Our Next Concert
Poems of William Blake set to music by Jonathan Berkahn, Vaughan Williams and others
Directed by Jonathan Berkahn
7-30pm Saturday 16 September 2017
Wesley Methodist Church
75 Taranaki Street, Wellington
Looking for a friendly choir for 2017?
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 has an exciting 2017 planned. Here is a quick summary:
- First rehearsal: 7-9 p.m. on Monday, 13 February 2017, at Newlands Christian Assembly, 126 Newlands Road, Newlands. All welcome.
- 5–6 May 2017. We take part in the NZ Choral Federation’s weekend workshop performing Donizetti’s Mass in G Minor
- 18 June 2017. Our concert “Sunday at the Opera.”
- 16 September 2017. Our concert of poems by William Blake set to music by our musical director Jonathan Berkahn.
- 10 December 2017. An evening Lessons and Carols service.
We will add more details as they are finalised.
For more information, please contact:
- Jonathan Berkahn (musical director) email@example.com 0210 241 7233, or
- Heather Collins (committee member) firstname.lastname@example.org 04 237 4070
See you soon at a rehearsal or concert!
Philip Garside (Secretary)
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
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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)
Tell My People (2000)
Enthusiastic review of Feliz Navidad Concert on Middle C
“…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.”
Introducing the Choir
Festival 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