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Support Auckland Choral

The fallout from COVID-19 has hit the arts sector particularly heavily, with concerts worldwide cancelled: artists, groups and venues left without any certainty as to their future. For the first time since the influenza epidemic of 1918 (which caused the cancellation of our Elijah & Messiah concerts) we too were forced to cancel our last concert, Haydn’s The Seasons - at significant financial cost.

Now, more than ever, we are seeking donations, gifts in kind, sponsorships and bequests to ensure Auckland Choral can continue its day-to-day operations and performances in the future.

If you or your company would like to support us, please consider donating or becoming a sponsor. Contact Carey McDonald on admin@aucklandchoral.com for more information

Picture of Uwe Grodd, Auckland Choral Music director, with a conductor's batonUwe Grodd enjoys an international reputation as a conductor. He has won a number of significant awards including First Prize at the Cannes Classical Awards 2000 and two Gramophone Editor’s Choice in the UK. He has performed in Handel Festivals and conducted a season of Handel’s recently re-discovered opera Imeneo in Germany. Besides helping to promote little-known but important composers of the past, he is strongly committed to the music of our own time.

A graduate of Mainz University, Germany, Uwe studied with teachers of international repute. A strong musical influence during his study was choral specialist Helmut Rilling during several summer courses at the Bach Akademie in Uwe’s hometown of Stuttgart. He attributes his major musical growth to the guidance of two of Europe’s finest musicians, Robert Aitken and Maestro Celibidache.

Uwe gained worldwide attention when he won First Prize at the Cannes Classical Awards 2000 for Best 18th Century Orchestral Recording with his CD of Vanhal Symphonies on which he conducted Hungary’s Nicolaus EsterházySinfonia. Two recordings of music by J N Hummel, one featuring the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, earned him Gramophone magazine’s Editor’s Choice. He has had an exclusive recording contract with the Naxos label since 1997.

Uwe Grodd’s ambition to conduct and record the Complete Works for piano and orchestra of Beethoven’s longstanding friend and student Ferdinand Ries (1784-1838) began in 2003. November 2012 marked the international launch of the fifth and final volume with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and pianist Christopher Hinterhuber on the Naxos label. The first four volumes feature the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Sweden’s Gävle Symphony, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, UK  and include a remarkable set of variations for piano and orchestra of Rule Britannia. Uwe agrees with FANFARE USA Magazine which wrote: ‘Thus, slowly, Ries is finally occupying the place in music history that is rightly his.’ He believes these recordings will transform people’s understanding of a composer who still lives in the shadow of Beethoven’s genius.

Performance highlights in recent years include the final concerts of the 53rd and the 54th Händel Festival in Halle, Germany. This prestigious event – a televised open-air concert – involves a combined choir of 280 and the Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Halle. In his first year, Uwe conducted the gala opening night of the Händel Festival Halle with Le Choeur des Musiciens du Louvre from Grenoble, a number of frontline soloists and the Halle Opera Orchestra performing on original instruments. This was followed in 2003 and 2004 with a sell-out, highly successful season in the Halle Opera House of Händel’s recently rediscovered opera Imeneo. Uwe Grodd was awarded the Badge of Honor by the Mayor of Halle – Handel’s birth town –  for his services to the Handel Festival and the City of Halle.

Uwe made his Mexican debut in March 2004 with the Mexico City Philharmonic, conducting Beethoven’s First Symphony, Liszt’s Mazeppa and Dvorak’s Czech Suite. He returned in June that year to conduct Bruckner’s Fourth Symphony, and another eight concerts featuring Beethoven’s and Schubert’s Fifth Symphonies and Richard Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben.

In 1993 Uwe was appointed Music Director of the Manukau Symphony Orchestra, and between 1998 and 2002 acted as Artistic Director of the International Music Festival New Zealand. He was invited to become Music Director of the Auckland Choral Society, New Zealand’s longest-established symphonic choir, in July 2008. Uwe Grodd is an Emeritus Professor at The University of Auckland’s School of Music.

 

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Auckland Choral 100th Hallelujahs Documentary

Watch the full documentary of about Auckland Choral's 100th consecutive performance of Handel's Messiah: 

 

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

  • Jim Allardyce

    Picture of Jim AllardyceJim Allardyce here from Whangarei. Commuting to Auckland for work, down on a Tuesday and back on a Friday, has opened up a new side to my social calendar. Rehearsals at the choir have become my weekly highlight forming a natural part of my week. Joining only this year, I remember going for my first visit to "check it all out" - I sat at the back amazed at the choir sight-reading Mendelssohn in German (as it was their first reading and performance of the piece). Very soon I was in the thick of it - rolling my r's in Mendelssohn's tongue with the other singers in my bass one section. My inaugural concert in the Auckland Town Hall was unforgettable as the choir was stupendous.

    My day job is highly motivating, as a health and safety professional.  Working throughout a range of industries spanning 25 years I continue to provide coaching to ensure people take ownership for managing risk. My daily priority is sustaining zero harm and I do this by ensuring safe work methods and promoting a great safety culture. 

     

     
  • Joslyn Squire

    Picture of Joslyn SquireJoslyn has been a second alto in Auckland Choral since 1983. She enjoys the mental stimulation of working on challenging music and the opportunity to sing larger scale choral works with excellent conductors, soloists and orchestras. The social involvement with like-minded people is an added bonus and many friendships with choir members have been made over the years.
    Joslyn’s childhood experiences with music, first learning piano in New Plymouth, then singing in school choirs, and accompanying school productions and assemblies in Auckland, set the scene for a lifetime of musical interests. She studied piano with Elizabeth Milverton –Carter and Hannah Straford, achieving Trinity College of London Licentiate Diplomas in Piano, Theory and Composition and she has been a piano teacher and member of the Institute of Registered Music Teachers since 1976. Joslyn has taught music and conducted or accompanied school choirs for many years, in her work as a Primary and Intermediate School Teacher.
    Joslyn’s other interests include extensive travel, writing poetry and novels, reading and book club participation, gardening, walking, pilates, and she is on a U3A committee, also particiipating in history interest groups. Joslyn works as a relieving teacher and as an interviewer for the Citizens’Advice Bureau, a role that is always interesting and rewarding .

     
  • Garnet Tregonning

    Picture of Garnet TregonningGarnet has a long involvement with Auckland Choral after his first introduction to singing in Lead Roles in Gilbert and Sullivan Operettas at Kings High School in Dunedin,followed by being a member of Capping Sextet at Otago University with Sir William Southgate in the 1960s.

    First joined the Choir under Ray Wilson in 1968-71 as a Junior Doctor before travelling Overseas for Orthopaedic Training in Canada and the UK.Rejoined under Bill Power 1976-1986 then again in the mid 1990s up to the present time-so have been a member on and off over some 47 years.Was a committee member for 5 years and continue to be inspired by the opportunity to be a member of the Choir which I believe continues to improve and I believe is currently performing at its highest level over the past 40 years –no doubt due to the superb direction of Uwe and the support of Elizabeth and the wonderful Vocal Coaches.

    Currently working full-time as a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Middlemore Hospital. 

     
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