Christchurch Youth Recorder Ensemble   


The Christchurch Youth Recorder Ensemble, a performing ensemble of The Christchurch School of Music, is a group of up to 25 young musicians,  which celebrated twentyfive years of music making in 2001.  Over the years the ensemble has appeared at six International Recorder Weeks held in Armidale Australia(2000), Auckland (1986), Wellington (1990 & 1996), Nelson (1999), and Christchurch (2002) New Zealand.

In 1996, the group performed the 2 hour Opening Concert for Recorder Week in Wellington, a CD of which has been released called CONNECTIONS - Eight Centuries of Recorder Music

The Ensemble also performed in the Ensembles Concert of Recorder Week 2000 in Armidale Australia in January 2000.  Details of their first overseas trip feature below.

The Ensemble has been held in high regard by visiting tutors and performers from Japan, Britain and USA.  It has been claimed by a recent visiting teacher and performer Aldo Abreu from Boston USA that the CYRE is amongst the finest ensemble of its type anywhere in the world - indeed he could only name one other Ensemble he personally knew of (from Spain) that was comparable.  We welcome contact with any similar ensembles.

Conductor Neville Forsythe has tutored at the 1990, 1993 and 1996 and 1999 New Zealand Recorder Weeks as well as presented the CYRE in an increasingly prominent performing role.  Most recently he was a tutor at Armidale Australia in January 2000 (see "The Call Of The Four Winds" below) and organised "The Winds of Waitaha".

What the Critics Say About CYRE

  ChCh Press:  "A bouquet goes to the Recorder Ensemble under founder-conductor N.F ...individual expertise and good training.

....delightfully precise .. masterly control... a very competent group of young musicians

... amazingly nimble and stylish...(Strauss Pizzicato Polka).

...excellent playing of Bartok's difficult Roumanian Dances.

Again an outstanding example of excellent tuition combined with youthful musicianship.

Very agile.... handling the slithery chromaticisms and intricate rhythms so capably.

Especially impressive.... the usually polished Recorder Ensemble.

In terms of polish and general excellence... the CYRE were tops.

Here it (the Recorder) was moulded into a fine ensemble sound worthy of any concert platform.

As usual the Recorder Ensemble played work well out of the range of the usual modest school recorder repertoire, handling the wide and winding contours of Bach's Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring with impeccable accuracy, a well judged balance of its four part texture and a lovely feeling for phrasing.

... such a very talented group thanks to the total dedication and unbounding enthusiasm of their talented Conductor!  (CSM Concert Coordinator).

This ensemble of 23 young people is very competent by any standards.  Their programme was often demanding calling for intense and sustained concentration....  At no stage did they appear uncomfortable, nor did the audience feel apprehensive that things might go awry.... If it was not always the items that distinguished this concert, it was certainly the performers themselves, their competence and their commitment to their art, that made a strong and positive impression.
David Sell - Christchurch Press.

A note from the Youth Advocate of Christchurch City Council:
" I have been reading the Press Review of your performance.  Having read the review I am truly sorry that I missed your concert.  You obviously performed magnificently.  Congratulations on the excellent review - I hope that I can hear you play at some future time.  Cheers.  Robyn Moore

About The Founder / Conductor

 A few details on the conductor Neville Forsythe:

One of the first New Zealanders to gain LTCL Recorder (1972) Itinerant (peripatetic) Woodwind Teacher Canterbury Secondary Schools since 1981.
Tutor at 4 New Zealand International Recorder Schools. 1990, 93, 96 & 99.
Winner of Best Recorder Arrangement 1993 NZ Recorder Week.
CSM conductor and teacher since 1967.  CYRE director since 1976.

Recipient of University of Canterbury Vernon Griffiths Prize in Musical Leadership 1996/7  Citation   ....for dedicated work in the community and founding director of CYRE....outstanding qualities of musical leadership. Over the twenty years life of the Ensemble he has been instrumental in ensuring that the full musical potential of the recorder has been developed by his students and recognised by the public...

 CYRE is available for special occasions such as weddings, receptions, banquets or as guest artists for other musical groups.

