Saturday, 4 November 2017

Rotorua Arts : Music Appreciation Group 1946-

Rotorua : All Things Musical

In 1946 a Musicians Society existed and Mrs Sheaf was involved with that, she was nominated as a committee member of the Community Arts Centre formed in October of 1946, a provisional committee that also included the following people: Mr H. Taylor of the Operatic & Dramatic Society; Mr S.A. Cooper of the Drama League; Mrs H.E. Davis of the Women’s Club; Mrs G. Cruikshank of the NZ Education Institute; Mr L.H. Thompson from Rotorua High School and Mr Kusabs from the Rotorua Advancement Committee.

In 1946 a Rotorua Music Appreciation Group was formed by Mr James (Jim) Healy, an avid classical music fan who had just recently moved to Rotorua to work for the D.S.I.R. as the Government Volcanologist.  He became the founder Chairman of the Community Arts Council and was also the Record & Concert Reviewer for the Daily Post from 1952-1988.
Excerpt from Weekender 11th March 1988

In his role as reviewer, Mr Healy met with most of the visiting musicians… his first review was of the Tancibudek-Kriegel Trio, the trio consisted of Czechoslovakians  Mrs Tancibudek played the piano and Mr Tancibudek who played the Oboe and Mr Kriegel  a violinist from Austria. The trio had unbeknown to Mr Healy as Mr Kriegel had brought his own accompanist, he is reported to have said “he could not stand the Tancibudek woman” … Rotorua attracted some very good musicians including the Pascal Quartet … the Music Federation had preconceptions of what music would suit Rotorua’s provincial audience which did restrict the range of concerts’

Mr Healy said that “up 70 people came along to the Music Appreciation Group’s monthly meetings to listen to classical music records” however once records became more available to numbers dwindled, this group became the Rotorua Chamber Music Society in 1955, this later became the Rotorua Music Federation in 1980.’ 

Mr Healy also reviewed records for Rotorua’s first record shop in c.1962 (possibly Wiseman’s or Begg’s), he reviewed around 4000 records and he amassed a huge collection which ‘lined two walls of his home’.

With Thanks to the Don Stafford Collection Biography and Arts Folders for the above information.

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