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Mendelssohn’s Elijah has been described as ‘more of an opera than an oratorio’. Intensely theatrical, it calls for a substantial orchestra, a large line-up of soloists, and a chorus that has both power and sensitivity.

The work was a smash hit at its first performance in 1846 before two thousand people in Birmingham’s Town Hall — a building whose interior is very similar in size and layout to the Auckland Town Hall.

Be prepared for the widest range of musical emotions, from the thrilling, ceremonial battle of “Baal We Cry to Thee” to the soft, three-part gem of “Lift thine Eyes”. Elijah is nothing less than the lifetime journey of a soul.

Jennifer Barrington Soprano

Helen Medlyn Mezzo

Martin Buckigham Tenor

Martin Snell Bass

Auckland Choral

Pipers Sinfonia

Uwe Grodd Conductor

 

Saturday 2 September 7.30pm

Auckland Town Hall

 

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

  • Neil Hawkes

    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).

     
  • Alison Miller

    Picture of Alison MillerHi, I’m Alison Miller. I have been singing all my life, as both my parents had good voices, and we followed in their footsteps. I’ve sung in both church and community choirs, but when I was a pupil in the EGGS choir, we sang the third chorus part in St Matthew Passion in the Town Hall with Ray Wilson conducting and I was smitten. Years later when we returned to Auckland, and heard Auckland Choral singing Brubeck’s Light in the Wilderness in 1969, I knew I had to belong to this magnificent choir.. I joined in 1970 as a soprano 1, and have been a member since then, with the first concert being Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast, with 6 weeks rehearsal time.
    Various committee positions have kept me involved, and I was secretary (in those days - a very basic General Manager) for 7 years, before taking on the Librarian’s position. I was very proud to see our daughter Sandy join Choral while she was still at school, and when I joined the alto line I remember her moral support for me as a new alto. Auckland Choral is my life and the members are my music family, which I am very conscious of every time we perform on stage. Unfortunately I have had to take leave on several occasions because of ill health, but one positive to that is I’ve been in the audience to witness the choir’s great presentations from in front of the stage.

    Away from choir and family, I take a team of handbell ringers who meet each week in East Auckland.

     
  • Olive Leddy

    Picture of Olive LeddyI have sung ever since I can remember, joining choirs through school and university, and in the course of teaching, took up conducting choirs. Around this time I re-discovered the personal joy of singing in a choir and have sung with Auckland Choral for over ten years now. As Chair of the Auckland Committee of the New Zealand Choral Federation, I am doing all I can to strengthen the choral community in our city, supporting  many choirs in primary, intermediate and secondary schools as well as our adult choirs. I have many other areas of interest, enjoy travelling with my husband and connecting with our three children. Music is an integral part of my life that I believe benefits in a multitude of ways those who participate in it. Everyone needs to find places of personal well-being and coming to Auckland Choral’s practices each week, is one of mine.

     
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