Just as good, was the "Sparkling Gems" concert Catherine and I attended. This featured students of the world class University of Waikato Conservatorium of Music and supported by the Hamilton Chamber Music Society. The key phrase you heard after the concert was "what amazing young talent" - the performance of the works was
|Courtney Johnston: Judge for the 2014 NZPPA|
|New Tropical Garden - Hamilton|
The Waikato Society of Arts, supported by the Philip Vela Family Trust, ran the New Zealand Painting and Printmaking Award - wonderful art from all over the country. It opened with a gala event and the art display was attended by over 2000 people on the first weekend alone.
The other event I attended was "Opera at Twilight" from Opera Brava - a wonderful selection of opera highlights in a superb setting; well timed to catch the last of the evening light.
On top of all this was the new Tropical Garden which had just been opened - it was situated on one of the main thoroughfares throughout the Gardens Arts Festival - well visited and another source of civic pride. And to think that these gardens used to be the Hamilton rubbish dump when I arrived in 1972.