Emails and Letters

"I LOVE Mulled Wine Concerts as they are so intimate.
See you soon
With gratitude, Helen"



Alan & Alison Lough - August 2022

One of the many great things about living on the Kapiti Coast is the endless list of very enjoyable things to do. Not least of things to do is to attend Mulled Wine Concerts at Paekakariki. Organised by a truly professional musician herself, Mary Gow manages to attract world class quality musicians from around the world and New Zealand and play for us in the intimate Memorial Hall down at the beach in Paekakariki. Look up the website and see what is coming up. We will be there.


Murray - August 2022 - About Lorelle McNaughton concert

Thanks for organising the concert in Featherston. Lorelle was quite simply the best of the best. A night I will never forget.


Philippa and Tony - March 2022 - About Roger Fox Band concert

Dear Mary,
Firstly I wish to congratulate you on organizing the Roger Fox Band concert given the complications with the red light setting. Well done! We bought 2 CDs to listen too as well.
It was terrific fun and a most enjoyable evening. We need to support our arts sector through the pandemic. It will get increasingly difficult over the next 2 months.
Thank you to Kelly and Co for the super gift box for the major raffle prize which we won on the night. It was an absolute treat and we delighted in going through it once home. It was cola soda stream mix, chocolate, shortbread which I love, fig chutneys and cookies, popcorn, fruit pate for cheese, crackers, etc. A very generous gift from the company and much appreciated.
Please pass this onto the company.


Robert Dussler - August 2020 - About Diedre Irons with Vesa- Matti Leppanen and Andrew Joyce concert

I habe been looking forward to this concert since I first saw the poster! It happened to coincide with a cello event with cello students from Kapiti and Palmerston North which i had planned for that same day - and it provided an amazing finish for all 10 students and their parents! Many had not had the opportunity to look on this closely, and not in the intimate atmosphere the Memorial Hall provides. Andrew Joyce is the finest cellist in New Zealand in my opinion, and to have him play with his amazing colleagues in our small village serves as a good example of our country's willingness to mix and mingle: we don't reserve the best performances for the wealthiest audiences and the most illustrious locations. We feel very grateful to Mary Gow for having tirelessly and successfully sustained her Mulled Wine series for so many years, using her passion and expertise as a first rate pianist to arrange for performances of the highest standard. My students, having seen and heard their instrument at it's very best, walked away excited, moved, pensive, according to their temperament, but everyone of them inspired and motivated in the relationship to their own cello playing and practicing. It showcased not only the huge range of musical expression the cello is capable of, but also excellent technique and superb ensemble playing. Who knows, these occasions can prove to be pivotal in a young musicians life. Maybe one of them will strive to take the stage just as these artists have done at the end of this cello - filled day?

Shelley Leason - August 2020 - About Diedre Irons with Vesa- Matti Leppanen and Andrew Joyce concert

I'm writing to thank you for organising the concert with Andrew Joyce in Paekakariki. My 13 year old son Samuel, who plays the cello, was there and was deeply inspired by the performance. It was an amazing experience for him and his other friends to be able to observe up close a top cellist. Samuel was blown away by the quality of the sound and Andrew Joyce's impressive techniques. What a wonderful opportunity for these young musicians to have had and all possible because of the concert being local and affordable. Thank you. Samuel is hopeful that such a concert may happen again in the future.

Michelanne Forster - August 2020 - About Diedre Irons with Vesa- Matti Leppanen and Andrew Joyce concert

Having recently moved to Wellington from Nelson, My husband and I were exploring the cultural offerings of the capital city. We were delighted to find out that a " Mulled Wine" concert was coming up in Paekakariki. We took the train, then walked along the sea front to the village hall. The organiser, Mary Gow, had her hands full so we volunteered to help sell raffle tickets which pulled us straight into the strong community spirit of the event. We came away, after a fantastic concert featuring soprano and baritone, with an entirely positive impression. We also attended the last concert of the season which included the well-known Archduke Trio, performed by musicians with sterling national reputations. Again, we were happy to help out and support this amazing musical opportunity. There is something very special about the " Mulled Wine" concerts which allow you to see and hear musicians in a way that a bigger more formal setting doesn't allow. The combination of exquisitely played Beethoven and the sea and Kapiti Island glinting in the sunlight through the windows of a village hall, is pretty incredible.

