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Israel in Egypt concert banner

 

‘Handel understands effect better than any of us; when he chooses, he strikes like a thunderbolt.’

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

 

It’s no secret that Auckland Choral enjoys the epic works of Handel; after all, we have sung Messiah since 1856! We open our season with the powerful Israel in Egypt. A precursor to Messiah, the work celebrates the Israelites’ escape by the parting of the Red Sea. In telling this tale, Handel draws on his considerable cache of choral skills with evocative fugues, antiphonal double choirs, thunderous choral homophony; he even portrays leaping frogs through word painting, where music imitates the imagery of the text.

 

It is a privilege to work with so much talent from the university of Auckland. Tonight the University of Auckland Symphony Orchestra accompanies Auckland Choral, along with a fantastic line-up of well-established and young soloists, including Morag Atchison, soprano and Dean Sky-lucas, countertenor.

 

Morag Atchison, Soprano

Madison Nonoa, Soprano

Dilys Fong, Alto

Dean Sky-Lucas, Countertenor

Manase Latu, Tenor

Benson Wilson, Bass

Ben Kubiak, Bass

 

Auckland Choral

University of Auckland Symphony Orchestra

Uwe Grodd, Conductor

 

Tuesday 10 March 8.00pm

Holy Trinity Cathedral

 

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

  • Sandy Bulmer

    Picture of Sandy BulmerLike so many contraltos, I first got put in the alto section as a school girl because I could read music and manage to sing a line of harmony. I joined Auckland Choral when I was in high school and now I’ve been a member for 40 years! I started singing with my mum as a toddler, sitting on her knee while she played the piano and sang soprano and tenor Messiah arias. I used to come to Auckland Choral’s Saturday dress rehearsals in the Town Hall and follow the score in my early teenage years, and it was a natural step to join Mum in the choir when I was 15. I remember Choral Hall in Airedale Street where we used to meet (before Mayoral Drive was built). It was a dusty old building and freezing in winter, but the ladies in the alto section were very kind to me and welcomed me into the back row. Nothing really changes in that respect; the Auckland Choral altos today are a great bunch of people as well!

     
  • Keith Guyan

    Picture of Keith GuyanKeith spent most of his life as a self-employed freelance graphic designer after graduating with a degree in fine arts. Over several further years of study he obtained professional qualifications in advertising, marketing and tertiary teaching, enjoying being a tutor for fifteen years introducing graphic design to young students, then seven years as a part-time senior lecturer in graphic design at AUT University. He has been a self-taught church organist from the age of thirteen, and since 2002 he has been the Parish Elder, Administrator and Organist in the large multicultural Onehunga Co-operating Parish. His love of singing, church and organ music was nurtured from an early age in a musical family. Since 1980 he has sung Bass in Auckland Choral, conducted by Ray Wilson, Peter Watts, Professor Uwe Grodd and many other inspiring and talented musicians. To quote from Hallelujahs & History  “...for bass Keith Guyan, Auckland Choral has everything: thrilling repertoire, inspiring conductor, friendly and caring singers, satisfying discipline, high musical standards and the privilege of performing some of the masterpieces of choral writing”.

     
  • Neil Hawkes

    Picture of Neil Hawkes in a flying armchairHi, I’m Neil Hawkes - I have been singing for a while: Tewkesbury Abbey choir from the ages of 5 to 30yrs, then a variety of English choirs before coming to NZ. When I arrived in Auckland I sang with the Choral Society, then with the Anglican Cathedral Choir and the Graduate Choir, before being stopped by a heart condition (since fixed 100%).

    Other hobbies include gyrocopters - see photo of the flying armchair…

    I am an engineer, currently studying for a PhD at Auckland Uni in mechanical engineering (carbon-neutral power generation).

     
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