What We Play

"We play everything, from mediaeval to twentieth century - from Richard the Lionheart's poignant Ballad (written when languishing in prison awaiting his ransom) and Henry VIII's boisterous Pastime with Good Company, through Elizabethan music, C18th Baroque Suites to the Twentieth Century with Vaughan Williams Suite for Pipes, Pete Rose's 1994 New Braun Bag" a Rag in the jazz idiom and the wacky Loecki Stardust arrangements of the Pink Panther and You Are the Sunshine of My Life.

The size of group is negotiable from 3 to 25 players.  Musical arrangements of your favourite music can be commissioned for special occasions (by negotiation).

What We Play On - (CYRE recommend the high quality Yamaha YR series Recorders)

Including the well-known descant recorder, the group plays on a total of nine sizes from the tiny gakklein (8 cm) to the Paetzold sub-contrabass in C (> 2m).

Renaissance instruments that the group performs on include - a set of five authentic Hopf Renaissance recorders (copies), crummhorn, gemshorn, three-holed pipe.  Other instruments which can be commissioned as appropriate include viols, shawms, dulcian, baroque oboe, cornetto (display only).

CYRE Calendar

Rehearsals every Tuesday evening 5.30 - 7.00 p.m. Music Centre of Christchurch CSM Chamber.  New members are sought for all sections.  Applications for audition are invited.

Would You Like To Contact Us?

        The Christchurch Youth Recorder Ensemble
        c/o Christchurch School of Music
        140 Barbadoes St
        PO Box 22-245 Christchurch
           New Zealand
        Ph (03) 366 1711   Fax (03) 366 1742

 email contact:   (Conductor: Neville Forsythe)

To Visit the Homepage of Conductor Neville ForsytheCLICK HERE

2008 Programme

2008 and CYRE is a small, intimate group of players - 8 in number, and preparing for a first for the Ensemble - to enter for the Secondary Schools Chamber contest playing Glenn Marillier's Lorne Concerto featuring Merry Chinnery on Sopranino, and Louise Renwick on Treble.

Other works explored this year include, Gaston Saux's Quartet in G major, Ukrainian Folk Songs by Lance Eccles and Scott Joplin's Ragtime Pieces.

Recruiting new members and re-enrollong former members remains an urgent priority. Many factors contribute to the relatively low numbers, not the least being a move away from recorder as preferred instrument for teaching children the basics of music. A rather aggressive promotion of ukelele (which often includes denigrating statements about recorder) has had some effect. Commercial interests seem to be behind this biased campaign, and unfortunately a number of educators have been taken in by the drive to promote ukelele.

While we regret the negative impression conveyed, we accept that ukelele may well suit some children but there must be many different instruments suited to the different talents and interests of children. Recorder still remains one of the best introductions to woodwind playing. We need to continue producing a balance of wind, brass, string, percussion, strummed, classical and popular instrumentalists

2007 Programme

2007 CYRE rehearsals began on Tuesday February 13th as the group farewelled some long-serving valued players and welcomed several new recruits to our midst.

While nothing as large as last year's trip to Wellington is planned, we will nevertheless embark on our usual high-powered rehearsal shedule to prepare for the inevitable invitations that will come our way to appear as guests and partners in local concerts. A road-tour is a possibility with CSM re-energising its outreach programme. Another appearance on CTV is likely and perhaps we may even make a camp a possibility.

First appearance for the group will be on Friday 23rd March in the Chapel of the Music Centre of Christchurch when the group will perform a Fantasia by Franceso di Milano, Two anonymous Elizabethan Quintets - Barafostus' Dream and Kings Morisco, plus Cuckoo by Richard Nicholson. The items will be performed from the gallery at a Concert to celebrate the return of a recently refurbished Harpsichord to the Music Centre. The principal artists are Polly Sussex, cello and Douglas Mews, harpsichord.

The first of the 2007 Early Music evenings, (hosted by the Winds of Waitaha Trust) will be on Thursday 29th March, at 7.30 pm Other WOW dates are Wednesday 29 August, and Thursday 6th December, all at 7.30 p.m.

An international scientific conference later in the year will hear senior members of CYRE and CSM double reeds in a concert following the well established format of a chronological history of recorders and reeds from medieval through renaissance and baroque styles to the 21st century.

Of course the regular CSM concerts will feature during the year too! (see 2006 Showcase comments below).

2006 Programme

2006 will see CYRE preparing for NZ Recorder Week to be held in Wellington in September. The Ensemble have been asked to present half of one evening concert, sharing the bill with Auckland Recorder Troupe.

