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To promote the classical guitar in the community

Ray Ahipene-Mercer Guitar Builder and Repairer Guitar Player City Councillor


Our next meeting will be held on Sunday 3rd April

The address is Crossways (upstairs) at 6 Roxburgh Street, Mt Victoria.

The meeting  will start at 4.15pm and finish at 6.30 pm.


This month our feature spot is dedicated to Ray Ahipene-Mercer. Ray has been building guitars for many years. On Sunday he will talk to us about the joys and challenges involved in building guitars. As a player he has a players perspective on what a guitar needs to do for a player.

When Matthew Marshall used to be in charge of the guitar program at Massey University he would always recommend Ray the go to person for guitar repairs in our area.


Ray Ahipene-Mercer’s father was a guitar player and his mother a singer. He began his music career playing in school bands in the early 1960s. In 1964 the Beatles came to Wellington and the young Ahipene-Mercer attended their concert, resolving then to immerse himself in music. He joined the music programming section of the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation in 1967, resigning in 1969 to become a full-time musician at the age of 21. As Ray Mercer he played lead guitar with The Dedikation, which successfully recorded three singles and an album.[9] They were number two on the New Zealand Hit Parade in 1969 with their first single, “Wait for me Maryanne”, a cover of a 1968 song by Marmalade, and reached number 12 on the national charts with their 1970 cover of the Rolling Stones‘ “Ruby Tuesday.” Dedikation appeared on the famous “C’mon” TV series, and were finalists in the Loxene Golden Disc awards.[

Between 1972 and 1980 Ahipene-Mercer worked in London, UK, playing in pub bands, and returned to New Zealand to tour with the Rocky Horror Show in 1978. By that time, he had begun training in making guitars, with the aim of becoming a full-time Luthier. He returned to Wellington in 1980 as a Luthier, but has continued to play guitar both for pleasure and semi-professionally. He organised and performed in “Rock against Racism” concerts in Wellington in the early 1980s and worked with other bands such as the Wayne Mason band and Blue Highways. He has composed and recorded music for children’s stories and some films, and took part in concerts for causes such as medical aid forIraqi children, child cancer and the Mary Potter Hospice. He claims to have played in every hall in Wellington. Ahipene-Mercer is an external assessor of live music performance at Whitirea Polytech, as a member of the music advisory board.[ He is a member of the Board of Studies at Te Toi Whakaari New Zealand Drama School.[10]

He has the unusual status as the only City Councillor ever to perform in the Wellington International Festival of the Arts as part of the “Maori All Stars” in 2006.


Other things happening at the meeting…


Guitar Ensemble:

Of course we will start with our Guitar Ensemble.

If you are not part of this – be brave – choose a part that suits your ability – get the music and start practising.


Owen has very kindly (as he does each year) taken responsibility for organising the guitar ensemble music. The pieces we are playing for a start are the following:


  1. Joropo
  2. Tyrolean Cradle Song
  3. The Sage Leaf
  4. Going Cuckoo
  5. The Water is wide.


Owen provided us with print outs of these pieces at the last meeting. But they are also available at the following web site:

This is also a great site for an extensive range of great ensemble and solo guitar pieces.


Please decide which part you will be playing and stick with that for all pieces and throughout the year. This will really help the ensemble develop and of course it is better for you as well. I will be on part 2 this year.


If you do not have a copy yet of the ensemble pieces, fear not – you can share at the meeting.


Members playing

I am going to try and play some solo piece at every meeting I attend. I encourage others to do the same. And please remember – it does not have to be the hardest piece in the world. And also it does not have to be played perfectly to be enjoyable for others to listen to.

Any one else who has something to play would be very welcome. This is a big part of what we are about – lots of us playing  guitar.

It would be great to hear more playing from others.

So I encourage you. In this short life. Take a risk. Play a piece at guitar society.

It could be a future or previous exam piece for example. Or just something you have been working on recently.

See you there this coming Sunday for more enjoyable guitar playing and listening.



Others things happening…


Future meeting

May 1st 2016

Feature spot yet to be decided.


Facebook page

Please note that we also have a Facebook page. If you get on to this and like it, you will be able to see any updates, info/newsletters that go out. Facebook address is



Society Fees

To offer our monthly meetings and to promote the activity of the society we need some funds. For example the room must be hired for each meeting. We have purchased a domain name for our web site. We need to pay for printing of music and promotional materials.  It would be great if each person interested in the society could also support it by paying the membership fees.

They  are as follows (for 2015)

First visit $free

$5 – Casual

$25 – Students

$30 – Family (2 adults and 2 children)

$40 Adults

If you wish to pay fees please give these to the host for the evening or another committee member.

Or you can pay by internet banking at

WCGS acc number: 38 9012 0700 830 00

Please include your name clearly and also reason for payment (Guitar Soc fees)

Thanks for helping in this way.



Society Contacts:

Want to find out more? Have questions about the society. The following committee members are happy to answer your questions:

Jane Curry – 0211457472

Owen Moriarty

Clyde Clemett – 3878882,

Mike Wespel-Rose – 0275626341,

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