Lighting up the skies

by Andy Bryenton

They say that the sound of a full orchestra working in harmony can ignite sparks of inspiration and vision.

Down the centuries artists, inventors and even crime solvers have listened to classical music to seek that spark of genius. Now the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra are combining the best of this very Western European artform with a spectacular first devised in ancient China — the fireworks display.

On the February 11, Christchurch’s Hagley Park will light up in all the colours of the rainbow, as skilled pyrotechnicians join forces with a team of highly trained musicians and conductor Kenneth Young. As the sun sets the music will begin, covering compositions by the classical masters as well as favourite tracks from the world of cinema. There will be special appearances by Harry Grigg, Tama Waipara, Jennine Bailey and a special guest appearance by Fuzhun, the winners of the Canterbury Regional Smokefree Rockquest.

It’s as the day draws to a close, that the centrepiece of Sparks 2018 comes together. As the orchestra play the stirring, fantastical Sorcerer’s Apprentice — made famous by Walt Disney’s beloved cartoon adaptation — a team of professional fireworks coordinators will set off precisely timed showers of pyrotechnic colour. All of this is sure to draw a major crowd, especially as this is a free event for the whole family. The organisers advise staking-out a good picnic space early, as the pre-show entertainment begins at 5.30pm. The charity of choice for this year’s Sparks concert is St John Ambulance service, and their collectors will be out in force filling buckets of gold coins to keep their vital service in action and saving lives.