star shines in the Awatere
and photos from the Marlborough Express
04 March 2002
By TESSA NICHOLSON
thousand people, teen singing sensation
Hayley Westenra and bright Marlborough sunshine
combined yesterday for yet another highly
successful Awatere High Country Festival.
third festival was the most successful so
far, according to organisers, with twice
as many people attending as last year.
major hit was 14-year-old singer Hayley
Westenra, whose performance was a contrast
to the night before when a three quarters
full house at the Marlborough Centre had
to tolerate extreme feedback sounds, overly
loud musical back-up and serious microphone
problems during her 90 minute Blenheim show.
manager Christine Brown said she was extremely
frustrated at the problems which saw some
of the patrons expressing their anger vocally
during the show.
worked hard all night to get it better,
but we never got the sound to a level that
we were happy with - it was so frustrating,
let alone disappointing," she said.
Marlborough Express reviewer, Amanda Arthur,
said the problems showed up from the start,
when Hayley had to "haul her own mike
and stand on herself." She was unaware
it wasn't working during her first song.
Staff changed to a second microphone in
time for her follow-up number.
didn't work either. The pianist was constantly
drowning the teenager out, although Mrs
Brown said that was a performance problem,
nothing to do with the sound staff, as the
microphone on the piano was turned off while
the second half people were hoping the problems
would be overcome, only to be greeted with
screeching feedback. People with hearing
aids were having to turn them off or take
them out. It was awful," Mrs Arthur
Marlborough Centre has taken full responsibility
for the problems and all the equipment was
to undergo a thorough check today.
frustrating thing is that at the sound check
an hour and a half before the show, everything
was fine. It sounded good, there were no
problems. But then when Hayley got out there
on stage, it all went wrong. That's Murphy's
Law," Mrs Brown said.
for Hayley herself, Mrs Brown said she handled
the evening incredibly calmly.
was just amazing. She kept on singing. Even
when she came off the stage I apologised
to her and she just smiled and said, 'Sometimes
things just don't want to go right.'"
enchants Blenheim audience
04 March 2002
Schubert's Avé Maria to Streisand's
Memories, Hayley Westenra enchanted the
audience at her one-off performance at the
Marlborough Centre, writes Mandy Arthur
in The Marlborough Express.
the opening of the first half, concert-goers
were treated to a musical montage by talented
local pianist Marsha Stringer. This wonderful
performance preceded the introduction of
Hayley's accompanying musicians - David
Pucker (lead violin), Olya Curtis (violin),
David Daniela (viola) and Christopher Salmon
(on cello). David Selfe, who travels everywhere
with Hayley and her entourage, was outstanding
aside the teething troubles and some technical
hitches with the microphones, Hayley glided
on stage and began what can only be described
as an awesome performance. This stunning
young lady, handling some difficult situations,
such as the lack of microphone volume, with
great poise and professionalism.
the second half, the audience were introduced
to Hayley's younger sibling, Sophie, who
at aged 11 is obviously destined for the
opera world herself. Sophie wooed the audience
with her tiny frame and strong voice. The
two sisters entertained with a beautiful
duet, harmonising faultlessly.
continued to entertain through to the show's
end and with a selection of music pieces
well suited to an awed Marlborough audience.
Songs from Gershwin, Schubert, Streisand,
Lés Miserables and even a well executed
song Bright Eyes, from the hit musical Watership
in all a wonderful performance from one
of NZ's best up and coming stars.
festival a big success
04 March 2002
bit of sun, a bit of breeze, constant entertainment
and a truckload of waffles - the perfect
combination for yesterday's Awatere High
festival, which attracted thousands of people
from around the Marlborough region, was
the third of its kind and the most successful
yet, according to organiser Jill Moorhouse.
was a wonderful day. I would say we had
twice as many people as last year. We had
lovely weather and a lovely crowd."
of the day's big drawcards was 14-year-old
singer Hayley Westenra, who has emerged
as a nationwide phenomenon.
was also a children's choir from St Mary's
school, pony rides and a bouncy castle for
the kids. A horse and cart circled the large
lake at the centre of the festival, while
a river boat gave rides on it.
Westenra, who attended the festival with
a troop of waffle cooking Seddon School
students, said the day was brilliant. "The
kids had a great time and we had a very
school made $1800 profit out of their waffle
enterprise - that is around 500 waffles
to keep the patrons going.
09 March 2002
TIES: The Westenra family, brother Isaac,
(left) aged 8, and sisters Hayley and 11-year-old
Sophie. The Christchurch family accompanied
Hayley to Marlborough, joining her on stage
at the Marlborough Centre and the High Country