Newsletter 7 February 2020

Hi everyone,

A few notices to conclude this truncated work week:

It’s our first Happy Hour for 2020. It goes from 4 – 6pm and includes a barbecue. Everyone welcome. Location: Redcliffs Uniting Church, 4 Augusta Street.

TUESDAY: Loopy Tunes starts for 2020.
Sumner: 9.30am in Puoro-raki, Matuku Takotako: Sumner Centre, corner Wakefield Ave & Nayland Street.
Redcliffs: 10.30am in the Redcliffs Uniting Church hall, 4 Augusta Street.
Both sessions cost $2 per child. Morning tea and playtime afterwards.

Next Friday 14 February:
We have a guest speaker at Coffee & Conversation in Redcliffs: Glenda Martin, outreach manager for Volunteering Canterbury. Come along and find out what this great organisation does.

Friday 28 February: We have another guest speaker at Coffee & Conversation in Redcliffs: Averil Stevenson from Ecocentral to speak about the Ecosort Recycling Plant and tell you what happens to your recycling.

Coffee & Conversation is held at 10.30 am in the Redcliffs Uniting Church hall at 10.30am on Fridays except the first Friday of the month.

A Cause to Support
On Wednesday 5 February RNZ’s chief executive announced planned cuts to RNZ Concert. RNZ Concert is the only radio station that plays classical music. These cuts will include laying off all RNZ Concert staff members, moving the station to the AM band (a vastly inferior sound quality), and replacing the FM station with a new station targeting youth. As a classical musician myself, I am appalled by these planned cuts. After consulting our trust board chair, I have permission to share the Avaaz petition calling for RNZ Concert to be kept and staff retained.

There are many good reasons for supporting RNZ Concert to be retained:

  • It provides high quality live broadcasts of New Zealand Symphony and other ensembles’ performances
  • Presenters are extremely knowledgeable and an automated service (essentially a playlist) will not replace this.
  • It is false that young people do not listen to RNZ Concert. Young classical musicians do. Last year’s Settling the Score competition to see what were the most loved classical music pieces in New Zealand was overtaken by a group of high school students who managed to unseat the previous many years of Ralph Vaughn Williams’ The Lark Ascending from top position and replace it with the Grand March of Aida by strategically voting.
  • Classical music has lovers across the political spectrum and at all ages and in all socioeconomic groups.
  • New Zealand composers have often featured on RNZ Concert. Nowhere else does this.
  • The BBC has managed to retain its classical music station and grow its listenership.
  • Classical music is a great way to support children and young people in their social, academic, and physical development. We run music and movement programmes here at Sumner Bays Union Trust for very good reasons. Classical music has often featured.

It doesn’t have to be an either/or scenario. What about both? In any case, my friends with teenage children say their kids don’t listen to broadcast radio. They prefer Spotify.

Thank you,
Eddie Hayes