The Octagon Ensemble is a Dunedin-based vocal and instrumental group formed last year. John Buchanan (MNNZ) is the ensemble's Director, and Dr Tessa Romano its Artistic Director.
Tessa is originally from New York – she studied with Helen Boatwright, among others – as well as being a noted mezzo-soprano is lecturer in voice at Otago University. John is a well-known figure in the Otago musical scene, having founded the Central Otago Regional Choir In 2006, conducted the Central Otago Regional Orchestra, and lead the Roxburgh Brass band to great success in two National Championships.
The Octagon Ensemble is celebrating International Women’s Day with a concert in Dunedin on Sunday 7 March, and in Alexandra the following weekend on 13 March.
Upbeat caught up with Tessa Romano and John Buchanan who explained how the group started, talked about the reality of rehearsing with social distancing and discussed the concert programme which mostly consists of texts by women, set to music by women.