education concerts

For many, the recorder is one of those musical instruments used by children to unintentionally drive their parents up the wall.

But Piers Adams, one of the world’s top recorder players and members of the internationally renowned baroque group Red Priest is creating a whole new appreciation of the instrument and the genre.

The ensemble, known for their uniquely energetic performance style and dazzling musical arrangements, thrilled 1500 primary school children at Napier’s MTG, Wellington’s Michael Fowler Centre and Dunedin’s Glenroy Auditorium ahead of their sold-out tour season.

While in Dunedin, Piers Adams also visited St Clair School, where wide-eyed pupils were amazed by the ‘’recorder rock star’s’’ skill and virtuosity. ‘’Recorders driving parents around the bend – it’s the same issue, pretty much every country I go to.’’

He said the recorder was used in classrooms as a way of teaching music, but his goal was to show young people what was possible on the instrument and present it as a major-league player for the 21st-century concert platform. ‘’It’s amazing seeing the kids’ eyes light up when they hear it, because it’s something they do themselves and then when they hear it done properly, it’s quite a thing.’’

St Clair School music teacher Alison Caldwell said all pupils were learning to play the recorder and were ‘’very excited’’ to meet and listen to the ‘’reigning recorder virtuoso in the world today’’.

I teach at a small rural school south of Dunedin and for many of my students this was their first concert ever – what a brilliant introduction to the world of music! We had listened to the Four Seasons in the van drive up to Dunedin and on the way back they insisted that we listen again and do the foot stamping/wind whistling/teeth chattering [that Red Priest incorporated in their schools performance]. Thank you so much for providing inspiration to these children” – Justine Pierre, HOD Music, Tokomariro High School, Milton, Otago

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