Preparing to perform: From left, dancer Alex McIntosh and instrumentalists Christine Ryan, Sheena Naughton and Greg East

One normally associates an orchestra with ‘serious’ classical music, but with the Queenstown Party Orchestra — performing for just the second time tomorrow — that perception’s wrong.

Aside from one classical piece, Offenbach’s Can-Can, Saturday’s programme includes everything from tango to Latin salsa and jazz and
rock to contemporary pop.

Expect to hear The Beatles, not Beethoven.

Orchestra leader/founder Sheena Naughton, on violin, says ‘‘I didn’t want to compete with the [Alexandra-based] Central Otago Regional Orchestra — I play with them as well’’.

‘‘But I kept bumping into orchestral musicians here that didn’t want to travel through to Alexandra to play, so consequently wouldn’t play.

‘‘I enjoy playing [classical music] but not everybody wants to listen to it, so I thought what we’ll do is play something different.’’

This weekend’s concert at Te Atamira, entitled ‘Making a Song and Dance of It’, includes a team of dancers led by Alex McIntosh and star vocalists Catherine Stew art and David Partee.

The orchestra’s also swollen to 14 instrumentalists including strings, woodwind, brass and percussion.

‘‘We really encourage people to participate, like, sing along, dance if you want to, we just want people to have a really nice evening,’’ Naughton says.

‘Making a Song and Dance of It’, Queenstown Party Orchestra, Saturday 7pm, Te Atamira’s Puāwai Theatre; tickets $15 via or on the door (cash only); children 12 and under free

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