Fund-raising, rehearsing and performing will be the focus of our preparation for this major event.

Draw card guest artist Peter Holtslag will be appearing at the Festival ? another contact for the CYRE to explore.

Born in Amsterdam, Peter Holtslag studied recorder at the Conservatorium of his native town, graduating ‚cum laude‘ in 1980, his leading sources of inspiration being Frans Brüggen and Kees Boeke.

From then onwards he has toured worldwide as a recorder and transverse flute player.

From 1984 to ’88 he taught at the Guildhall School of Music in London and in 1988 was appointed professor to both the Royal Academy of Music London and the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg.

He was a guest lecturer at the City University London and holds numerous international master classes all over the globe ( Amsterdam, Berlin, Budapest, Cracow, Hong Kong, Lisbon, Prague, St.Petersburg institutions &c. as well as summer courses ) . Peter Holtslag is one of the founding members of the Academia de Musica Antiga de Lisboa - an institution holding international summerschools in Portugal.

A distinguished soloist and chamber musician, playing worldwide, he shared the concert platform with musicians such as Gustav Leonhardt, William Christie, Roy Goodman and ensembles such as The English Concert, The Orchestra of the 18th Century, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, La Fontegara Amsterdam and recorded for radiostations all over the globe ( ABC Sydney, National Radio USA, WDR Köln, NOS Holland, BBC London etc ).

He started a partnership with Ketil Haugsand and Rainer Zipperling ( Trio NONAME , their first joint CD - with Blavet Flute Sonatas - was released on the Glissando label ) .

His more than 20 CD-recordings on most major labels ( such as DGG/Archiv, Hyperion, Chandos, &c. ) have won international acclaim .

He is an authority on the music of the 17th and 18th centuries and, unlike many other performers striving for „authentic“ renderings, Peter Holtslag prefers to see early music in the light of its rhetorical traditions rather than let it follow a stolid motoric course .

 Report on Recorder Week 2006

Cyre made a most successful and rewarding trip to Wellington in October 2006 to participate in yet another international event of musical significance for the RecorderWorld

We flew up on a drizzly day and dashed to the venue at Queen Margaret College not tooo far from the Beehive. A fairly pressured rehearsal was followed by a dash back to the Backpackers Hostel - an art nouveau building of fading grandeur (the Queen stayed there in 1951. Comfortable rooms and wholesome meals characterised our stay there).

A second dash through the drizzle after tea saw us preparing for the evening Opening Concert. The first half was delivered by CYRE's "sister ensemble", Auckland Recorder Troupe (ART), directed by Jessica Shaw. They impressed with a variety of different sized ensembles mainly playing 1 per part very challenging pieces from Loeki Stardust Ensemble's growing list of publications.

The second half was CYRE's turn and differed slightly in presentation by having a continuity script keeping the audience informed of the progression of styles and voicings.
CYRE definitely benefits from the added variety allowed by the significant number of 8ft instruments owned by the group. The contrasts of 4ft and 8ft ensembes were heard in seaprate consecutive pieces and in perhaps our most ambitious undertaking yet Biber's Sonata for 10 instruments in 2 contrasting choirs.

Originally scored for 5 recorders (at 4ft pitch) and 5 strings at (8ft pitch), the CYRE presented it with two recorder ensembles, one at each pitch.

It was enthusiastically recieved along with the other works.

To end the concert, ART and CYRE combined in a big band Loeki arranagement of "In the Mood" scored for 4 sections. Again the audience gave generous support and we walked home through the drizzle in a buzz of satified achievement.

The rest of the week disappeared ina flash as we took classes and seminars, recitals and a closing feast.

On the final day after small groups played their achievements for the week, we had lunch and walked across Wellington, (via short detours to explore an historic and a modern church), to the Catholic Cathedral for Peter Holtslag's polished recital. Dashing out after the final notes had faded, we jumped into waiting vans and headed out to the airport. Thankfully we were able,to depart in fine weather, (just hours before a 4 day storm closed the airport!).

Post script: Radio New Zealand are to broadcast highlights of the opening concert in 2007.

Other 2006 activities included CSM Showcase with CYRE making unscheduled entrances to the auditorium playing a mobile rendering of New Braun Bag first introduced to the ensemble by Aldo Abreu. In this novel slightly anarchic setting, the audience were delighted with the surprise element combined with the catchy jazz-styled piece. What can we come up with next year?!

