Sparks

The Sparks concert features classical music, popular tunes, and stunning fireworks. If you enjoy the music, search our catalogue or music eResources to listen to your favourite pieces.

Fireworks

Saturday 16 February 2019

The 2019 Sparks concert took place from 7:30pm to 10pm. Sparks pre-show entertainment started from 6pm. The Night Noodle Markets, were from 1pm on the day. 

Subscribe to the 2019 Sparks Facebook event.

2019 music

Part One

Part Two

Fireworks Finale

There's just over a week to go until Sparks, so it's time to study the official programme! The Christchurch Symphony...

Posted by Christchurch City Council on Thursday, February 7, 2019

Classical Sparks facts

Classical Sparks (as it was originally called) is one of only two events that have remained part of Christchurch’s SummerTimes festival since its inception in 1983. The event attracted an audience of 6,000 in 1983, but today’s crowds are in the region of 120,000 people. Classical Sparks has featured internationally renowned performers such as Hayley Westenra and Teddy Tahu Rhodes.

Previous concerts

2018

CoverThe Christchurch Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Kenneth Young will perform popular pieces from In the Hall of the Mountain King by Grieg to the Superman March by Williams. The event will conclude with dazzling fireworks timed to fire at 9:30pm to the 1812 Overture.

First half

Opening Fanfare of Sparks
The piece has been composed especially for the occasion by CSO principal trombonist Pablo Ruiz Henao. Find out more: Bold as brass talent on show at Sparks, Newsline

Second half

A lot of work has gone into putting together Sparks, and we can't wait for everyone to hear the amazing music of the...

Posted by What's On Christchurch on Sunday, February 11, 2018

2017

The Christchurch Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Kenneth Young performed popular pieces from Bolero to the theme music from the Magnificent Seven with appearances by Harry Grigg, Tama Waipara, Jennine Bailey and a special guest appearance by Fuzhun, the winners of the Canterbury Regional Smokefree Rockquest. The night concluded with a spectacular fireworks display to the Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

First Half

Fanfare for the Common Man by Copland (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Theme from The Magnificent Seven by Elmer Bernstein (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Zigeunerweisen by Sarasate (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and Juliette Ma
Tara's Theme from Gone with the Wind by Steiner (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
A Fleeting Fanfare by Shatford
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Polonaise from Eugene Onegin by Tchaikovsky (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Tara's theme from Gone With the Wind by Steiner (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
O Del mio amato ben by Donaudy (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by Harry Grigg and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Masquerade by Khachaturian (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
On The Street Where You Live by Lerner and Loewe (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by Harry Grigg and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Bolero by Ravel (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra

Second Half

Waltz from Suite No 2 by Shostakovich (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Suite from Casablanca by Steiner (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Caravan by Ellington (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
My Funny Valentine from Babes in Arms by Rodgers and Hart (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by Tama Waipara and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
My Heart Is Crying Out by Fuzhun arr P Ruiz Henao
Performed by Fuzhun and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Mambo Italiano by Merrill (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Alfie by Bacharach (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by Jennine Bailey and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Cruise by Waipara arr P Scholes
Performed by Tama Waipara and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Malambo by Ginastera (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Fireworks display accompanied by The Sorcerer's Apprentice by Dukas (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra

2016

First Half

Seahawk Fanfare by Korngold (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Seguidilla from Carmen by Bizet (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Cover of Ultimate ManciniMoon River by Mancini (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Clarinet Candy by Anderson (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by Nora Groever, Monica Hoetjes, Dean Holdaway, Mark Holdaway, Edward Zhou, Chris Zhuthe and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Stormy Weather by Arlen and Koehler (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Waltz from Eugene Onegin by Tchaikovsky (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Tara's theme from Gone With the Wind by Steiner (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Salut d'amore by Elgar (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by Sarah McCracken and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Cover of Verdi opera favouritesPace Pace Mio Dio by Verdi (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by Amanda Atlas and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Love theme from Romeo and Juliet by Rota (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
O Mio Babbino Caro by Puccini (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by Amanda Atlas and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Finale from Swan Lake by Tchaikovsky (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra

Second Half

cover of Favorite waltzesBlue Danube by Strauss (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Habanera from Carmen by Bizet (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Strike Up the Band Overture by Gershwin and Rose (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Cover of Porgy and BessSummertime from Porgy and Bess by Gershwin (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by Jennine Bailey and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Where is the love? by Roberta Flack
Performed by Jennine Bailey, Henare Kaa the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Let's get it on by Marvin Gaye (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by Henare Kaa and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Mambo from Westside Story by Bernstein (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Fireworks display accompanied by Marche Slav by Tchaikovsky (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra

2015

The Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of conductor Kenneth Young, presented a programme of music from the movies. Special guest appearances throughout the evening included renowned guitarist Graham Wardrop, Epic Entertainment, singer Juliet Reynolds-Midgely, and cellist Matthias Balzat.