Lynley Barker - August 2020 - About Diedre Irons with Vesa- Matti Leppanen and Andrew Joyce concert

It was a pleasure to attend the Mulled Wine Concert in Paekakariki on Sunday 16 August, 2020. The standard of the musicians was very high and the choice of music was suitable, as it was accessible and would have pleased the majority of the audience. The hall is an ideal venue for this type of concert, as it is not too large, and therefore intimate enough for chamber music. I think the Mulled Wine Concert series is an excellent concept; it is ideal for locals who perhaps cannot get to larger venues such as Wellington for similar concerts, so to have something in their local area is a great opportunity. While I am actually not local, I enjoy travelling down from Palmerston North to attend such a chamber music concert, as it is a good chance to see such well-known musicians play and is a wonderful way to spend my Sunday afternoons.

Gillian and Russell Feist - August 2020 - About Diedre Irons with Vesa- Matti Leppanen and Andrew Joyce concert

We do enjoy the concerts greatly. Sunday's was a beauty and well warranted the standing ovation at the end. It is great to be so close to the performers and to feel their sensitivity to both the music and their fellow performers. We decided as we left the concert to respond positively to your request for donations to ensure these concerts continue. We also commented on the amount of work that must be involved in putting them together. Long may they continue.

From Ann-Marie Stapp - July 2020 - About Maaike Christie - Beekman, Robert Tucker and David Barnard concert

I attended my first Mulled Wine concert on 26 July, the draw card being Maaike Christie-Beekman. I arrived to the smell of mulled wine and a relatively full venue and my partner and I were treated to an afternoon of delightful love songs. The highlights for me were the duets with Maaike and Robert Tucker, ably collaboratively supported by David Barnard. I'd been pulled into the piano playing early on but the two vocal duets were essentially a trio when you listened to the piano counterpoint. Suffice to say, the beauty of Schubert's "Licht un Liebe" started my eyes leaking and the concluding Faures's 'Pleurs d'Or' required tissue intervention. Individually and together, the trio provided a rich musical experience and there is no doubt I will be going to many more mulled wine concerts.


Tony Reed - March 25, 2020 - About Michael Endres Piano recital

The Mulled Wine Concert on March 22nd was a piano recital by German pianist Michael Endres, now resident in Christchurch. The concert was held as the Covid 19 crisis was reaching its height, only a few days before New Zealand went into lockdown. As a result, the audience was rather sparse, but at least that meant we were able to sit well apart! The programme started with some Haydn Variations. It was good that we began with "lighter stuff", as the piano acoustic was quite different from normal, with so fewer people in the hall. But we soon adjusted to that, and took in the marvellous playing. After a couple of beautifully restrained Bach transcriptions by Wilhelm Kempff, we got to the main work in the first half, Beethoven's Appassionata Sonata, in a powerful rendition. The second half consisted of one work, Liszt's piano transcription of Beethoven's 5th Symphony. I know that Mary was initially concerned about the inclusion of this piece, as it is unusual to highlight an arrangement in a concert, especially of such a well-known work. But I for one was glad she was persuaded. Liszt was not just any old arranger, and I knew that his piano transcriptions were well known for sounding very pianistic. (His transcription of the Prelude to Tristan and Isolde, for example, is certainly very superior to the one in the standard vocal score of the opera). And so it proved with the Beethoven. A familiar (possibly over-familiar) piece came to life again in a new context, By the end, it felt as if Beethoven had really written this for the piano originally. At the end, Michael Endres received a standing ovation.


