Upper Hutt City Of
Song Charitable Club was formed in 2013 by a dedicated group of people who
recognized a need to promote up and coming talent in the Hutt Valley and
Greater Wellington Region.
The club was formed
and an action plan put in place to produce an annual family concert in Harcourt
Park, Upper Hutt, to showcase both up and coming talent and existing talent.
Upper Hutt City has
for many years, back to the mid 60’s produced exceptional music talent with
Frankie Stevens, Jon Stevens, The Fourmyula (featuring Wayne Mason) , The
Dedication, Ebony, and more recently Shaun Preston, Anita Prime, Jade Eru,
Renee Maurice, Upper Hutt Posse, Sonny Southon and the list goes on.
With this amazing
talent emerging from Upper Hutt and Wellington area, there was a lack of events
and venues to showcase them. These concerts provide the ability to showcase
Wellington talent and also give Wellingtonian’s a chance to experience these
performers in a family environment, combining and nurturing communities.
With the assistance
of the Upper Hutt City Council along with the Rimutaka Licensing Trust, and
other valued sponsors, we were able to produce our first concert on January
2014 Featured an awesome concert with such artists as
Hitchcock Railway (featuring Steve Brattle), The Southon Family, Shaun
Preston, Short Term Memory, Renee Maurice, Gareth Barker, Anita’s Dance
Academy,Tiana So’oialo, Lynn Tunnicliffe and Harmony Lane. An outstanding
entry back into the rendition of the City Of Song concerts. The 2014
concert was a total success with a great lineup of artists, both in singing and
dancing. The concert was a gold coin donation event allowing even the most
modest of families to attend. It is our belief that this brings communities
together for an enjoyable event whilst showcasing the talented lineup of
In this instance,
Upper Hutt Community Rescue were the recipients of all funds collected on the
day, and were also given the opportunity to have a presence at the event.
(until then, many people did not know this service existed)
the 2015 event was hit by a weather bomb and did not proceed.
2016 Featured a huge lineup of talent
acts on stage during a marathon 10 hour event. It saw the arrival to the stage of “Fish” a local band
who had recently won the battle of the bands, The Reckless Bros featuring Ray
Ahipene Mercer (ex Dedikation), The Fiona Haines Dance Group, Praise Be Cheer
Leaders, Close Call, The Apple Jack line Dancers, Tiana So’oialo (nine year old
wonder) The NZ Academy Of Music, The Anita Prime Choir, Raven Maven, Kyra
Radovich, Guerilla Panic, Anita prime, Short Term Memory,Katie O’Keefe,
Shennanigans, Sonny Southon, The Fergusson Drive featuring Matt Campbell and
Nycki Proctor, Badger, Rochelle Brader (nee Vincent), Renee Maurice,
Nightmoves (featuring Glenn Conroy and Gary McFadyen, Gareth Barker
with his distinctive Michael Bubl’e style, iORock, Feature from the Pipe
Down project (performed by Tarns Hood, iO Rocks and David Collinge, A dance
demo from “Feet with Heat” and to finish was the Tony Mad Trio with their
rendition of Stevie Ray Vaughn. A stunning event . The Upper Hutt City Of
Song Academy Charitable Trust were the benefactors on this occasion.
2017 saw the emergence of some brilliant
talent in the way of Merrin, The Mojo, Rey Perry, No Sleep After
Midnight, Georgie Sullivan, Tarns Hood, The Fabulous Pakehas, The Noodles,
O’Flynt, and get this “Ebony” yes a return of Don Wilson and Stefan Brown doing
their song “Big Norm” and a special song they wrote just for Upper Hutt
and if that was not enough…. bring on The Warratahs (NZ’s premium Country band)
Again sadly due to
weather conditions on Saturday and predicted to continue Sunday, we had to
relocate the concert indoors and were lucky enough to secure the Lane Street
Church for this occasion at very short notice. We thank them dearly for their
generosity. 4 A Better City were the recipients of the gold coin
donations this year.
