THE WHEATEN WAGTIME BAND
By A P
THE DUNEDIN CONCERT
The next morning they were up early to see the sights. They especially wanted to visit the beach, and most of them headed off to St Clair.
However, there were some couples who were there well ahead of the others. They were spending some romantic moments at Sunrise, before the beaches would be packed with people.
They wanted to be alone.
Maddie, who was there with her Beau, Finnegan, heard someone's portable CD player in the distance. The tune was the romantic song from 'High Society' - TRUE LOVE, and she came up with new words to fit the occasion. She sang it sweetly, as Finnegan listened.
A wag from you is a treat for me,
We're in true love, true love.
Nose to nose we will always be,
In true love, true love.
For you and I
Have a Wheaten angel on high,
With nothin' to do -
But to give to you and to give to me,
Wheaten love, so true!
Wheaten love, so true!
The other couples heard Maddie's voice ringing out like an angel from the glowing sky, and they drew closer, and felt so happy and loved. It was a precious moment in which silent glances and gentle touches said more than any words could say.
After breakfast, several others headed for the beach too. It was a perfect day. Blue skies, jewel sea, and a soft breeze blowing.
Others who weren't keen on swimming or sun-bathing went sight seeing, and headed towards the Botanical Gardens.
Wheatley almost got himself into some strife, but was kept out of trouble by Sunny. What a girl.
WHEN THE SONG HAS FINISHED PLAYING, CLICK ON THE ARROW BELOW. OR SCROLL UP TO PAUSE FIRST TUNE. (Turn up volume)
After a little while, several others ended up at the Botanical Gardens. They'd heard that these were particularly beautiful, and not to be missed.
There wasn't much time left. They had to be back at the hotel shortly for rehearsals, in preparation for their final Concert in New Zealand.
It was a sad thought, that by this time tomorrow, they would be on the plane, going home.
There seemed to be so much to see, and so little time to do it in. One street they all decided they were definitely NOT going to walk down, was BALDWIN STREET- said to be the STEEPEST street in the World!
As they stood at one end - looking down, and looking up the other side, they had no trouble believing that description!
However, it came as no surprise to anyone when suddenly Cooper appeared in his Porsche, accompanied this time by Phantom, DoozieMae and Woody. Being Cooper, he saw Baldwin Street as a challenge!
But Cooper, being Cooper, and with Irish spirit and Terrier tenacity, he shot up the hill at top speed, - turned around, and headed down - IN FIRST GEAR! This boy was not going to let his Porschebe the 'alpha' in HIS pack!
And so the day came to an end. They got back onto the coach and were soon at their hotel, getting ready for their practice session.
They had chosen special music for this final concert, and Maddie was rehearsing their finale with the choristers and the Band. It would be impressive.
After a heavy session, Clancy was satisfied, and dismissed them to get some rest before dinner, after which they would be driven to the Concert Hall, and the final performance would begin.
THE DUNEDIN TOWN HALL
People were lined up outside the Hall, awaiting admission. The WWB Coach drew up at the rear entrance and its passengers all gasped with surprise at the huge crowds gathered to hear them. Some had travelled from as far away as Invercargill, Wanaka and Queenstown!
Among the audience, were three very special people, who wouldn't have missed this Farewell Concert for anything. They were Guinny's friends, agents Liam, Colleen and Caelan.
The dancers were warming up back stage; the singers were running through scales and exercises, and the Band was tuning up.
Soon, there was quiet, and Clancy, in his smart tuxedo, took to the platform and gave his audience a brief outline of where they had been, how much they loved this beautiful Country, and how they would always remember this Tour of New Zealand.
The audience clapped with enthusiasm.
Then he announced the opening item, and there was great applause again as the curtain rose on the WHEATEN WAGTIME BAND.
The opening number was IN THE MOOD -in memory of the great Glenn Miller.
AFTER PREVIOUS TUNE ENDS, CLICK ON THE ARROW BELOW.
As usual, the band received a standing ovation as soon as the opening bars struck up, and people were dancing in the aisles!
Other Glenn Miller favourites were played, including STRING OF PEARLSand LITTLE BROWN JUG.
There were folk dancers delighting the Dunedin audience with National dances from around the world, and more band numbers followed.
Then it was time for our three MOST LIKELY LADS to perform for the last time. They showed that they were certainly 'In the Mood' as they put on a comical song and dance act inspired by the WIZARD OF OZ.
Barney was the (now not so timid) Lion; Wheately was the Scarecrow, and Bailey was the Tin Man.
They received two encores and graced the eager audience with two of their previous numbers.
After intermission, there were the usual repeat performances by members of the WWB, but as the programme drew to an end, everyone was waiting for the WWB Dancers.
The Ballet segment had something very special in store for the audience. It was from Tchaikovsky's ballet, THE SLEEPING BEAUTY.
Grainne was the Lilac Fairy, and the girls of the Ballet Troupe were her attendants.
The music was provided from a CD and the delicate notes gave a fairy-like atmosphere to the performance. The choreography was perfect and the setting was magical.
When the performance ended, the audience felt caught up in the moment and when the applause came, it was like rolling thunder that started at one side of the Hall and swept through the whole auditorium.
What a magnificent final ballet performance it was.
WHEN THE BAND ENDS, CLICK THE ARROW BELOW FOR THE BALLET - OR SCROLL UP TO PAUSE.
(TURN UP VOLUME)
The stage was prepared for the finale - the combined Band and Choristers performing the number which would bring this concert, and the NZ Tour, to a close.
Press photographers took a picture of the complete Band before they took their positions on stage, all 25 instrumentalists and the WWB Director, Clancy.
After posing for the photographers, they mounted the platform and were greeted by enthusiastic applause. Everyone knew something special was planned, and the clapping and cheering was hushed as they anticipated the entry of the WWB Chorus.
Their patience was rewarded by the appearance of eight lovely ladies, who took their places on stage, and then were joined by the WWB soloist, Miss Maddie who was dressed in a white lace gown.
They inclined their heads to the waiting audience in response to the welcoming applause, then Clancy raised his baton, and the introduction began. Megan, the lady of many talents, began the introduction with the purest violin notes and Tobey, on piano, followed on.
Then, the auditorium echoed a breathless sigh as Maddie's voice began the moving song -
YOU RAISE ME UP.
She was joined in the chorus by the other girls, and the hearts of all present were transported to those high, mystical places into which music can lift the soul.
WHEN THE PREVIOUS MUSIC HAS FINISHED PLAYING, CLICK ON THE ARROW BELOW.
OR PAUSE PREVIOUS TUNE
*I dedicate this to the people of Christchurch*
As the final notes faded, there was a moment of hushed silence. Then it came - the spread of applause which swept around the auditorium, accompanied by the sound of hundreds of people rising to their feet to give this Band and its performers the send-off to remember all their lives. It rose to a crescendo and seemed never to end.
Oh, what a response! The members of the WWB stood with tears of joy in their brown eyes, listening to the awesome applause from these wonderful people who had showed them such appreciation, such generous hospitality, and such love.
They performed their final number twice more, by public demand, then, to their surprise and delight, people were coming onto the stage to hug them and give them gifts.
It was as if they could not let the WWB go!
They later learned that many members of the audience had travelled from all over the South, AND the North Islands of NZ to hear their final concert. Many who had heard them in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch had come to Dunedin to hear them one last time.
And so the final concert came to an end, and it was a tired, but elated WWB that returned to their hotel for the 'Farewell Party' which had been arranged for them by the Hotel Manager.
CLICK BELOW TO GO TO THE PARTY!
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED TO A P - 2010/11