Car Company owner Shane Drummond and Breeze announcer Briffni O'Rourke, centre, with symphony orchestra members from left; Richard Mackay, Robin Sanders, Valerie Towse and Christine Foote. Photo: Andrew Board.

Nelson Symphony Orchestra: We’ll make you smile with $10k

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Entries are rolling in for the Car Company Charity Drive, with dozens already dropped off before the deadline on August 22. Each week, until the deadline, Nelson Weekly will be speaking with an entrant about what the $10,000 would do for their group. This week we speak with the Nelson Symphony Orchestra.

For more than 40 years the Nelson Symphony Orchestra has been delighting the senses of appreciative Nelson audiences and this week it will again take centre stage – although not at its traditional home.

For the vast majority of its history, the Nelson School of Music has been home to the orchestra. But with the earthquake status of the school of music meaning it remains closed, the orchestra has been practising at Old St John’s on Nelson’s Hardy St, and it’s there that they will perform this Saturday’s concert.

Orchestra member Pam Seymour says as long as there’s a big crowd to watch them perform they don’t mind where they play. “We’re always looking for people to fill the auditorium, the more who come along, the happier we are.”

She says $10,000 would mean a great deal to the group because it would allow them to bring in internationally recognised musicians to play in Nelson. “That enables us to bring in international and national artists to play with us. That would bring enjoyment to the people of Nelson, because they are the ones who will come along and enjoy the music of these international artists.”

The orchestra currently has between 40 and 50 members and this week they’ll be rehearsing two hours every day until the concert on Saturday night. Pam says the concert will be a special performance of music written by those who died in World War One. “The music is not particularly well-known, but it is lovely and written by men who gave their lives.”

The concert will also feature some poetry written by soldiers and starts at 7.30pm in Old St John’s this Saturday night.

For charities to be in with a chance of winning the $10,000 from the Car Company, they just need to pick up an application form from any Car Company yard or visit www.carcompanynelson.co.nz. Applications close on August 22.