The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 2,1889. THE FESTIVAL. CHO IR.
Taking into consideration tbe great amount of musical talent m Ashburton, it is somewhat surprising that no organised musical society exists m the towu. Many towns m New Zealand with a population not one-fourth that of Ashburton have their long-established and prosperous musical orchoralsocieties, which m addition to weekly meetings during several mo&ths of the year, give public concerts at various intervals, and I are available for the contribution of musical selections on public occasions. The pleasure derived irom taking part m tho rehearsals and concerts, and the instruction received are held to be sufficient reco-Qpense for the subscription paid to the society and the time given to the practices. Several reasons are given for the non-existence of any such society here. Those who might be expected to take the lead m such matters have not, it is hinted, been^in the past an invariably happy family, but the removal ot the principal causes of dissension has cleared the way for the harmonious working together of everybody to make the new Festival Choir a success. The choir and orchestra are being organised with the special view . of producing " The Messiah" at Christmas m a complete and creditable manner. Everybody who is willing and able to assist is asked to join the choir or orchestra, and we may mention as one of tho minor details tbat tho subscription is nil. The co-operation of the choirs of ali the churches m the town has been cheerfully given, and most of our "unattached" amateurs, with many from some distance, have joined. It is anticipated that the orchestra and chorus that will take part m the production will n amber upwards of one hundred. The project is worthy of the support of all interested m musioal matters, and whose great aim m life is to be happy themselves and give happiness to others, an end which cannot be better attained than by the medium of highclass music. We trust that the festival performance will be _o successful that the organisation may not be allowed to disband, but may become established as a permanent society for the pleasure and instruction of all who are musically inclined. An important point m the present organisation is tbat it is dissociated from any idea of personal profit on the part of the promoters, and those who join it will not have the feeling that they are contributing towards the gains of any individual or institution. The use of St Stephen's schoolroom has been granted for practices, and the proceeds from the production of the oratorio will cover all necessary disbursements. The experience of previous productions will enable the Committee and the conductor, Mr H. A. Gates, to ayoid mistakes that were then mado, and ensure a greater success for their present efforts. We hope that the first practice, to. night, will be largely attended.