From Martin, Jens and Mark - March 12, 2019 - About Michael Endres Piano recital Sunday 10/3

My two friends and I had the chance to volunteer at the "mulled wine concert" this Sunday. We all found the people involved inspiring and interesting, especially Michael Endres who we got to talk to a bit. Even though we are 19 years old and typically don't enjoy classical music we had a good time at the venue. We weren't the only ones enjoying it as a few of the attendees even shimmied along to the music in their seats. We all thought it was a great incentive for people to come out and enjoy something social to beautiful piano music.


From Kerry and Peter Fryer - August 13, 2017 - About the 2017 Season

We congratulate you on arranging the wonderful concerts this year. It was 2013 when came to live on the Kapiti Coast​ and we have been attending the concerts for only a short time. We both agree that this year has been the best.


From Michelle Wing - August 14, 2017 - About Matthew Marshall and Heleen du Plessis

What a character the cellist was. Where else would you get such an informed, fun interaction with performers. Yesterday was an exercise in broadening my listening experience.


From Gillian and Russell Feist - July 17, 2016 - About Hammers & Horsehair

Many thanks Mary for organising such an enjoyable concert - with such wonderful seating for VUW group.
The choice of music by Hammer (Douglas) & Horsehair (Robert) was great. We loved their presentation of each work & it was lovely to see the 3 young children obviously entranced.


From Brigid O'Meeghan - March 18, 2015 - About Deidre Irons and Gillian Ansell

Lovely afternoon and concert at Paekakariki. Thank you. The series is fantastic!

From Paula Anker - June 29, 2014 - About Jian Liu

Greetings Mary! Thank you so much for offering the double pass to the Dominion Post's "Giveaway" ... Wasn't I the truly lucky one! Jian Liu's playing was an absolute treat. I could sense his enjoyment and depth of feeling in all his playing ... such a special afternoon. Thank you.

From Sally Forman - March 17, 2014 - About Vesa-Matti Leppanen, Andrew Joyce, and Diedre Irons

Another wonderful afternoon of music in the Memorial Hall Mary, thank you, thank you… The Rachmaninov in particular is still resonating within. Exquisite! Respect for your passion, and sharing.

From Barbara Mountier - August 16, 2013 - About John Chen and The Homewood Trio

Dear Mary Here are my comments on two of the concerts. The Homewood trio were a great pleasure, such accomplished musicians and a refreshing programme. Also lovely to look at. It is rather remarkable that we can sit in little old Paekakariki and listen to world class musicians. John Chen's recital of the Bach Preludes and Fugues Book 1 was historic. I knew I mustn't miss it. I am so grateful to have heard him. I followed the score as I listened and was impressed by the amazingly varied styles and motifs and moods of the music These are rather longer than I meant but you can use whatever bits are useful. So good to have been there. Thank you

From Tony Reed - August 13, 2013 - About The Homewood Trio

I had to send you a message (to pass on to the performers if you wish) saying how much I enjoyed the Martinu. A very good performance of what was (at least for me) by far the best piece of the afternoon. I suspect Andrew at least agreed with that, as his introduction certainly put the composer well in context. The obviously complex rhythms and harmonies of the outer movements were treated with apparent ease. I had forgotten how beautiful the slow movement is; I shall dig my CD out again - it is one by the Dartington Ensemble, which I have owned for about 20 years I think. I am such a Martinu fan that, during one visit to Prague, I took the daily bus half way across the country to his birthplace at Policka, and duly paid homage in that tiny little town to their most famous son. Anyway, thanks again for an interesting concert, with a wonderful finale. I look forward to next year.

From Barbara Feeney - August 11, 2011 - About Michael Houston Concert

Hi Mary I want to say thank you for creating such a wonderful series of concerts in our local Memorial hall. I felt so priviledged to attend a recent concert with world-renowned pianist Michael Houston in our local hall. It is extraordinary to live in this tiny community of Paekakariki and have Michael choose to play five doors down the road from where I live. Wonderful music, a wonderful occasion, long may it continue. My daughter from Palmerston North who accompanied me said "He looks at everyone in the hall before acknowledging everyone - great music and such a special occasion". Please invite him to play again. Thanks for the all the work that goes into organising these world class events.


David Groves Support Letter for Funding - July 2012