The end of 2006 saw CYRE appear as solo guests with Christchurch's highly acclaimed Cecilian Singers. Warmly appreciative comments followed the selection of items drawn from our Wellington concert. Especially engeging was the solemn Weep my Eyes played on low instruments.


2003 / 2004 / 2005

Due to personal pressures, this page lapsed for the above years. The Ensemble faced challenges of declining numbers and numbers currently around 14 players.

However, a full programme was maintained with the Ensemble exploring more challenging repertoire with one player per part, often alternating between 4ft and 8ft consorts with great effect.

Mediaeval music has become a significant part of our repertoire and recently (Jan 2006) 2 players, Madeleine & Kate, joined 2 staff members, Neville & Keith to perform in period costume, on renaissance recorders, cornamusen, shawm, dulcian, hurdy-gurdy, gemshorn, 3 holed pipe and nakers, at a “medieval wedding” in Timaru Gardens. 

A great time was had by all.


2002 Programme

2002 started with smaller numbers than for some years, there being fewer players graduating from the CSM Recorder School. However recruitment from outside sources has filled some vacancies although we would welcome enquiries from players wishing to join.  Descant players would be particularly welcome.

Our first engagement for 2002 was a renaissance banquet held at Ferrymead Historic Park's Cooperage.  The occasion was the celebraton of coming of age of a charming young lady who dressed appropriately as a noble family's daughter.  Friends , family and musicians all dressed in costume to give the occasion an authentic atmosphere which was completed by dancing, entertainment and food appropriate to the period.  CYRE players thoroughly enjoyed the evening and were delighted to add to the evening's fun with the sound of recorders, crummhorns, dulcian, 3-holed pipe, percussion. Props included stocks, for miscreants but the musicians fortunately played faultlessly. Much fun was had by all.

- News Flash -

CYRE recently took delivery of a Paetzold Sub-contra-Bass in C - the lowest pitched recorder in NZ.  The revolutionary design of this instrument delivers a booming bass using the principles of a wooden organ pipe.  Using a square bore, the instrument is doubled back for a portion of its 2.4 metre length, standing around 2 metres from the floor.

The addition of this instrument to the ensemble will allow even greater versatility in programming using tenors downwards to explore the mellow warmth of the 8 foot consort.

This magniificent instrument featured at Nga Hau Ki Waitaha - The Winds of Waitaha - NZ RecorderWeek held at St Andrew's College Christchurch from Jan 12 -19, 2002.

<> 2001 Programme

2001 started with an appearance in the McDougall Art Gallery at 3 pm on Sunday March 4th.  CYRE presented a popular programme of Folksongs and Dances from Ukraine and Catalonia as well as a Mozart Divertimento.  A smaller ensemble also performed Warlock's Capriol Suite.

On March 31st at Christchurch Boys High School CYRE featured in a concert shared with the touring Australian Children's Choir from Melbourne along with CSM Youth Choir and Sinfonia.  The successful and well-attended concert concluded with a supper for performers and guests.

 Our third appearance for the year came on May 25 th in the Christ Church Cathedral when the Ensemble combined with CSM Sinfonia, CSM Girls' Choir, Avonside GHS Chorale and the Global Choir.  Works by Bach and Frescobaldi were presented by the ensemble which later joined in massed items with all performers.  The lovely setting and warm acoustic enhanced the pure sounds of recorders.  All items were well received by the supportive audience.

On Wednesday June 7th  in the Chapel of the Music Centre of Christchurch the Ensemble presented its annual Lunch-time Concert featuring works by Frescobaldi, Bach, Mozart, Eccles, Schaffrath, and South American folk musicians.  The latter form part of a generous gift to the Ensemble by Sydney performer and festival organiser Justo Diaz.

The next appearances were on Sunday June 17th in the Chapel of The Music Centre of Christchurch - Echoes and Reflections II* - Pipes and Reeds - a joint presentation by CSM musicians from CYRE and the Double Reed Department led by teachers and musicians Keith Sayers and Neville Forsythe.  The programme ranged from Mediaeval, Renaissance, Henry VIII, through Elizabethan music to the present day.  Again shawms, gemshorn, crummhorns, bombard, dulcian, renaissance recorders and modern descendants presented a wide and varied programme.