First Half

Fanfare for the Common Man by A. Copland (used in the movie Drop Dead Gorgeous) (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Marriage of Figaro by W. A. Mozart (Shawshank Redemption) (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Zigeunerweisen by P. Sarasate (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by Mathias Balzat and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Over the Rainbow by H. Arlen (The Wizard of Oz) (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by Juliet Reynolds-Midgely and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Finlandia by J. Sibelius (The Hunt for Red October) (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Waltz for Mrs K. by I. Bolton
Performed by Graham Wardrop and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
The Sound of Music Suite by R. Rodgers and O. Hammerstein (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
The Godfather Theme by N. Rota (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Excerpts from Frozen by C. Beck
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Night on Bare Mountain by M. Mussorgsky (Fantasia) (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
William Tell Overture Finale by G. Rossini (The Lone Ranger, Toy Story and Clockwork Orange) (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra

Second Half

Dam Busters March by E. Coates (The Dam Busters) (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Cavatina by S. Myers (The Deer Hunter) (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by Graham Wardrop and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Pirates of the Caribbean Suite by K. Badelt and H. Zimmer (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Star Trek by A. Courage (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Ride of the Valkyries by R. Wagner (Apocalypse Now) (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Infernal Galop (Can-Can) by J. Offenbach (Moulin Rouge) (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by EPIC Entertainment and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
James Bond Themes by J. Barry (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Harry Potter Suite by J. Williams (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
The fireworks display was accompanied by the Superman Themes by J. Williams. (Listen to it in Naxos Music Library)
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra

2014

The Christchurch Symphony Orchestra was joined by the Topp Twins. This concert was designed as a musical journey into outer space. Conductor Kenneth Young led the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra.

Thus Spake Zarathustra (Space Odyssey 2001) Strauss
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Fair from The Gadfly Suite Shostakovich (find it in Naxos)
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Overture from Cosi fan tutte Mozart (find it in Naxos)
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Concerto No 4 from l'estro armonico e minor op 3 Vivaldi (find it in Naxos)
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and Quartet 4 J - Juliette Ma, Justin Hodges, Julia Hughes, Joshua Hooker
Spartacus (better known as the theme to the classic British 1970s costume drama The Onedin Line) Khachaturian (find it in Naxos)
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Hoedown from Rodeo Copland (find it in Naxos)
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Gabriel’s Oboe Morricone (find it in Naxos)
Adelina Orwin
The Blue Danube (as featured in 2001: A Space Odyssey.) J. S. Strauss (find it in Naxos)
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Yodelling Accordion Girl
Topp Twins
Thunder and lightning polka J. S. Strauss (find it in Naxos)
Topp Twins
Star Trek Through the Years
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
The History of Music in NZ
The Outwits
The Cantina Band (Star Wars) John Williams (find it in Naxos)
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Honkey Tonk Angel
Topp Twins
Palomino Moon
Topp Twins
Huapango Moncayo
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Holy Cow
Topp Twins

The big finale featured John Williams’ epic Star Wars theme as the backdrop to the fireworks display. Listen to it online with Naxos.

Cover of Strauss family Cover of Star Wars

2013

This classical music and fireworks concert showcased a 65–piece orchestra with the NZ Army band and numerous soloists. The Christchurch Symphony Orchestra took the stage from 7:30pm. As a rousing finale, the orchestra performed Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture as the soundtrack to a fireworks display.

2001 A Space Odyssey
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and the New Zealand Army Band
Trumpet Voluntary Purcell
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and Private Raynor Martin
Triumphal March Elgar
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and the New Zealand Army Band
Dble Cello conc. G Minor RV531 Vivaldi
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and Cellists
Gareth Farr Sea Gongs part 1
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Pie Jesu
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, Rachel Doig, and Treble
Flight of the Bumble Bees
New Zealand Army Band and Staff Sergeant Phil Johnston
Ai Giochi Addio
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and Anna Hawkins
Journey On
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and Anna Hawkins
William Tell Overture
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and the New Zealand Army Band

Second half

Marriage of Figaro Overture Mozart
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Classical Gas
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and Graham Wardrop
Mahler 5th C sharp Minor
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Arban Carnival Of Venice
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and Kyle Lawson
Cinema Paradiso Overture/love theme
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and Hamish Oliver
Estancia by Ginastera 3rd Movt.
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
The Prayer
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, Anna Hawkins, and Robert Enari
1812 Overture
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and the New Zealand Army Band

2012

First half

Ruslan and Ludmilla overture Glinka
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves Verdi
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and City Choir
Ave Maria Bach Gounod
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra with Rachel Doig
Symphony no. 40 1st movement Mozart
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
The Swan from the Carnival of Animals Saint Saens
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and dancers
Broken Vow Anna Hawkins
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and Anna Hawkins
Bugler’s Holiday Leroy Anderson
Performed by the Woolston Brass Band
Air on a G String Bach
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra/ Woolston Brass Band / Sarah Hickman
Toreador Aria from Carmen Bizet
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra with Jud Arthur
The Willow Tree
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra with Fiona Pears
Sabre Dance Khachaturian
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra with Fiona Pears

