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Auckland Choral 100th Hallelujahs Documentary trailer

Who we are: Get to know some of our choir members

  • Maria Millar

    Picture of Maria MillarHi! I'm Maria Millar. I'm an Alto 1, and also convener of the Auckland Choral Music Committee. I first joined Auckland Choral in 2015, in time for the Missa Solemnis. I come from a musical home, with a Dad who played Organ at church and piano for the local pantomines and performances. Thanks to his influence, I've sung for most of my life. I studied singing with Margaret Medlyn when I lived in Wellington, as well as singing simultaneously with both the Bach Choir and the Orpheus Choir. I was also a performer in two International Festival of the Arts operas: Salome and Madam Butterfly. I lived in Sydney for three years, and stepped away from the predominantly classical choir style, and sang with the gay & lesbian choir, whose repertoire was more contemporary in nature. Then, in 2001 I moved to London, and while there returned to my classical roots and sang with the Wimbledon Choral Society for a number of years. I took a bit of a break from singing when my two children came along, finding it a struggle to juggle full time work and a young family. It was when we finally moved back to NZ in 2014 that I decided it was time to get back into singing. I returned to singing lessons under the tutelage of Claire Martin, and joined the Auckland Choral Society, which was exactly what I was looking for. By day, I work as a marketing researcher and strategist, a job which I've been doing for 20 years, and which has taken me all over the world. When I'm not working or singing, my happy place is in the kitchen. I love to bake - bread, cakes, anything!

     

     
  • David Hamilton

    Picture of David HamiltonDavid Hamilton has been singing with the choir since 1982, and is currently President of Auckland Choral. He is a music educator, composition tutor, choral conductor and adjudicator. He has been Deputy Music Director of Auckland Choral (1996-2011) and Composer-in-Residence with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (1999). In 2013 he was guest composer at the national choral event Sing Aotearoa, and in 2015 composer-in-residence at the NZ Singing School. He has won a number of international composer competitions (Italy, USA, UK, and Israel) and in 2014 “Wairua” for solo harp took 1st place in the NZ Harp Society’s competition. In 2016 “American Triptych” took 1st place in a competition for the Stockton Chorale (USA). In 2017 “Are We There Yet?” took 1st place in the Australia and NZ Viola Society composer’s competition, and “Cling to Me” was placed third in the 4th Komos Choral Composition Competition (Bologna, Italy). The choir has commissioned a number of works from him, most recently “Erebus” (2015), and in 2019 will perform “Homecoming – Te Hokinga Mai”. His choral music is widely performed, especially by school and community choirs, and is published in the UK, USA, and Finland. His website is: www.dbhmusic.co.nz

     
  • Rachel Harrison

    Picture of Rachel HarrisonI am originally from the UK where I studied music. After a few years in London working in Orchestral Management the call of the sea became strong and I spent the next few years yachting. During my time in the Pacific I ended up sailing to New Zealand where I decided to step ashore and have called New Zealand home for just over 9 years. 

    During my time at sea I missed my music, but my clarinet playing days were long gone. I decided I would give singing a try, even though I was a little nervous of my abilities, so I approached Auckland Choral. As soon as I attended my first rehearsal I realised this is what I had been missing and have been a member of Auckland Choral ever since. Auckland Choral became a family to me, and I passionately supported it by being on the Management Committee for several years until May 2016, including Convener of the Music Committee. I love my Wednesday night rehearsals and being able to perform magical works in fabulous venues with friends!

     
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