Our Next Concert

2.30pm Sunday 5 August 2018
at Performing Arts Room – Pataka Art + Museum
Cnr Parumoana & Norrie Streets, Porirua. 

A one hour concert of choral delights featuring works by: 
Thomas Morley, John Ireland, Maurice Durufle, J Barnby,
William Harris, John Stainer & Jonathan Berkahn

 There is now a Facebook event for our concert here: https://www.facebook.com/events/500666907058218/

All sales $5 are at the door.

Click here for our programme

The Pataka website is here: https://www.pataka.org.nz/

Our next, next concert!

Singalong Messiah

Festival Singers is delighted to be staging this event with
Northern Chorale (director Monika Smith),
The Capital Choir (director Barbara Paterson) &
Tawa Orchestra (conductor Thomas Nikora)

7 pm Sunday 2 December 2018
Wesley Methodist Church,
75 Taranaki Street, Wellington

People wishing to sing Messiah are asked to bring their own scores.

Note that parking at the church is limited,
so people should plan to park elsewhere or catch public transport.

More details will follow

Our last concert

Click here for programme booklet

Haydn’s Creation

 2.00pm, Sunday 24 June 2018

 Khandallah Presbyterian Church

33 Ganges Road, Khandallah Wellington

Soprano – Rowena Simpson
Tenor – Tehezib Lathiff
Bass – William McElwee
Heather Easting – organ

SingFest 2018

Ingrid conducting and Jonathan on piano, lead us singing Awake the Harp – from Haydn’s Creation. (Photo – Kate Love Photographer)


We were one of eight choirs who assembled at St Peter’s Church, Ruahine Street Palmerston North on 7 April 2018. (Photo – Kate Love Photographer)

Come Join Us

Click the picture below for a video clip of Festival Singers and The Northern Chorale singing Jonathan Berkahn’s lively “Behold, the joyful day is nigh” as part of our 2017 Christmas concert.

(Thanks to Alexander Garside of Garside Imaging for the sound and video recording and editing.)

Want to sing with a friendly community choir?

We’d love to see you at one of our rehearsals.

7:00-9:00 pm Monday nights

at Newlands Christian Assembly,
126 Newlands Road, Newlands.

All singers welcome.

For more information, please contact:

Jonathan Berkahn (musical director)
jonathan@berkahn.net.nz 0210 241 7233, or

Philip Garside (committee member)
books@pgpl.co.nz 475 8855

2018 Programme

Festival Singers has an exciting 2018 planned.

If you are looking for a choir to sing with in 2018 we’d love hear from you.

Here is a quick summary of our plans:

  • Manawatu-Whanganui Regional SingFest in Palmerston North Saturday 7 April, 2018

  • Wellington Choral Federation Workshop Friday, Saturday 5/6 May 2018

  • An American in Paris – Movie fundraiser. 4:30pm Sunday 27 May 2018 at The Lighthouse, Petone. Tickets $20 from choir members, or email books@pgpl.co.nz

  • Haydn’s Creation. 2:00pm Sunday 24 June 2018 at Khandallah Presbyterian Church.

  • Friends of Pataka Winter Music Series for 2018. Concert at Porirua Museum. 2:30pm 5 August 2018.

  • Christmas / End of year concert: Singalong MESSIAH. 7:00pm Sunday 2 December 2018 at Wesley Methodist Church, 75 Taranaki Street, Wellington.

We will add more details as they are finalised.

For more information, please contact:

See you soon at a rehearsal or concert!

Philip Garside (Secretary) books@pgpl.co.nz


Our last concert


Come Celebrate Christmas

Music includes:
Mozart’s charming Pastoral Mass in G major, K. 140, and works by J S Bach, William Billings, J Barnby, Edward Elgar, Jonathan Berkhan and Zoltan Kodaly.

Directed by Jonathan Berkahn

7-00pm Sunday 10 December 2017
St Barnabas Anglican Church
35 Box Hill, Khandallah

Thomas Nikora ~ accompanist
The Festival Players
& special guests
The Northern Chorale.

A koha for Downtown Community Ministry was collected.

Click here to download a PDF of the programme booklet for the concert.


Looking for a friendly choir for 2018?

Here’s a short interview with Megan about being part of Festival Singers. Our contact details are at the end of the video.

Here’s a short interview with Joe about being part of Festival Singers and one of his recent concert highlights. Our contact details are at the end of the video.


Diana, who has been a member of the choir since 1982, talks with Philip about why Festival Singers is special for her.


Here’s a short interview with our talented young accompanist Thomas Nikora.



Festival Singers celebrated its 40th Anniversary with a
Grand Reunion Concert
on Saturday 15 October 2016 at 8pm.


Music was rehearsed during Saturday’s gathering and performed that evening when past members from around the country reunited with present members of Festival Singers.

