Dunedin debut for orchestra

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The New Zealand Doctors’ Orchestra will perform in Dunedin for the first time this weekend, as part of the University of Otago’s 150th anniversary celebrations.

The concert will be held this Sunday, June 23, from 2pm at Dunedin Town Hall.

The orchestra comprises about 70 doctors and medical students from throughout New Zealand, and this year half the doctors are graduates or students of the University of Otago.

The orchestra will be conducted by University of Otago Associate Prof Peter Adams, and will feature a new work by Prof Anthony Ritchie, entitled Hippocratic Hymn

The short piece for brass, percussion and organ aims to capture in music the ethical and selfless ethos that doctors aspire to in their profession, as exemplified by the Hippocratic Oath.

The orchestra will also play works by Brahms, Sejourne and Dvorak.

Soloist Rachel Thomas, an Auckland medical student and freelance percussionist, will play a marimba concerto.

She has performed professionally in orchestras, brass bands and ensembles throughout New Zealand, Australia, Europe and Asia, and was the first percussionist to win the NZ Brass Band Championships “Champion of Champions” title.

The New Zealand Doctors’ Orchestra’s first concert was held in Nelson, in 2012, and it has since held performances in New Plymouth, Napier and Christchurch.

Each year, all proceeds are donated to local hospices, and this year they will go to the Otago Community Hospice.

Tickets cost $25 and are available from Ticketmaster.