Internationally-acclaimed musicians in concert at new Kāpiti church


Two local musician, both internationally acclaimed in their own right, performed in concert to celebrate the opening of Our Lady of Kapiti Catholic Church in Kāpiti.

Construction of the new church complex began January 2019, and Cardinal John Dew blessed the church and parish centre on Saturday, May 30.

Organist Dr Kemp English and his partner, renowned violinist Yuka Eguchi​, celebrated the opening with a concert in the church last Sunday.

It was also an opportunity to raise some money from ticket sales.

The couple relocated to the Kāpiti coast earlier this year, moving into their rental the day before Level 4 lockdown.

During their walks around the neighbourhood during the lockdown, they would wander from Raumati Beach to Milne Dr, past the new church, by then in its final stages of the build.

English was taken with the place, walking around the exterior and gazing through the windows.

“I said to Yuka every day, ‘This is a fantastic place for a concert.’ I think she got sick of me saying that.”

When lockdown lifted, they volunteered their services, and the church was pleased to sign them on for an opening concert.

English has performed around the world, from Hong Kong to Glasgow, and given masterclasses in the UK, China, and Australia.

He brought his own organ on its bespoke trailer, which he uses to play concerts all over the country.

Eguchi has been concertmaster of the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra and the Tokyo Mozart Players.

She is now assistant concertmaster and first violin of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

Both are fresh off the back of a travelling organ tour of rest homes around the country, in conjunction with charity From Us With Aroha.

The current parish was formed by the combining of Our Lady of Fatima in Waikanae with St Patrick’s parish Paraparaumu


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