Your browser is outdated!

We recommend you update your browser in order to fully experience this website.

How about trying one of these instead:

Google Chrome


W&H x APO Partnership

For our latest campaign, Walker & Hall & The Arts, we had the pleasure of a private concert from Ingrid Bauer, harpist at the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. The APO uses music to enrich people's lives and believes the power of music is remarkable, much in the same sense we at W&H believe jewellery connects people together to leave an everlasting impression. 

We spoke with Ingrid and Colleen Edwards, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra's Business Partnership Manager, about music's role within the community and the APO's alignment with Walker & Hall.

Tell us a bit about yourself and when you first started your musical journey, and how it makes you feel.

Ingrid - I first said I wanted to play the harp when I was 4 and a half. We were in Leeds, and my mother took me to a children's concert given by the excellent harpist Marisa Robles; I was apparently very taken with the instrument, although I don't remember it! I started piano lessons at age 7 (my mother plays the piano quite well), but I hated it; piano wasn't for me. But not long after that, I saw the harp at an NZSO open day and was totally enthralled. Carolyn Mills, the NZSO harpist, said that I had to be 11 to learn the harp from her, but that piano was a good foundation, so I continued piano lessons until I turned 11 and then insisted that I wanted a harp! Fortunately, my parents supported this, and the rest, as they say, is history. The harp is a part of who I am, now; my place in the world is sitting with a harp on my shoulder. I love classical music and I feel a sense of belonging and fulfilment in that world that I don't find anywhere else. There aren't really words for how it makes me feel...if there were, maybe we wouldn't need music so much! 

Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra

What has been your story with the APO? And what do you think sets them apart in your eyes?

Ingrid - I won the audition for the Principal Harp job in the APO in 2018, so I've now been with the orchestra for just over 5 years. I am constantly grateful to have been offered this job where I get to play great symphonic music with my APO colleagues, and our visiting artists, on a regular basis. I think the APO is a pretty welcoming group of people with a lot of wonderful musicians (and administrative staff!) who care greatly about making the best music we can. We play a great variety of music and attract some wonderful guest soloists and conductors; I think the APO really exceeds musical expectations for a local city orchestra in a place the size of Auckland. 

Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra

What would you want people to know about your craft? Or something people may not actually know....

Ingrid - Concert harps have pedals! They change the pitch of the strings, so besides tuning the instrument, harpists have to do the correct things with our feet in order to get the right notes. We have seven pedals, one for each note of the scale. Each pedal has three notches: flat, natural, and sharp. When the C pedal is in natural, all the C strings on the harp play C-natural; when I move it into sharp, all the C strings change to play C-sharps. The mechanism runs from the base where the pedals are, up the inside of the column (the tall vertical bit at the front), and along the neck (the curvy bit along the top), and it has over a thousand moving parts. Sometimes harpists' feet are just as busy as our hands! 

Why do you think music is crucial in the community? What does the support of the community mean to you?

Ingrid - Music is about community, and communities are brought together by music. (I think this is true for other art forms also.) There is a very special kind of bonding that occurs when you collect a group of people together in a hall to listen to a musician or ensemble perform. The audience are brought together by the shared experience, and the musicians take that energy and put it into the music that we bring to life. Music, like other art forms, can also help people in our communities to make sense of their lives and their emotions. At its core, music is a very human thing, and it needs humans to make it matter. Having community support makes it both financially possible and emotionally meaningful to do what we do.

Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra

What was your favourite people you wore on set, and why? Any other comments from shoot day?

Ingrid - My favourite piece from the shoot has to be that amazing diamond necklace; I lived out all my princess dreams with that one! The rings and bracelets were lovely but aren't practical choices for a harpist (neither is the manicure, that had to come off before my concert that night); however, the necklace felt like a perfect fit.

Ingrid wore a selection of pieces from our signature 1899 Collection in the photoshoot.

Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra

Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra

Tell us a bit about the APO and your involvement with them?

Colleen - I came to New Zealand 5 years ago from Toronto Canada, to be part of the APO in the role of Business Partnership Manager. This is a career change for me, as a lifelong amateur cellist, I felt passionate about supporting a professional Orchestra and turned my transferable skills to fundraising. I work with the businesses in the City of Auckland that support the APO. We are always so grateful that we have such great support from our business community and it’s so exciting that Walker and Hall are now part of this community supporting the APO.  We are welcoming all businesses to be part of the APO experience, whether just for a concert to entertain clients or partner with us on bigger projects. We offer a musical experience like no other in Tāmaki Makaurau.

The combination of this great Orchestra with a home in the beautiful Auckland Town Hall is something everyone in this city should experience. I promise you, if you attend one concert you will attend many more.  I am so proud to promote and support this Orchestra to our Auckland Business community and we are getting such great support back, like an iconic brand such as Walker and Hall. 

What do you find the most rewarding about being involved with APO?

Colleen - It is about the amazing people at the APO. It is so rewarding to work with this incredible organization, full of amazingly talented people. It’s a very dynamic organization. The APO has 75 full-time musicians and 35 staff. 

Weekly we all have our bit to do, whether rehearsing, marketing, and selling tickets, to supporting our international artists and orchestra on stage. Then there is the Fundraising and Business Partnerships, a team that works alongside our many loyal donors and supporters.  We all have a deep commitment to making sure that each concert presented is an amazing experience for all those who purchase a ticket and come along.

Why do you think APO's alignment with Walker & Hall is special?

Colleen - I feel the alignment is incredibly special. An iconic brand such as Walker and Hall celebrating 125 years in New Zealand is unheard of for a business in this day and age. Not many companies have such longevity. The reason for this longevity would be Walker and Hall’s deep-rooted commitment to your customers. Both Walker and Hall and the APO share many values that make both brands stand out. We are about bringing people together and creating a legacy of beauty and talent. We share brand loyalty that is trusted by our patrons and customers and lastly, both Walker and Hall and the APO bring a rich heritage and an extraordinary reputation with the love of providing the highest quality product, of music or jewellery.

The partnership is very exciting, as we welcome Walker and Hall into the APO family. Having Walker and Hall as such an iconic brand in New Zealand supporting the APO is truly wonderful.

Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra

Older Post Newer Post

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This item is available by Special Order. Please enquire for pricing and ordering details.