Delegates at Choral Connect ‘19 will have the opportunity to work and sing alongside two internationally acclaimed choirs. The Toronto Children’s Chorus and the New Zealand Secondary Students Choir will be involved in masterclasses, open rehearsals, and also perform in our final concert at Wellington St Mary of the Angels.
This year we are bringing a local choral flavour to the conference with two concerts featuring choirs from the Wellington region. This is a fantastic opportunity for Wellington choirs to perform on a national platform to an audience of delegates from across the country, while sharing music with other choirs in the region. The invited choirs will be announced soon.
Toronto Children’s Chorus (Canada)
The acclaimed Toronto Children’s Chorus is now completing its 41st anniversary season and twelfth year under the baton of Auckland-born Artistic Director Elise Bradley, MNZM. As the Chorus’s top-level ensemble, the Chamber Choir performs in season concerts, gives many guest and outreach appearances each year, and regularly represents Toronto and Canada throughout the world. While in the North Island of New Zealand, the 39-member Chamber Choir will perform in Auckland, Hamilton, Rotorua, Palmerston North, and Masterton, and also looks forward to participating in ‘Choral Connect.’ The choir will then fly to Sydney to sing in the Gondwana World Choral Festival, hosted by Gondwana Choirs to celebrate their 30th anniversary. The festival will close with a gala choral concert in the Sydney Opera House. The Chamber Choir will also visit and perform in Canberra, the ‘home town’ of their accompanist Lara Dodds-Eden. This year’s exciting month-long tour to New Zealand and Australia will be the Chamber Choir’s 31st international tour - and its third visit “Down Under” since 1988 and 1999!
For over 30 years, the New Zealand Secondary Students' Choir has gathered New Zealand’s finest young singers to learn from some of the country’s most experienced choral practitioners. Following nationwide auditions, up to 60 singers are invited to join the NZSSC for a two-year educational programme of vocal training and music skills development. The choir gathers three to four times per year during school holidays, and performs in cities throughout New Zealand. The pinnacle of membership is to represent New Zealand at an international festival or competition. Recent tours include as Resident Choir at the Belt and Road World Choir Festival (2018 in Hong Kong), as Guest Choir at the International Choral Kathaumixw (2016 in Canada) and as Guest Choir at the Orientale Concentus VII (2014 in Singapore). This past year has been one of exciting change for the NZSSC. They have merged under one umbrella with NZ Youth Choir and Voices NZ, and welcomed Sue Demsen of Christchurch as their new Music Director.
Inspirare began as a dream over 10 years ago, but it wasn’t until our conductor, Mark Stamper, moved to Wellington, New Zealand from America in July 2015, that this dream became a reality. The choir gave our Inaugural concert in September 2016. Our ensemble consists of mostly singers from the Wellington region, ranging from music teachers, voice tutors, conductors, to people who just love to sing choral music. Inspirare is now in its 4th season having sung 9 major programmes, including the All-Night Vigil by Rachmaninoff. We have been privileged to be recorded live twice now for Radio Concert NZ, to be aired at later dates. With our innovative and unique approach to programming, Inspirare continues to carve a new niche in the world of choral music in New Zealand. We are delighted to share our repertoire and vocal colours at this conference, sponsored by the New Zealand Choral Federation.
Kelburn Normal Lyrica Choir
Lyrica is the auditioned choir at Kelburn Normal School and is open to students from Year 6 to 8. The choir has a wide ranging repertoire and leads singing at the school. It meets once a week and performs regularly at school, local community, and civic events. Last year Lyrica travelled to Auckland to perform at the Auckland KIds Sing and received a gold award. Nicola Holt directs the choir, assisted by Charles Bisley.
Supertonic is a 60-strong SATB choir based in Wellington. With a grounding in classical technique, Supertonic seeks to take choral music to different places and new heights. The choir engages with music and themes that interest and excite members and audiences alike, covering the width and breadth of the musical spectrum, from Vaughan Williams’ Mass in G Minor to pop spectaculars celebrating David Bowie, Fleetwood Mac and Queen, to a programme featuring works in endangered and extinct languages.
Musical director Isaac Stone has lead Supertonic since its inception. Through his participation in all three national choirs, and engagement in events such as Choral Connect, Isaac has developed his skills in both choral singing and conducting. Now a teacher of classroom music and leader of the choral programme at Tawa College, he places a premium on making choral music that is enjoyable and accessible to singers and audiences alike.
St Marks Schola Cantorum Choir
Schola Cantorum choir is the premiere auditioned choir at St Mark’s Church School, with 50 students ranging from Year 5 to 8. The choir is conducted by Director of Music, Anya Nazaruk. Schola Cantorum is one of two Chapel choirs which accompanies weekly school services and also performs at numerous school and community events. Earlier this year, Schola sung with Inspirare choir in a combined concert and in May our young singers joined forces with the Cathedral choristers for a combined Evensong service at the Cathedral of St Paul. In the second half of this year we are looking forward to our tour to Sydney, Australia, singing at the Diocese choral festival and The Kids Sing, as well as collaborating with visiting school choirs and recording a CD.
The Tudor Consort
The Tudor Consort is a specialist early music choir based in Wellington, and is made up of the region’s finest choral singers. The group was formed in 1986 by Simon Ravens. Prizewinners at two editions of the Tolosa International Choral Competition, other highlights of its history have included critically-acclaimed performances of Handel’s Messiahand JS Bach’s Christmas Oratorio. They are regularly featured on Radio New Zealand Concert. They made their debut with the NZSO in Handel’s Messiah in 2016, and joined forces with them again in December 2018 under the baton of noted early-music exponent Nicholas McGegan. Notable performances this year included a performance of James MacMillan's Tenebrae Responsories, and they look forward to presenting Thomas Tallis' Spem in aliumlater this year.
Wellington Young Voices
Wellington Young Voices was founded in 2012 to provide weekly opportunities for children to develop their vocal, choral, and musicianship skills. The choir presents a wide range of musical styles, and has performed with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, NZ Opera, New Zealand Youth Choir, Orchestra Wellington, and the Orpheus Choir of Wellington. WYV has collaborated and performed with the Loboc Children’s Choir from the Phillippines, the Australian Boys Choir and the Australian Girls Choir, and has performed with numerous local choirs including Inspirare, the Bach Choir, Nota Bene, and the Capital Choir. Wellington Young Voices is directed by Mark Stamper with Jo Hodgson as assistant director and vocal coach, and accompanied by Rosemary Russell.