Kapiti Retirees Come Out of Musical Retirement
Drummer Kert Snater and guitarist Rex Hebley practice as part of their band, formed in a Kapiti retirement village.
Nostalgic look at Music
Four musicians from around the world have dusted off their instruments for a new gig.
Easy listening band Nostalgia, “a catchy name for what we’re doing” said drummer Kert Snater, formed in the Metlifecare Kapiti Village.
A 95-year-old named Bob inspired the band’s creation in November last year. He would play the piano before resident meetings, but he decided to let someone else take the floor.
Band members Snater, Neil Sutton, Nancy McLean and Rex Hebley managed to find one another and decided they might as well give it a shot.
“It’s quite a melding together of our different backgrounds and ideas,” McLean said.
From classical music to a seven-piece dance band, the four musicians have decades of musical experience.
The rhythm runs deep in Snater, who is originally from Holland. When he was around 10, he made his own drum set out of syrup tins, bamboo sticks and an old poncho of his mother’s.
Saxophonist Sutton, on the other hand, was introduced to music “the normal way”, when he started learning the piano as a child in England.
McLean has been playing the piano since she was six and would perform on concert radio in her 20s, between working fulltime as a teacher and raising her children.
Guitarist Hebley, who spent two decades in a seven-piece band, lists off the instruments he’s learned: mouth organ, banjo, mandolin, drums – even the spoons.
“Music is something you never forget,” Snater said.
Some of them never stopped playing music, while for others in the band, retirement is a welcome opportunity to revisit a passion.
“I’m doing it because I want to do it now, not because someone’s expecting it of me,” McLean said.
Now that they’ve built up a set list of around 60 songs and are back into the swing of performing at their retirement village, they’re considering going on the road for gigs – most likely to other villages.
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