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Missa Gaia & Lullabies concert banner

 

‘One of auckland Choral’s most standout performances in 28 years’

John Stevenson, choir member

 

Paul Winter&Paul Halley’s radical Missa Gaia (Earth Mass) for soprano, choir and jazz ensemble published by Pelagos Music

Paul Winter’s radical Missa Gaia (Earth Mass) adeptly combines a variety of genres to create a musical spectacle that appeals to all. Premiered in 1981, it is a 20th century interpretation of the Mass, embracing the many voices of the earth, from jazz to the sounds of wolf, whale and lion. Conductor Brian Law is synonymous with the Missa Gaia and Auckland Choral is very excited to perform this work under his baton.

As an organisation dedicated to New Zealand music, we open this concert with a new commission from New Zealand composer Anthony Ritchie. Anthony is well-known at home and abroad and produces works that are engaging, energetic and beautifully crafted – qualities this new work for soprano, girls’ choir, chorus and organ achieves superbly.

 

Emma Roxburgh, Soprano

Jennine Bailey, Soprano

Auckland Choral

St Cuthbert’s College Song Squad

Junior Black Watch Singers

Brian Law, Conductor

Pipers Sinfonia:

Alison Dunlop, Oboe

Sarah Spence, Cello

Timothy Noon, Organist

Roger Manins, Soprano Saxophone

Olivier Holland, Acoustic Bass

Ron Samson, Drums

Kevin Field, Piano

 

Lullabies was commissioned by The Auckland Choral Society for their 2015 season, and will be premiered on 6th June, in The Holy Trinity Cathedral, with funding from Creative NZ. It is a cycle of six songs, to be performed without a break, to poems by Elena Poletti, a Dunedin-based poet. Lullabies are common to all cultures, and are richly varied in their themes and moods. These six lullabies traverse different perspectives, both adult and child. ‘Shush-a-shush’ has a parent calming her child to sleep through images of the sea and beach. In ‘Little One’ it is gentle rain than lulls the child to sleep. ‘Sounds of Penguins’ makes a comparison between little blue penguins under a house, and children busily preparing for bed. The moonlight, wind, waves and lighthouse all conspire to finally calm them down. In ‘The Nightsingers’ it is the sounds of tree-frogs, ruru (morepork), and cats that accompany the lullaby; they are presented one by one and then are combined in the coda. ‘Beddington’ is a frisky lullaby for children to sing, and including a round and a ‘Monster-Munch-Up’ chant. The final song ‘Hope of my heart’ reflects on a child’s future, and remembers the passing of a sister and child (represented in the song by the childrens’ voices as echoes). All the forces come together in this song, to round off the cycle.

 

Saturday 6 June 7.30pm

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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