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30 years of May workshops in Wellington

For 30 years Wellington has run ‘May Workshops’ and Life Member Judy Berryman has sung in them all!

We’re sure that when the late John Knox, Stanley Barnes, Judy Berryman and their Wellington colleagues arranged for Sir David Willcocks to direct the first Workshop (in August 1988) for singers around the region, none of them expected the event to be still thriving 30 years later. Nor that Judy and Stanley would still be participating. Many of this year’s participants have also sung in more than 20 workshops.

This year’s programme was a rarely performed work by Gaetano Donizetti – his Messa Di Requiem. We were delighted to welcome back Auckland’s David Squire to conduct us. These major works can be pretty tough going for us less-than-perfect sight-readers, but we had the benefit of singers from two choirs who performed it recently – Capital Choir and the Teapot Summer School Choir 2016 – and David’s excellent direction over the day and a half of rehearsals. With Jonathan Berkahn on piano and five excellent young soloists from the School of Music – Alicia Cadwgan, Elisabeth Harris, Declan Cudd, Joe Haddow, and Will King – we sailed into the final performance with vigour and confidence. It’s such a treat to sing a major choral work with a renowned director – not just for skilled sight-readers and experienced singers but for all of us who get pleasure from singing together.

It was also great to have the support of the very capable team who organised the event, including providing an on-site dinner for those who wanted it. This means we could focus entirely on the singing  and the thrill of making beautiful music.

Watch this space for announcements about our next May Workshop on 4/5 May 2018.

Below is a list of works performed and directors for 1988-2017
1988 (August): David Willcocks: Gabrieli / Scheidt  Angelus ad Pastores Ait Motet a 12, Hodie Christus Natus East Motet, In Dulci Jubilo Motet a 8
1989 (May): Peter Godfrey: Mendelssohn  Elijah
1990: Peter Godfrey: Bach  St Matthew Passion
1991: Peter Godfrey: Haydn The Creation
1992: Peter Godfrey: Handel Judas Maccabeus
1993: Peter Godfrey: Brahms Requiem
1994: Peter Godfrey: Handel Samson
1995: Peter Godfrey: Handel Israel In Egypt
1996: Michael-Leighton Jones: Handel Great Anthems – Coronation Anthems
1997: Philip Walsh: Mendelssohn  St. Paul
1998: Philip Walsh: Handel Joshua
1999: Rita Paczian: Mozart Requiem
2000: Andrew Cantrell: Vivaldi / Bach/ Handel Gloria RV 589 / Wachet auf BWV 140 / Zadok The Priest
2001: Andrew Cantrell: Faure / Haydn Requiem / Te Deum
2002: Peter Godfrey: Verdi Requiem
2003: Nigel Williams: Carl Orff Carmina Burana
2004: Nigel Williams: Brahms Requiem (English)
2005: Michael Fulcher: Hummel / Rutter Mass B-flat major # 1 / Gloria
2006: Michael Fulcher: Mozart Requiem
2007: Michael Fulcher: Haydn Nelson Mass
2008: Michael Fulcher: Brahms Requiem (German)
2009: Michael Fulcher: Mendelssohn  Elijah
2010: Michael Fulcher: Schubert Mass in A-Flat (# 6)
2011: Marie Brown: Haydn The Creation
2012: Michael Fulcher: Verdi Requiem
2013: Mark Dorrell: Bizet Carmen (English)
2014: David Squire: Mozart Requiem
2015: Christine Argyle: Faure Requiem
2016: Mark Dorrell: Jenkins The Armed Man
2017: David Squire: Donizetti Requiem