Conductors from the choir’s four decades were featured: Guy Jansen, Rosemary Russell, Jonathan Berkahn, and current accompanist Thomas Nikora (who is also Cantoris’ Musical Director).

We perform works including the John Rutter’s Gloria & Blessing, Jonathan Berkahn’s Te Deum, and Zadok The Priest, The Hallelujah Chorus along with other favourites.


Order our 2015 CD People of the Light now


$25.00 each + p&p for 1 or 2 copies,

$20.00 each  + p&p for 3,4 or 5 copies,

All prices include postage

Click the buttons below to order securely via PayPal.
You can use your credit card and don’t need to be a PayPal account holder.

New Zealand Orders

1 copy $29.00
 2 copies $54.00
  3 copies $65.50
4 copies $85.50
5 copies $105.50

Overseas Orders

Overseas orders exclude GST
and include airmail postage

1 copy NZ$33.00

If you prefer to pay by sending us a cheque, please click here to
download the PDF Order form

About the CD

People of the Light features music which is patterned after the church year.

The Advent Song, Introit, God is with us and This is why tell of waiting in hope, angels singing and the sure knowledge that God will never leave us.
A setting of James Mongomery’s Go to dark Gethsemane leads into The Third Day cantata.
The cantata tells the Easter story from the cross, through low Saturday, to finding the empty tomb, Jesus’ appearance in the locked room and giving the great commission. The work ends with a glorious finale that proclaims, “Christ is Risen, Alleluia!”
Next is Such Love, a choral setting of words from 1 John: 3. This is followed by three instrumental pieces that reflect Jonathan’s love of Celtic music.
Also included are Jonathan’s settings of the traditional Magnificat and Nunc dimittis. The Magnificat features a free-form melody sung by soprano soloist Sharon Yearsley, who soars over an exciting rhythmic, pulsing chant by the choir.
The CD closes with a Blessing based on Psalm 27.

Throughout, Jonathan’s music deftly weaves melodies around sacred words in ways that enhance and give new meaning to the text. Listeners will be drawn into the music and find their spirits uplifted.

Founded in 1976, Festival Singers of Wellington has a tradition of encouraging young performers, of bringing new music to our audiences and of always singing to the glory of God. People of the Light continues this tradition.

Order our other CDs


Spirited People (2007)

1 copy within NZ $24.00

1 copy Overseas $28.00


Tell My People (2000)

1 copy within NZ $24.00

1 copy Overseas $28.00


Enthusiastic review of Feliz Navidad Concert on Middle C

Feliz_Navidad_a_South_American_Christmas_640w“…a thoroughly enjoyable evening’s music making, where the director had very skilfully put together a programme offering a glimpse into a whole world of South American musical tradition that most of the audience would, I imagine, have been previously quite unaware of. The concert was built around the central theme of Christmas, yet it spanned an astonishing breadth of styles, all of which the musicians took easily in their stride. The enthusiasm of both singers and players was infectious, and it caught up everyone in an evening that was a refreshing celebration of this great Christian festival.”

Click here for the rest of the review


Introducing the Choir

Festival_Singers_Group_Dec_2015_1000w_72dpiFestival Singers is a Wellington-based community choir of around 40 members, established in 1976. Our repertoire ranges from larger classical works with orchestra through to smaller art and folk songs.

We like to seek out music that is not often performed e.g. the masses for choir, soloists and two organs by Saint Saens and Widor and last year, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle. Most years we have collaborated with another choir – last year the Wainuiomata Choir, exposing some rarely heard works by Salieri.

We also believe our local composers are very important. In 2009 we commissioned Jonathan Berkahn to write a Cantata, The Third Day, for the choir. In 2011 we presented this 50 minute work for choir, soloists and band again, in Palmerston North and Waikanae, along with varied folk songs from around the world.

Our members joined the NZ Choral Federation workshop on 11 & 12 May 2012 to learn and sing Verdi’s Requiem.

The Festival Singers has a Christian basis and particularly enjoys singing music of a spiritual nature, although not exclusively of course. The choir is available to sing at weddings, funerals and in local churches.


The choir is registered under the Charities Act 2005. Donations made to the choir are tax-deductible in New Zealand.


Site designed and maintained by Philip Garside: www.pgpl.co.nz

Copyright Festival Singers 2009-2013



2 Responses to Home

  1. Neil Gillon says:

    Simply wish to give my best wishes to the choir. I was a member and committee member prior to 1998.

  2. 4granb says:

    I was given People of the Light for Mother’s Day.It is a lovely production and I am enjoying the music and words.Thank you for making it.I am a long time fan of Festival Singers from the Guy Jansen days and pleased to see you are still going strong and making music for us to enjoy.

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