unique collection of Kiwi music from the last 170 years.