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To promote the classical guitar in the community

Pepe Becker is the featured artist for the next meeting – Sunday, September 3rd, Thistle Hall, 4:15

Next Meeting:
Sunday 3rd September

Special Notice
The members of the Wellington Guitar Circle are invited to the Three Altos, a Viola Spectacular Gala Concert with the NZSO. Monday 4th September 7:30-9:30.The concert is the gala event of the 44th International Viola Congress taking place in Wellington from the 1-5th of September and features three of the best viola performers in the world today. We have been allocated a block of free tickets, all you have to do is let us know on Sunday if you would like to go.Link below

Our featured artist for our meeting for the month of September is Pepe Becker.
Here is a link to a youtube where she is singing with another singer and other instruments

(For our concert she will accompanying herself.)

Here is some biographical information about Pepe

PEPE BECKER – composer, singer, teacher. Pepe completed a BMus (in Composition) at Wellington’s Victoria University in 1987, then studied (Baroque) singing from 1991 to 1993 – with Jessica Cash in London, and at The Hague’s Koninklijk Conservatorium. She has sung professionally with a number of early music groups overseas; has been a soloist alongside renowned international singers such as Emma Kirkby, Richard Wistreich and Andreas Scholl, and now appears regularly as soprano soloist with chamber groups, choirs and orchestras throughout New Zealand. Pepe also directs her own ensemble, Baroque Voices (founded in 1994), for which she has devised over 100 programmes of both early and contemporary music; has recorded for Radio NZ many times and features on several commercial CDs; is a member of Voices NZ Chamber Choir; composes music; teaches piano, theory and singing, and also practises and teaches karate and astrology.,,

Here is some interesting information about the instrument she will use to accompany herself

“Medieval Meditations”
Contemplative chant, Medieval monophony and Traditional tunes,
Sung by soprano Pepe Becker with shruti-box drone accompaniment

Welcome to this short concert of early (Medieval and early Renaissance) and Traditional Folk (Irish and Scottish) melodies. Many of these pieces would/could have been performed with a drone of some kind, either provided by voice(s) or instruments such as the hurdy-gurdy or portative organ. In 2016 I acquired a shruti box – to assist me in the writing of a new work for Palmerston North based duo, Warren and Virginia Warbrick – and I have since used it in several concerts to accompany solo songs.

The shruti box is said to have its origins in ancient China, with the sheng – a wind instrument still in use today, which makes sound when air passes through small bamboo reeds. This free-reed instrument later influenced the Western harmonica, accordion and harmonium, all of which use similar principles. One type of harmonium popular with travellers to India (featuring a smaller keyboard than others and hand-operated bellows) developed into a keyboard-less version designed solely to produce sustained notes and chords to accompany singers and players. In India it was called the sur-peti and later became known as the shruti box when Westerners began bringing it back to Europe in the 1960s. The poet Allen Ginsberg used it to accompany his poetry readings, and since then it has slowly come to be played in other parts of the world. My instrument has a one-octave range from G to G, and was hand made by the Shruti Box Company, a family business founded by Stefan Cartwright in 2004.

Here is her program:

O viridissima virga – Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179)
A plainsong sequence in praise of the Virgin Mary. ‘O greenest branch…’
Rege mentem et ordina – anon., 13th C, French, transcribed by Don King
A devotional religious song about honour, glory and truth – when kings and clergy unite.
Axion estin – Greek Orthodox chant, transcribed by Dimitrios Theodoridis
‘It is truly right to bless thee, O Theotokos… mother of our God…’
O virgo splendens – anon., 14th C, Spanish
‘O resplendent Virgin, here on the miraculous mountain… which all of the faithful climb…’
Stella splendens – anon., 14th C, Spanish
A pilgrim song. ‘O star, shining like a ray of sun on the mountain…’
Perla mia cara – anon., c.1500, Italian, arr. from Shirley Rumsey by Don King
An intimate love song, usually sung with lute. ‘My dear pearl… you are queen of my heart…’
She mov’d through the fair – anon., Trad. Irish
‘My young love said to me… It will not be long, love, ‘til our wedding day…’
Anachie Gordon – anon., Trad. Scottish, as sung by Mary Black
‘Harking is bonnie, and there lives my love… O, I never will forget me love Anachie…’
Mignon, allons voir si la rose – Jehan Chardavoine, 16th C
‘My sweet, let us see if the morning rose still retains her crimson robe in the evening…’
O ignis spiritus – Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179)
A plainsong sequence in praise of the Holy Spirit. ‘O fire of the comforting spirit…’

Pepes program will start at about 5.30 and last for about 1 hour.

First part of the evening:

Before this we will

1. We will have our ensemble meeting. Last time we started with Clyde running us through simple pieces well within the capability of relatively early stage guitarists. This has occurred twice now and gone very well with participants. Many thanks to Clyde. Depending on time we will play through more of our ensemble repertoire.
Members playing:
2. As usual we will have time for members playing. Either ensembles, duos or solos. There was a nice variety of attractive and interesting playing at the last meeting. Great if we can keep this up. Well done to all the players. And please, it does not have to be “classical” music that you perform. And also “own compositions” are very welcome.

Guitar Ensemble:
These can be accessed at
Please just go to this link and then click on each title to get a copy on your computer which you can then print.
The pieces we will work with today will be in the following order:

Note we have a new piece no. 22 from 48 preludes and fugues by JS Bach
Here is a link to a youtube of it and the associated fugue – which we are not playing
1.All in a garden
2. Drink to Me Only
3. German Dance
4. The water is wide
5. Hong Dou Ci
6. Le Phenix
7. Set of quartet pieces #2 by Forrest. These can be found at the following link.

I will also have some extra copies at the meeting.

Only print what you need for your part.

These all have reasonably simple parts. . But also some parts are more difficult than others for the same piece. Generally the 3rd part is the easiest. Choose a part that is reasonably easy to play for you. Please if possible download and print for yourself. However, If you forget to do this before the meeting – fear not – we will have paper copies at the meeting. But it is a big help if you can do this for yourself.

Also – for some, this will be too much music to practice. So just choose the first 2 or three and work on those. Then you can step out of the group if you wish for the harder pieces. It is a great experience to play as part of this bigger group and it will be fantastic to have as many as possible to take part.

Following meeting – Sunday – October 1st
To be announced.
Whats happening around town?
See the viola extravaganza at top

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