“Summertime Feels” in the gardens of Overstone Farm, (Fawnleas, near Wartburg) KZN Midlands
Sunday, 2 December 2018
Mix up a 155 year-old farm setting, a stone shed and a dappled expansive garden with the jazzy-blues vocal talent of Tanya Nicolson, accompanied by St John Haw, interspersed with the heart-stopping classical piano talent of concert pianist, Lara Kirsten and you have a Sunday with a Summertime Feel that promises pure magic.
“Summertime Feels”, a lazy afternoon of good music with great company, takes place on Sunday, December 2 from 1pm, with gates opening at 11am, at Overstone Farm, a working family farm 55km from Pietermaritzburg, 15km beyond Wartburg. Nestled in the sugar belt, Overstone offers a peaceful venue in a number of self-catering accommodation units in the original family homestead.
St John Haw and Tanya Nicolson met in early 2013, through a mutual friend, and found an immediate connection musically. With St John on piano and Tanya on vocals, they were matched in an unexpected way through a love of their jazz influences but it was really their emotional connection through the music, that came as such a surprise to them both.
Tanya has been on stage professionally since the age of 8, with a background in drama, musical theatre, cabaret, physical theatre, film and TV. Her theatrical credits include playing the lead in David Kramer’s “District Six – The Musical” and many more musical theatre, serious dramas, film and TV roles including directing “Grease” alongside Ian Von Memerty. In 2007 Tanya began pursuing a new found passion for the culinary arts and hospitality which culminated in the opening of an award winning gourmet bistro in 2010 in Hilton; but stumbling upon the innate talents of St John Haw, rekindled the musical fire in Tanya.
St John Haw is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Pietermaritzburg who has played piano most of his life in a variety of different spheres. Although his talent on the keys comes from somewhere that can only be described as innate and somewhat visceral, St John is also an extremely skilled landscaper with an unbridled passion for gardens, architecture and antiques.
Lara Kirsten is an award winning pianist and performance poet, based in Curry’s Post in the Midlands. After completing her high school career at the National School of the Arts in Johannesburg, Lara received her BMus and BMus Honours degrees (both cum laude) respectively in 2001 and 2005, at the University of Pretoria. Prof. Joseph Stanford and Dr. Wessel van Wyk were her mentors in solo piano and chamber music respectively. She tour for over two years with the improvising cellist Francois le Roux throughout of SA, Europe and the USA and for the past decade Lara has been active as both a solo and chamber musician. She has played with musicians such as coloratura soprano Linda van Coppenhagen, soprano Gwyneth Lloyd, tenor Sandile Mabaso, clarinetist Morné van Heerden and cellist Wessel Beukes. One of the highlights of her musical career was trekking her piano all the way from her home in the Midlands of KZN to the AfrikaBurn festival (in the Tankwa Karoo of the Northern Cape) where she gave three open-air piano recitals. Concerts in KwaZulu-Natal include two tours with tenor Sandile Mabaso.
As a special addition to the lazy afternoon of music, is a free yoga session conducted by Alice Richter on the lawns of the historic gardens at Overstone. Alice teaches alignment based Hatha Vinyasa, and beginner to experienced level practitioners are all welcome.
Tickets for the concert are R100 per person (children under 12 free) and are available through Tanya on 071 353 9539 or Phillippa on 083 290 1153 or at the gate. Bring picnics, drinks, chairs and umbrellas and be prepared for a relaxing, lazy Sunday afternoon. Directions to the farm can be found on www.overstone.co.za. It is approximately 50 minutes from Pietermaritzburg, and 1 hour 30 minutes from Durban. GPS co-ordinates are -29.365575, 30.762536
Notes to editors:
Nestled in the sugar belt, Overstone offers a peaceful venue in a number of self-catering accommodation units in the orginal family homestead. The units are appropriately named to celebrate their 1863 origins: the original Post Office, the Dairy, the Laundry and the Schoolroom served exactly those functions in their day. Barn 1 and 2 used to house various livestock but with a dusting of shweshwe, and some smart plumbing guests enjoy a luxuriously comfortable night’s sleep, and yes, will often wake to the sounds of the nearby Nguni herd.