Changing of the Guard
After 22 years with Music Director Brian Law at the helm, the stage is set for a changing of the guard at the Christchurch City Choir. Following Brian’s last performance of Handel’s Messiah with the Choir on Saturday night, there was an official handing over of the baton to his newly appointed successor, Andrew Withington.
“Andrew was an excellent choice for the Music Director role. He has the energy and enthusiasm to lead the Choir on the next exciting stage of its journey,” says Mr Law.
Andrew recalls his early experiences of attending City Choir concerts and watching the Maestro at work. “I’ve admired Brian’s work for a long time and always came away from his performances feeling uplifted. I’m truly honoured to take on this role and look forward to continuing Brian’s legacy, and building on the excellence and breadth that the Choir already has.”
A Cantabrian since the age of nine, when he moved here from Invercargill, Andrew has already established an impressive pedigree in the music community through his work with different groups, including the New Zealand Secondary Students’ Choir; the Christchurch Boys’ Choir, and Consortia – the University of Canterbury Chamber Choir.
He was also Music Director of the Christchurch Schools’ Music Festival, and the Christchurch Arts Festival concert Christchurch Sings!
“It’s an important time for Christchurch, as we rebuild our city. I believe growth will be the key to our success, enabling us to present really big symphonic works that will inspire and uplift the community, enhance our civic pride, and propel further success" says Andrew.
With a target of 200 singers, more than doubling the current choir membership is no lightweight goal, but Andrew holds firm in the belief that the potential for choral collaboration and growth in the city is huge and important.
He also has audacious goals with repertoire. “I am passionate about showcasing our country and its composers through the presentation of New Zealand and multi-cultural works; I want to explore the full range of repertoire so that we appeal to the widest range audiences."
With energy and ideas aplenty, Andrew is set to confidently grasp the baton and propel the Christchurch City Choir to new and successful heights.