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Who we are: Get to know some of our choir members

  • 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).

     
  • Picture of Nicola BurtonHi, I’m Nicola – Alto 2. I joined the choir 6 years ago and absolutely love it! For me, it is the perfect blend of people, community, fabulous music, the opportunity to perform, feeling uplifted every single rehearsal and a good dose of challenge (it’s tough getting all the pronunciations right, and actually learning the music!)
    I have been involved with the Management Committee and the Marketing committee for the choir since I joined. It’s amazing just how much hard work and dedication goes into the running of the choir and ensuring our performances are of the highest musical standard – it’s a privilege to be part of it.
    When not in choir I am a busy working mum with two teenage children and a great husband! We have a real love of the outdoors. I always have some sort of crazy goal involving a marathon or sea swim or adventure race and we love exploring NZ walking tracks – what a great country we live in. Ah yes – I love a decent Pinot Noir too!

     
  • Picture of Colleen ElliottColleen Elliott joined Auckland Choral in 1999. She comes from a musical background starting with piano at aged 7 which also included being a foundation member of the Whangarei Childrens Choir formed by her Mother in the mid 1950’s. Colleen passed LTCL performers in piano but never completed it as the desire to sing became more the focus and formal vocal training commenced.

    After marrying and raising 3 children over the next 2 decades, singing lessons ceased and all music was put aside until she heard Auckland Choral perform in 1997 at the opening of the newly refurbished Auckland Town Hall. This inspiring performance ultimately led to the courage to audition and acceptance as a singing member. Colleen loves learning the vast range of wonderful new works, the regular vocal coaching given every week, sharing her love of music with others and benefits significantly from the health benefits that singing offers. She has been actively involved as Membership Secretary for NZ Choral Federation for the past 4 years. Vivante Recording, a supporter of Auckland Choral is managed by her husband Larry who records most performances for archive purposes and has engineered two CD’s for Auckland Choral in past years.

     
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