[Violet Donaldson recalls playing piano in Timaru and Waimate, 1967].
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1. Violet Donaldson (nee Capstick) recalls playing the piano in Langdown's Orchestra in Timaru and Waimate in the 1890s and early 20th Century. She also plays excerpts of the tunes she remembers from her career. She recalls playing "Goodbye Dolly Gray" for soldiers leaving for the South African War. When the troops returned she recalls playing "The Blue Danube" at a huge ball in the grain stores in Timaru. She recalls bathing boxes at Caroline Bay.
2. Violet Donaldson recalls playing for Begg and Co's music store and accompanying early silent movies in Timaru. She would play newly released tunes for store customers and plays "School Days" which she says was very popular. At the Theatre Royal in Timaru she would play for Fuller's Picture Show from around 1910. She plays "Home Little Māori Home", another popular song from that period. The was no music supplied with the silent films. She would just play from sheet music she knew. She also played at Haywards Picture Palace and in 1916 she became pianist at the Grand Theatre. She recalls how cold it was in the draughty theatres. Soldiers who came back from the World War I were amazed that she would be able to play songs they knew from Europe. She plays "Roses of Picardy" and talks about how she would match the music to the scene, playing "Hearts and Flowers" for sad scenes. She talks about film stars she admired and plays "Keep the Home Fires Burning". Finally, she recalls how sound effects were also produced in the theatre to accompany the films.
Reference number 297475
Media type AUDIO
Collection Sound Collection
Nonfiction radio programs
Donaldson, Violet, Speaker/Kaikōrero
New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation (estab. 1962, closed 1975), Broadcaster