(*This concert was repeated successfully for members of the science community attending the International Conference of Physiological Sciences held in Christchurch in August).

2000 Programme

CYRE began the year 2000 with the highly successful Armidale Trip featured above.
On returning to New Zealand, they proceeded to record material from that trip as the basis of their forthcoming second CD.  (Recording the balance needed to complete the CD was incidentally one of the last activities for 200).

February saw the early start of the group's peformance schedule with an outdoor recital as part of the Garden City 150 year celebrations run by the Canterbury Horicultural Society in the lovely setting of Mona Vale.

Further appearances during the year saw a Lunchtime Concert at the Music Centre of Christchurch, a Concert of Early Music, a performance in the local competitions of the De Croy NZ Secondary Schools' Chamber Music Contest, two CSM Recorder School Concerts, one CSM Sunday Winter Series Concert, an appearance at the Christchurch Youth Orchestra's Christmas Concert in Diamond Harbour Hall and a second Canterbury Sesqui-centennial appearance in the Botanic Gardens at the Victorian Garden Party.

However the highlight would have to have been the feature item at this year's Annual CSM Showcase Concert in the Christchurch Town Hall.  This saw the CYRE combine with its junior sister group Canterbury Recorder Players and other members of the CSM Recorder School in the Christchurch premiere of Rehu ma Tangi, the Gareth Farr work commissioned for the 1999 Nelson NZ Recorder Week.  Soloists were Bernard Wells (Nelson) Keith Sayers (ChCh), Mariaan de Beer and Ruth Hope (CYRE leaders).  Special guest Richard Nunns performed on the Maori instruments scored for this haunting and unique work, while several of Christchurch's adult amateur players joined in the fun.
The work was received warmly by the capacity audience and was probably the highlight of the evening.

In October the ensemble joined with Double reed players from CSM and presented a fascinating varied programme entitled Echoes and Reflections.  With shawms, renaissance recorders, dulcian, gemshorn, crummhorns and modern reed instruments and recorders, a carefully planned programme stretching from Mediaeval to modern times held the audience spellbound.

Later appearances for the ensemble were associated with end-of-year activities of the CSM Recorder School and the Christchurch Youth Orchestra who invited CYRE to be their guest artists in their annual concert at Diamond Harbour.  An enjoyable ferry trip across Lyttelton Harbour on the catamaran preceded and followed the concert which was attended by a considerable number of local community residents including several children.

1999 Programme

CYRE   made its first public appearance on 27 March  at 7.30 p.m. in the Auditorium of Christ's College, Rolleston Avenue, as guest artists in the concert presented by CSM Sinfonia and the CSM Stage Jazz Band.

CYRE  next appeared in a joint concert in the Christ Church Cathedral on Saturday 19 June.
Groups appearing included the CSM Girls' Choir, Christchurch Youth Choir, CSM Sinfonia, Canterbury University Campus Choir and CYRE.

"A String Of Pearls" was the title and theme of the Concert for Armidale and combined gems of music from the recorder's vast history, interspersed with pithy quotes on the attributes of music, from the world's great minds.  This concert was first presented on December 16th 1999 in the Chapel of the Music Centre of Christchurch.

"Of all the arts beneath the heaven
that man has found or God has given,
none draws the soul so sweet away,
as music's melting, mystic lay; slight
emblem of the bliss above,
it soothes the spirit all to love".
                                                                                         James Hogg  1770 -1835

 The Rise and Rise of CYRE

In 1986 Conductor Neville Forsythe presented an audio tape recording of the CYRE at a lunchtime recital for NZ Recorder Week in Auckland.
In 1990 the group played live (again in Auckland) at a Twilight Concert.
In 1993 (Wellington) an "open rehearsal" with Brian Bonsor of England was turned (by him) into a recital by the Ensemble.
In 1996 the CYRE performed the entire Opening Concert for NZ Recorder Week (Silverstream Wgtn), covering eight centuries of recorder music linked with readings and poetry.

A CD recording of this concert:
CONNECTIONS - Eight Centuries of Recorder Music is now available from The Office Manager Christchurch School of Music Box 22 245 Christchurch New Zealand
for NZ$20.00 plus postage.

In 1997 (as a result of their 1996 Concert), the group participated in a National Conference of Music Educators and attracted funding to enable them to work with Aldo Abreu from Boston USA who had been at the 1996 Recorder Week.   On that occasion CYRE were delighted to host the Batalla Famossa Ensemble from Armidale Australia, led by Zana Clarke who is well renowned in Australia as a teacher, composer and performer.