It is important to
note that these artists also believe in what the club is trying to achieve, and
therefore offer their services free of charge.
It is also very
important that we show our gratitude to the funders and sponsors of this
wonderful event. Without them, this would not happen.
The club members are
all volunteers and continue to give up their free time, fired by a passion to
make this event happen.
2018 was looming to
be our biggest concert yet.
The talent on stage
was simply the best available in the greater Wellington area and is combined
with some emerging talent.
Peter Hall again travels to NZ to grace the stage. We had the local favourites in “The Southons” featuring Sonny Southon, Sam Southon, Mark Southon and Steve Southon. and another special guest formerly from Trixx Gary McFadyen (currently with O’Flynt) and Lynne Radovich (currently with Short Term Memory) . We had Renee Maurice winner of 2013 NZ’s Got Talent, The rising star Gareth Barker, The solid rock sound of Itchycoo Park (always crowd favourites with a solid following) The raunchy sound of Fiona Buchet as she teams up with iO to unleash her hard kick ass classic rock covers, Sadly due to unforeseen circumstances Feet With Heat could not appear on the day. Emerging talent in Guerilla Panic and The Silver Beatlez featuring Don Wilson, make their debut on the big stage.This all lead up to a finale with the fantastic Hitchcock Railway where Steve Brattle and the band paid tribute to the late Joe Cocker.
Concerts of this
type in the past, have attracted crowds of over 8,000 to this stunning world
class venue, set aside in native bush, yet only a stones throw from the city.
Sadly the weather
detracted from a huge attendance this year, but thankfully the rain held off
until the last 2 songs from Hitchcock Railway.
Peter Jackson saw
the value of this beautiful setting, which he used for scenes in “The Lord Of
The Rings” series.
City of Song intends
to grow this event each year, continuing to put superb talent on stage from the
experienced international stars, to the new rising stars.
This is our passion!
We wish to assist these artists to grow and flourish. From the nurtured
seedling, a beautiful flower grows. From that flower, a true appreciation is
developed within a garden (or in this case a community)
With the continued
support from the Upper Hutt City Council, The Rimutaka Licensing Trust, local
businesses, and our many other sponsors, along with the support from the
community, we believe that through these efforts, this event will continue to
be a huge success.
(quote) From the
nurtured seedling, a beautiful flower grows.
We would love to see
you there next year . Come join our mailing list, keep informed about what’s
going on and future events and help create the magic that is the “City Of Song Concert In The Park”
held at Harcourt Park with the final one held by the Upper Hutt City Of Song
Academy Charitable Trust in 2001, a group of individuals who were keen to
see the concerts reinstated, got together in 2013, and decided they would
do the work necessary to put on a concert in 2014.
A working committee
was formed and the birth of “Upper Hutt City Of Song Charitable Club”
was announced. With the support from the Rimutaka Licensing Trust and many
businessdonations, including those from the ANZ Bank, Bold Motors,Wedell
Plumbing, Gemac Motors,
DZine Signs and the
Upper Hutt Leader, the concert turned out to be a brilliant
success. Following this success, the committee decided they would run the
concert again in 2015. All arrangements were made, our sponsors and
artists came to the party once again, however after a brilliant spell of what
could only be described as an Indian Summer, the weather
gods were not with us, and a weather bomb hit just as the concert was
to get underway.
Sadly, we could not get all
the ducks in a row to reschedule for another concert in the 2015 summer
season. We do however feel an ongoing appreciation to all the artists
(especially Peter Hall and Lynda Reeve) who both flew over from Australia
to be part of the entertainment. Of course along with all the artists, we had
the support team, the stall vendors, and the committee members and all the
sundry people who were involved in the organisation of the
event. Thankfully, two events which were planned to take place, were held
at the Upper Hutt Cossie Club on the Sunday evening. These included a
tribute from the Southon Family to the late Celia Southon, and a reunion of the
popular Hutt Valley band “Trixx” More details are available on
our history page