A tap dancing troupe, an opera singer performing an aria in Russian, and a bagpiper in a kilt, were just some of the talented medics to take the stage at the recent Doctors’ Orchestra and Exhibition. And as the event’s longtime principal sponsor, MAS was proud to once again help doctors showcase their creative sides. 

For Frances Campbell, a third year registrar at Christchurch’s Burwood Hospital, hitting the top notes as an opera singer has been her passion since high school. But belting out a 13- minute-long solo in a different language to a packed crowd, was enough to make even an unflappable doctor slightly nervous. 

“I think that was one of the hardest and most amazing things I’ve done,” she says. “I was almost  surprised to get to the end of it without anything bad happening! The song was Tatiana’s Letter by Tchaikovsky, and it’s in Russian so that added to the difficulty. There was a bit of creative Russian in my version, I’ll admit! But performing onstage with a full orchestra is a real treat, it’s part of what makes it so special.”

Alongside Russian opera, concert-goers at Christchurch’s Aurora Centre at Burnside High School, also got to take in an art exhibition with more than 50 works on display, before being led into the auditorium by a solo bagpiper to start the show. 

Other acts included an Indian dance, a string quartet, a jazz band, a range of student skits, and the ever-popular ‘Manpower’ finale.

For New Zealand Association of Artist Doctors Vice President, John Gillies, the variety of talent on stage is part of what makes the annual show such a success.

“It’s always great to see a diverse range of performances, and I love watching people getting up there and putting their heart and soul into it. I also really enjoy watching some of the regular performers hone their skills over the years. You’ll see them being quite nervous when they start out, then the next year they’re more relaxed, and by the third year they're just blowing the audience away. 

“We believe it's so important for people to have another interest or creative outlet alongside their professional career, and things like this give people the chance to explore other talents,” John says. 

“For many doctors, it’s also an opportunity to work on projects together that aren’t medical-related. These are people that probably would never have met otherwise, and they end up becoming friends.” 

The 'Moll's Dolls' tap dancing group was a hit. Photo_ Tony Devenish-1 copyThe 'Moll's Dolls' tap dancing group was a hit. Photo by Tony Devenish.

A local string quartet was joined by a solo clarinet player on stage. Photo_ Tony Devenish.-1 copyA local string quartet was joined by a solo clarinet player on stage. Photo by Tony Devenish.

Concert-goers were treated to an art exhibition before the show. Photo_ Tony Devenish  copyConcert-goers were treated to an art exhibition before the show. Photo by Tony Devenish.

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