Second half

Also Sprach Zarathustra Strauss
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Hallelujah Chorus Handel
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and Christchurch City Choir
Che Gelida Manina from La Boheme Puccini
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra with Virgilio Marino
Intermezzo from Caviliera Rusticana Mascagni
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Duet from Pearl Fishers Bizet
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra with Virgilio Marino and Jud Arthur
Cavatina Theme from Deer Hunter Stanley Myers
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and Graeme Wardrop
Hungarian Dance no. 5 Brahms
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and dancers
Danny Boy Weatherly/Young
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and Anna Hawkins
Clair De Lune Debussy
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Russian sailors dance Gliere
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and dancers
Ave Verum Corpus Mozart
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and Christchurch City Choir
Ride of the Valkyries Wagner/Young
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and Woolston Brass Band

2011

First half

Te Ahikaaraoa Kapa Haka
Ride Of The Valkyries Wagner
Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Here’s to the heroes
Performed by DF12 with Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and New Zealand Army Band
Nessun Dorma Puccini
Performed by DF12 with Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Beethoven’s Symphony no. 5
Performed by Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
World in Union
Performed by Rachel Doig, Mark Hadlow, Christchurch City Choir with Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Waltz of the flowers Tchaikovsky
Performed by Christchurch Symphony Orchestra with ballroom dancers
Lacrimosa
Performed by Christchurch City Choir with Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Final Countdown
Performed by DF12, Christchurch City Choir, Rachel Doig, New Zealand Army Band with Christchurch Symphony Orchestra

Second half

Boogie Woogie
Chant et Danse with New Zealand Army Band
I got rhythm Gershwin
Chant et Danse with Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
There is nothing like a dame Rodgers and Hammerstein
Chant et Danse with Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Sing sing sing
Chant et Danse with Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
In the Mood Glenn Miller
Chant et Danse with Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and New Zealand Army Band
Candyman
Chant et Danse with Christchurch Symphony Orchestra
Carmen suite Bizet
Christchurch Symphony Orchestra with ballroom couples
Bohemian Rhapsody (with fireworks)
Matthew Pike with Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and Christchurch City Choir

2010

NZ composer Gareth Farr’s extraordinary composition Aoraki
The Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Ken Young, performed and the winner of this year’s Queenstown Violin Summer School Artistic Award, Kana Ohashi, appeared with the CSO as part of her prize.
The Christchurch City Choir performed after a ten year absence
The Flower Duet from the opera Lakme (Rachel Doig and Maree Hawtin-Morrow)
Ennio Morricone’s theme Gabriel’s Oboe, from the movie The Mission (oboist Peter Dykes)
Schindler’s List (Kevin Lefohn, Artistic Administrator of the CSO)
Naomi Ferguson, one of New Zealand’s leading singer-songwriters, joined forces with Matthew Pike, fresh from recent performances in Miss Saigon, to present a vocal compilation of themes from other great movies
Pianist John-Paul Muir, winner of 2009’s National Concerto Competition, performed the Warsaw Concerto for the famous fireworks finale.

2009

Southern Opera
Showbiz Christchurch
2009’s fireworks finale was accompanied by the William Tell Overture (familiar to most people as the theme to ‘The Lone Ranger’).

2008

The concert concluded with Wagner’s Ride Of The Valkyries and a spectacular fireworks finale.

2007

Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture was the music used for the Grand Finale with fireworks and the bells of ChristChurch Cathedral.

2006

From the Depths Sound the Great Sea Gongs
Gareth Farr
Tzigane
Ravel
Hungarian Dance No5
Brahms
Carmen Habanera
Carmen Seguidilla
Bizet
Wein, Weis und Gesang (Wine, women and song)
Johann Strauss
Carmen Fantasy
Waxman
Stride La Vampa Il Trovatore
Verdi
Czardas Die Fledermaus
Johann Strauss
Slavonic Dances
Dvorak

2005

View from Olympus
John Psathas
Porgy & Bess
Gershwhin

2004

William Tell Overture (familiar to most people as the theme to ‘The Lone Ranger’)
Rossini
Spartacus (better known as the theme to the classic British 1970s costume drama, ‘The Onedin Line’)
Khachaturian
Summer from the Four Seasons
Vivaldi
The Blue Danube
J. S. Strauss
Fanfare of the Common Man
Copland
Suite Number 1 from Carmen
Bizet
Ride of The Valkyries
Wagner

2003

Ride of The Valkyries
Wagner

2000

Light Cavalry
Suppe
The Stripper
Rose
Violin Concerto in A Minor (Movement 1)
Vivaldi
Conquest of Paradise
Vangelis
Colonel Bogey
Alford

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