Music farm expands its repertoire

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Ruth Hall’s music farm, At Violinos – the only farm of its type in New Zealand – is now a concert venue.
It has been expanded and dressed to impress for a classical concert on September 19.
It will host the Hammers and Horsehair concert featuring Robert Ibell from the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, on cello, and Douglas Mews, on fortepiano.
The duo will perform a range of classical and early romantic pieces on period instruments and guests can enjoy a candlelit evening and supper while listening to the accomplished musicians .
Mrs Hall’s former music room has more than doubled in size and can now comfortably seat more than 100 guests. She has added music-inspired design pieces and furniture.
An organ with a 19th century body and parts more than 100 years old takes centre stage at the top of the room.
It sits in a 2m deep alcove, lit by a round stained glass window designed as a treble clef, and is dedicated to Mrs Hall’s late mother.
Above the organ is a bell tower that rings out with the sound of three cow bells.
The bells were gifted to Mrs Hall by friends in her former homeland.
Two other windows have stained glass musical borders.
Musical note fabric adorns six 5m kauri pews that were rescued and restored to provide seating for
50.
Other musical items in the room include 20 Crown Devon jugs and bowls and three cigar boxes, all fitted with Swiss music boxes, and showcased in a bookcase and secretaire that dates back to the 1730s.
There is also a 1910 gramophone and many other musical-inspired items.
The romance of the upcoming concert would be captured with mood lighting and batteryoperated wax candles that had been dressed up in music paper, Mrs Hall said.
– Hammers and Horsehair is at 7.30pm. Tickets available from Ashburton Trust Event Centre or ticketdirect.co.nz. A portion of ticket sales will be given to Ashburton Lions.