Guitarist mesmerises audience

03:42, Jul 18 2013
john couch
PRO: The $30,000 guitar made magic in the hands of John Couch.

Spending the evening listening to live music in an intimate setting is a joy that was commonplace before the television took over the living room.

Nowadays, it isn't experienced enough. I was lucky to be invited to the Timaru Classical Guitar Society's latest event.

John Couch is considered by many as one of New Zealand's leading classical guitarists. He performed for a group of 20 or so at the Community College last week, and the experience was mesmerising.

With skills like Couch's, one can justify purchasing a $30,000 guitar. I couldn't believe how such breathtakingly beautiful music can come from a carefully assembled collection of wood and metal.

In the hands of someone like Couch, the instrument comes alive, and the sounds from it have the power to well up emotions, to bring happiness to the heart and a tear to the eye - much more satisfying than watching the telly.

The Timaru Classical Guitar Society meet monthly to enjoy their common interest. Not all of the group are "pluckers," according to treasurer David Loomes. Some of the 40 members are "lovers of".

The society enjoys performing for one another in a style that is chosen at the previous month's meeting. Performances by out-of-towners, such as Couch, are hosted on average twice a year, and are well attended by the enthusiastic group.

A Geraldine cafe caters for supper - the exquisite combination of fine food, wine, and fine music providing the audience with a few of the finer things in life, all for the price of $20.

The events are open to the public, but the society only advertises through emailing people who might be interested. Anyone who is interested in joining the email list can contact secretary Liz Townshend: eatownshend@xtra.co.nz.

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South Canterbury