Front Row: L to R Daniel Bruggen, Bertho Driever
Back Row: Paul Leenhouts, Karel van Steenhoven
The Amsterdam Loeki Stardust Quartet

On September 22 1999 12 members of the CYRE travelled to Nelson NZ to meet and hear the Amsterdam Loeki Stardust Quartet the world's finest recorder quartet.

In Chez Eelco coffee house CYRE members played a programme of light music at a reception held for ALSQ in the presence of the Dutch Ambassador to NZ and various civic and diplomatic dignitaries.

Later that evening the CYRE players were treated to a wonderful recital of recorder music by ALSQ in the Nelson Cathedral.

The next day CYRE had the unique privilege of working in an Ensemble Workshop with Paul Leenhouts of ALSQ.

After a busy but inspiring day the CYRE members returned to Christchurch to prepare for their trip to Armidale Australia.


Call of the Four Winds
Australian International Recorder Festival January 2000

CYRE prepared for this major Recorder event through 1999.  We are grateful for donations from the New Zealand Police Administrators' Guild Fund, the Riccarton Rotary Club and for the voluntary help from parents and players in running the CSM Tuck-shop, as well as the Ensemble's concerts.

Conductor's Report
Australian Tour January 2000

Following 18 months' intensive planning, fund-raising and rehearsing, the CYRE flew from Christchurch to Sydney, arriving early morning on January 13.

Day One:   After depositing luggage at the YWCA Hostel "Y on the Park", the group set out on foot to view Circular Quay and surrounding areas.  An attempt to gain permission to perform in the Food Hall of the AMP Centre proved too difficult to arrange despite climbing the corporate ladder almost to the top.  We gave up after 5 requests, (the last being on the 30th floor, to a senior manager who seemed to evaporate).

Moving outside, we busked to a small audience on Circular Quay before decamping to the new apartment building near the Opera House.  There we were challenged by two Australian Troopers who asked to see our busking licence.  Politely pointing out our mission, we requested clemency in view of trans - Tasman cultural relations.  This was allowed, subject to our withdrawing under the verandah (private property) and removing our receptacle from the pavement (federal property).
A much more sizeable and appreciative audience were delighted by our light programme.


A wander around the exterior of the Opera House preceded a return to the Pitt St shopping mall where two hours' of free time was allocated.
Upon return to "Y on the Park" we sorted out room bookings and settled into rooms.  The accommodation was clean and comfortable, meals variable (breakfast the best), and security good (though this was at the expense of access - lifts only between the 8 floors).

Day Two:  An early rise to catch the 11 a.m. train to Armidale.  Luggage was taken by shuttle with most of the group walking the kilometre to the station.  A comfortable 8 hour ride (with no one allowed to alight from the train en route), allowed a catch up on sleep from the previous day's 4 a.m. rise.

Shuttle trips finally deposited us at New England Girls' School for registration, a rescued meal of lasagne (the salads had already been tipped out), and a trek to our accommodation.  Again comfortable facilities from single to quad rooms.  Limited dining facilities required two sittings for every meal with the fare being wholesome and generally tasty (lunches the best).

Day Three:  Registration Day, with semi-finals of the solo competitions.  One CYRE player (of two entered) successful.  Free time and rehearsal for our Collection of Consorts programme.  CYRE volunteers studied and practised the reading aloud of linking texts for "A String of Pearls".  (This idea was only developed on the train to Armidale).
The day ended with a wonderful concert from CYRE's mutual friend and admirer, Aldo Abreu.

Day Four:  First full day of festival.  Every day started with recorder ensembles from 9 - 11 and 11.45 - 1.00.  Afternoon electives saw CYRE members making and/or learning shakuhachi, quena, pan-pipes,  Irish whistle, or attending masterclasses, lectures and dance workshops.
Day four ended with the Collection of Consorts Concert in which Australian Consorts provided a short bracket each to comprise the first half.  CYRE presented the entire second half, (an hour-long programme of musical "pearls" interspersed by literary "pearls").

