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Chamber music with a twist: ACE Brass members, from left, John Gluyas, Emma Eden and Huw Dann, who'll be performing in Arrowtown this month

By TRACEY ROXBURGH

Picture this.

It’s 2017 and 40,000 hyped-up rugby fans are waiting for the All Blacks to run on to Auckland’s Eden Park and perform the haka.

The warm-up act?

A chamber music group.

ACE Brass — which sounds nothing like a military band — marched on to the pitch playing Colonel Bogey — and the crowd went nuts.

The trio — French horn player Emma Eden, trumpeter Huw Dann and trombonist John Gluyas — are now bringing their unique sound to Arrowtown on April 12, the first stop on the their nationwide tour.

Eden says the band takes chamber music from the likes of Mozart, Vivaldi, Bach and Beethoven, and — using Gluyas’ skills — gives it a brass band twist.

‘‘The chamber music classics don’t always convert well,’’ she says.

‘‘We’ve found that often it’s songs and arias that come up brightest, like Puccini’s O Mio Babbino Caro.

‘‘The brass arrangement sounds wonderful, and it’s on our Arrowtown programme.’’

Babbino, of course, features in the repertoire of every diva soprano from Maria Callas to
Dames Kiri Te Kanawa, Joan Sutherland and Malvina Major.

The Arrowtown audience will also hear the world premiere of New Zealand composer Helen Bowaters’ White Kingdom, written with ACE Brass in mind.

‘‘It’s really cool, and quite difficult.

‘‘We’ve been working on it for ages,’’ Eden says.

ACE Brass, performing at Arrowtown’s Athenaeum Hall, is being presented by Arrowtown Creative Arts Society and Chamber Music NZ.

Tickets cost $40, or $35 for ACAS members, available from eventfinda and Arrowtown Pharmacy.

Doors open at 5.30pm before the concert starts at 6pm.

tracey.roxburgh@scene.co.nz