Involving more than 250 performers from different Christchurch-based performance groups, the City Choir’s next concert Pasifika will be a large-scale production representing an epitome of cultural collaboration.
“This concert is an important step in delivering my vision for the Christchurch City Choir” says Music Director Andrew Withington. “One of my major goals as Music Director is to entertain Christchurch audiences through creative collaboration with other performing groups, and the Pasifika concert is the perfect embodiment of this goal”.
Pasifika; Our Turangawaewae: the place where we stand, is a vibrant musical celebration of Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific, delivering musical snapshots of New Zealand’s heritage, Maori karanga, haka and waiata, a traditional New Zealand folksong arranged by Christchurch composer Richard Oswin, and Samoan sasa and slap dances. As a true celebration of the Pacific Region, the second half will be a performance of New Zealand composer David Hamilton’s, Missa Pacifica.
The Christchurch City Choir is very excited to present a production of this scale with such a varied and diverse group of high-calibre performers.
The concert will commence with a traditional Maori presentation of Te Timatatanga (The Beginning), Te Karanga (The Lamenting Call of the Matriarch) and a Haka (The Dance of the Warrior), performed by Te Kotahitanga Kapa Haka, the most senior ropu haka in Te Waipounamu, winners at regional and national kapa haka competitions. Tutored by Tihi Puanaki, a Queen's Service Medal recipient (2003) and a Lifetime Achievement Awardee at the 2014 Pride of New Zealand Awards, Te Kotahitanga will then perform alongside the Christchurch City Choir and University of Canterbury Chamber Choir, Consortia, with A Te Tarakihi (The Cicada), followed by three songs that release the Passion of the Spirit, Wairua Whakaihiihi: Waiata-a-Ringa: Pakipaki (The Action Song), Hapai Rakau: Takiri Ko Te Ata (The Dance of the Staff) and culminating with a Haka: Waitaha Riporipo, that celebrates the heritage of Canterbury, acknowledging Ngaitahu, Waitaha and Ngati Mamoe, the guardians and caretakers of the land.
Wowing the audience with Samoan Sasa and slap dance with be Christchurch Polyfest favourites, Shirley Boys' High School Pasifika Culture Group, comprising Samoan, Tongan, Cook Island and Fijian performers, who come together to celebrate the amazing cultures of the Pacific. This dynamic group will perform alongside the Choir for Le Masina E, also accompanied by a large percussion section of the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra.
In the second half, David Hamilton's Missa Pacifica will delight audiences with an exceptional cast of performers.
Susan Densem (Soprano) began her professional singing career in 1986 with Canterbury Opera, and has been the soprano soloist for many choral societies within New Zealand and Australia. Susan has also toured extensively overseas as the soprano soloist in tours to Australia, Europe, Russia, USA and South America and is a current member of the Voices New Zealand 16 Chamber Choir.
Helen Medlyn (Mezzo) is one of New Zealand's most versatile and popular singer-actresses. Helen was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2013 Queen's Birthday Honours for her services to the performing arts and regularly performs with arts organisations such as New Zealand Opera, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and has been a guest soloist in concerts and operas in Australia, Japan, Malaysia, the USA and Britain.
Also joining the Christchurch City Choir and Consortia, creating powerful signing group of around 160 voices, will be the winner of The Big Sing Canterbury 2014 Most Outstanding Mixed Choir title, Burnside High Senior Chorale.
Finally, but my no means least, the Choir is delighted to welcome the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra. With no less than 42 players including 2 harps, this will be one of the biggest orchestral performances that the Choir has presented in many years. The intimacy of the venue will allow the audience to immerse themselves in this larger than life production.
Saturday 27 September, 7.30-9.30pm, Charles Luney Auditorium, St Margaret’s College
This year's performance of Messiah will prove to be a good ol' kiwi Christmas, with a veritable line up of homegrown talent: Madeleine Pierard (soprano), Sarah Court (Alto), Simon O'Neill (Tenor) and Jared Holt (Baritone.
Andrew Withington's first delivery of this perennial favourite will also bring together the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra along with James Tibbles, (Harpsichord) and Martin Setchell (Continuo Organ).
Saturday 6 December, 7.30-10.30pm, Charles Luney Auditorium, St Margaret’s College
Christchurch City Choir, conducted by Andrew Withington
Friday 11 April, 7.30-9.00pm, Charles Luney Auditorium, St Margaret’s College
Featuring magical works from sacred, New Zealand, art, jazz and spiritual canvases
Jared Holt (baritone), David Sadler (piano), members of Woolston Brass, Christchurch City Choir,
conducted by Andrew Withington
Martin Shaw’s Grand Procession will be followed by two
works by Ralph Vaughan Williams:
the triumphant O Clap Your Hands (accompanied by brass, timpani and
organ) and the moving Five Mystical
Songs with solo baritone.
Moving to New Zealand art music, the
Choir will then perform four songs from Anthony Ritchie’s Then I Understood,
followed by A Little Jazz Mass by
The concert will conclude with John
Rutter’s lively arrangement of When the
Saints Go Marching In.