The opening Maori welcome touched a responsive chord in all present, moving both Kiwis and non-Kiwis alike.  For days afterwards, people came forward to express their sincere appreciation for this muti-cultural element.  Kiwis with pride, others with mixed emotions reflecting both their desire to learn about how the bicultural issues are being advanced in New Zealand, as well as to express their own conscience issues relating especially to the Aboriginal grievances yet to be addressed.  Particular thanks must go the Karuna Thurlow (and her mother Bronwyn) for the content, along with Chantelle Mc Farlane  and Ellie Plunkett who took the leading roles in the mihi (welcome) and waiata (song).  We are truly indebted to the members who bring a Maori dimension to our ensemble.

The CYRE script volunteers mentioned earlier, acquitted their continuity roles admirably while the musical content displayed the superior skills of the CYRE.  This element too, was the subject of much congratulation, especially the total "theatrical effect" of the presentation.

Days Five, Six, Eight, Nine & Ten:  These full programme days followed a similar pattern to day four, with morning consort sessions, afternoon electives and evening concerts.  On day nine, the final of the Open Consort Competition saw CYRE highly commended.  (The winning quintet from Sydney University later presented CYRE with a Loeki Stardust arrangement by Paul  Leenhouts of "In the Mood").  Day Ten saw Cavin Adams win the Original Composition with his jazz piece for tenor recorder.

Day Seven:  This day was a rest day for the entire school, enabling sightseeing and shopping to occur.  CYRE were treated to a bus tour arranged by Robyn Power on behalf of Batalla Famossa, whom we hosted in 1997.  This took in an historic house (now serving as the Registry for the University of New England),  the New England Art Museum, two local gorges in a national park and the shopping precinct of Armidale.

As the hottest day of the tour, the swimming at the gorge was most welcome.  We were delighted to be accompanied on our trip by Aldo Abreu who joined in with all activities from walking to swimming enthusiastically.

Day Eleven:  In reversal of day two, we retraced the train journey to Sydney arriving at 5.20 p.m.
A wander around the central city parks after dinner saw about half of the group take a night trip up the Sky Tower.

Day Twelve:  An early rise, stowage of luggage and off down town again.  A tour of Cook Park, the St Mary's Cathedral including the Crypt and more shopping shopping shopping.
A very small group found the Customs House Aboriginal Art Exhibition and were treated to a cultural display by a didgeridoo playing aborigine, educating a delightful group of 5 -10 year olds from a Sydney suburb.

Regrouping mid afternoon we proceeded to the Sydney Airport by charter bus.  Arrival in NZ 12.20 a.m.

Concerts:  Each night members attended concerts ranging form Avant garde compositions to Renaissance Dance.  Of particular note was "The Art of Food" presented by ìIvanî (Linsey Pollak) a  manic cook who discovered music in everything from cooking pots and utensils to vegetables; his piece d' resistance being a carrot clarinet assembled before our eyes.

Other memorable performances were given by top artists including David Bellugi and John Tyson from USA as well as many Australian performers.

General:  The international aspect of the Festival of the Four Winds saw participants learning about Polyrhythms from Indian music, West African Drumming, Indonesian Gamelan Music, Shakuhachi and Bansurai from Japan, Quena and Pan-pipes from South America, and an unconventional orchestra exploring home-made percussion and pipe instruments.

The Ensemble returns to Christchurch with its reputation enhanced and enjoying the admiration and goodwill of recorder enthusiasts and experts from around the world.  Several tutors have expressed a wish to work with CYRE and at least two have offered to compose works dedicated to the ensemble.

All tour members are to be congratulated on their performances and general cooperation throughout the tour.  Special thanks to the accompanying parents and senior players who smoothed out the minor frictions and upsets that are inevitable when a large group embarks on such a major exercise, as well as kept the group focussed on its goals.

The Ensemble is particularly indebted to Chris Adams (assisted by Shelley), who acted as tour manager, allowing me to focus on the artistic preparation and presentation.  Thanks too to the many parent volunteers who assisted in fund-raising, and to the CSM staff.  We are also grateful to Yamaha New Zealand for supplying instruments at cost to CYRE members and to the NZ Police Managers' Guild for their generous grant toward this trip.

The Australasian Recorder Festival - The Winds of Waitaha was held in Christchurch in January 2002, from the 12th to the 19th.  CYRE  will played an important part in hosting our new found friends in the recorder world, as well as the wider world of ethnic flutes.

Neville Forsythe Conductor CYRE.