This page is not a current Christchurch City Council document. Please read our disclaimer.

Christchurch City Council Media Release

 SummerTimes A festival of free entertainment.

5 February, 1998

Last SummerTimes festival of the millennium comes to an end.

Southpower Classical Sparks

Saturday 13 March, 7.00pm to 9.00pm, North Hagley Park


The final SummerTimes festival of the millennium comes to an end on Saturday 13 March with Southpower Classical Sparks, the largest event in the South Island.


Since it began in 1981 SummerTimes has entertained over three million Christchurch residents and visitors. A large part of this figure has been achieved by attendances at Southpower Classical Sparks, which has attracted audiences in excess of 120,000.


This year marks the first occasion that a female has conducted the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra for the event. Australian Joanna Drimatis, a violinist with the orchestra, will conduct the first half of the programme while Paul Mayhew, conductor of the Christchurch Youth Orchestra and occasional horn player with the CSO, will conduct the second. 92 More FM’s breakfast presenters Simon Barnett and Phil Gifford will host the event.


The musical programme for Southpower Classical Sparks has been created with families in mind. Well known classical pieces such as the Tchaikowskyís Theme from Romeo and Juliet, Mars from Holstís The Planets and Johan Straussís Feuerfest Polka will be complemented by popular modern pieces such as 2001 by Richard Strauss, Gershwinís Strike Up The Band and Schifrinís Mission Impossible. Canterbury rugby fans will undoubtably enjoy the familiar sounds of 1492 Conquest of Paradise by Vangelis.


Seventeen-year-old Chia-Nan Hung will perform the Intro and Rondo Capriccioso by Saint Saens in the first half. Originally from Taiwan, Chia-Nan began learning the violin at the age of seven. At ten he won first place in a competition in Kaohsiung City and won several more competitions before leaving Taiwan with his family in 1996 to live in Christchurch. Last year Chia-Nan was part of the winning group of the National Final of the WestpacTrust Schools Chamber Music Competition. He was also awarded second prize in the National Concerto Competition in 1998.


Other highlights of Southpower Classical Sparks will include the Pandemonium percussion ensemble’s steel drum performance of Jarre’s Calypso, and Anderson’s Clarinet Candy performed by CSO clarinettists Gretchen Dunsmore and Zdenek Drholecky.


A stunning fireworks display, choreographed by Fireworks International to the final piece of the evening, Jupiter from Holst’s The Planets, will conclude the evening, and the festival.


Site Information

Free secure cycle parking is available near the Salisbury Street Bridge entrance ñ those using this service will go into the draw to win a brand new Avanti bike. Car parking is available in two locations in North Hagley Park for $3.00. Entrances are off the westbound lane of Harper Avenue and the eastbound lane of Riccarton Avenue, gates open at 5pm and close at 11pm. The fireworks area behind the stage is strictly out of bounds before, during and after the concert. If wet, Southpower Classical Sparks will be held the following day.


Free Buses

The City Streets unit of the Christchurch City Council is providing free buses to and from the event. Buses will depart from suburban malls for the park, arriving at approximately 6pm. After the event buses will depart from Park Terrace between 9.30pm and 9.45pm. More information on the free bus services will be available from Bus Info (phone 366 8855) from Monday 8 March.



For further information contact the SummerTimes Publicity Co-ordinator,

Katie Macbeth, on (03) 941 8495,

or check the website at

Top of Page ~ Media Release index

This page is not a current Christchurch City Council document. Please read our disclaimer.
© Christchurch City Council, Christchurch, New Zealand | Contact the Council