The Marlborough Civic Orchestra in New Zealand’s South Island has found a uniquely quiet space in which to practise.

Ever heard of a dead acoustic? The Marlborough Civic Orchestra in New Zealand’s South Island has found a novel new home – a funeral home. Struggling to find a quiet space in which to rehearse, the orchestra has begun practising in the chapel of Cloudy Bay Funeral Services in Blenheim.

“It’s the perfect fit really,” funeral director David Buckley told New Zealand’s Stuff. “There is certainly room here for community groups and we have some good friends in the orchestra. When they asked us if we could help it seemed like a great idea.”

While some of the orchestra members were a little apprehensive about the venue, they soon embraced the new space.

“I reassured them they wouldn’t see any dead bodies,” the orchestra’s vice-chair and cellist Jenni Stubbs told The Guardian.

“I don’t think there is any creepy feeling about it, and I think we bring joy to the place. When we are there for rehearsal we concentrate on our music and we are always mindful,” she said. “I guess there is a bit of extra respect because of the normal use of the place.”

Funerals and meetings with families are scheduled so as not to clash with the orchestral rehearsals.

The orchestra is preparing for a concert at the ASB Theatre Marlborough on August 19, Bella Musica, Melodies of the Mediterranean, which will feature music from films The Godfather, Gladiator alongside opera overtures by Verdi and Mozart.

In the meantime, though, the orchestra seems to have found the perfect place practise.

“The acoustics are good and there’s lots of natural light,” Stubbs told Stuff. “It is a really peaceful place, it is not an oppressive place.”


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