Counter-tenor Stephen Diaz will join the Cellists of Otago ensemble for their first concert of the year this weekend.

Entitled Singing Cellos the concert, to be held this Sunday, from 3pm at Marama Hall on campus, will feature a selection of vocal works, including Handel’s aria Ombra mai f, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Pie Jesu, Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas Brasilieras no. 5, Rachmaninoff’s Vocalise and Faure’s Requiem, along with Wagner opera and Maori songs.

The funds raised at the concert will support cello education at all levels in Dunedin and Otago.

Directed by Heleen du Plessis, the Cellists of Otago have built a reputation for delivering top quality concerts highlighting the singing nature of the cello.

A highlight of 2016 for the group was joining in a multimedia concert production, Cellists Aotearoa at Arts Festival Dunedin.

Fundraising initiatives by Cellists of Otago have enabled the society to approve two grants, totalling $3400, to help fund students to study cello performance at the University of Otago this year.

They are Adeline Chai, a postgraduate student in clinical dentistry, and Peter Lee, who is studying for a bachelor of dental surgery degree.

Lee has also been a member of the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra since 2016.

The Cellists of Otago plan to fundraise to further develop cello education in Otago, also on a community level.

Heleen du Plessis plans to create a junior Cellists of Otago ensemble to enhance musician skills among players of all levels.