Sing with us in 2019

You are welcome to come along to any of our rehearsals at 7-9pm on  Monday nights at Newlands Christian Assembly

Festival Singers has a varied and exciting programme planned for 2019 (see below).

  • We sing traditional and new choral repertoire.
  • As a new member of the choir in 2019 you will learn a wide variety of sacred and secular music in many different styles and really expand your musical horizons.
  • We usually perform three concerts each year, and most concerts are recorded, so members can buy a CD or mp3 files to keep as a personal reminder.

We rehearse on Monday nights at 7-9pm from February to early December at Newlands Christian Assembly, 126 Newlands Road, Newlands, Wellington.

  • This is a central location for people in the wider Wellington metro area.
  • There is plenty of free parking at the church and car pools operate from several areas.
  • You can also use public transport as the venue is on the Newlands bus route with a stop outside the church.
  • The church is a warm and comfortable venue.

We are a professionally led choir.

  • Our current Musical Director is Dr Jonathan Berkahn, who is a is a skilled conductor, organist, composer of attractive singable music and a music teacher.
  • Our current accompanist and deputy conductor is Ingrid Schoenfeld who is a talented pianist and music teacher.
  • In mid-2019 Ingrid will become our Musical Director and Jonathan will take up the Accompanist/Advisor role. Ingrid has many exciting, creative ideas and the choir has a bright future under her leadership.

Our joining process is easy. No formal audition is required.

  • Come to 3 rehearsals without obligation to try us out.
  • Then book an informal voice review with the Musical Director. At the review you will present a song of your choice and sing some scales to find your vocal range. The Musical Director will talk to you about note reading, learning repertoire, time commitment, your musical background and give you feedback on your singing.
  • Our Chairperson will also talk to you about the choir’s ethos and approach.
  • If you are unable to attend a rehearsal, we request that you text in an apology. This ensures that we maintain the caring quality our choir is known for.

Festival Singers is an affordable choir.

  • Our annual membership subscriptions for 2019 are $250 for adults and $225 each for couples. (Adult annual subscriptions come to about $6 per rehearsal.)
  • Full time students pay just $100 for a full year.
  • Members can pay subscriptions in instalments by arrangement with the Treasurer.
  • To keep these rates low, we have at least one fundraiser a year which is easy to sell to our supporters, such as a Lighthouse Film evening, Ceilidh or board game evening.

We currently have 31 members and are looking to increase this to 40 or more singers in 2019.

  • Festival Singers was founded in 1976 to promote new forms of Christian music and, as a well-established choir with a mix of long-time and newer members, has evolved into a greater Wellington community-focused choir.
  • Each year we support a good cause by taking a donation / koha at our Christmas concert.
  • We also collaborate with other choirs and musical groups (Tawa Orchestra and Northern Chorale in 2018, and VicFolk in 2019) from time to time.

Many choir members are Christian and the music we sing often lets them express their faith.

  • All ages and faiths are welcome.
  • We would love you to become part of Festival Singers’ tradition.

We know you will make new friends in our supportive community choir.

If you have any further questions, please contact:


Our Last Concert

Singalong Messiah

Click the thumbnails to see bigger images.


Thanks to Alexander Garside — Garside Imaging (Facebook)
for these photos taken at Wesley Church during the concert.
(Email Alexander for prints)

Audio Recordings

Click the links to listen to these choruses:

Chorus No 4: And the Glory of the Lord

Chorus No 44: Hallelujah!

Click here to download a
PDF copy of the Programme booklet for this concert


2019 Programme

Festival Singers has an exciting 2019 planned.

If you are looking for a choir to sing with in 2019 we’d love hear from you.

Here is a quick summary of our plans:

  • First rehearsal Monday 4 February 2019.
    At Newlands Christian Assembly, 126 Newlands Road, Newlands, Wellington.

  • Open rehearsal 18 February 2019 – All singers Welcome.
    At Newlands Christian Assembly, 126 Newlands Road, Newlands, Wellington.

  • 8:15pm Monday 1 April 2019 – AGM
  • 3-4th May 2019. Friday evening and Saturday. Wellington Choral Federation Workshop. St Cecilia Mass, Gounod. Festival Singers’ members are welcome to take part.
  • 5:30pm 11 May 2019 – Sing in Saturday afternoon mass at St Teresa’s Catholic Church, Karori.
    This will be a koha gesture from the choir to thank St Teresa’s for storing our music library free for the previous 20 years. 
  • Sunday early evening 26 May 2019: Film fundraiser at The Lighthouse – Petone.
  • 7:00pm Sunday 23 June 2019, “Night of Lights” concert at St James Anglican church, Lower Hutt.
    Will feature Lux Aeterna by Morton Lauridsen. Other pieces to include: Hail, Gladdening Light by Charles Wood, Jonathan’s Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis and other light related works.
  • A Saturday in August 2019 – Ceilidh with Vic Folk band.
  • 7:00pm 21 September 2019: Gloria concert, including Vivaldi Gloria, and a new Gloria by Jonathan.
    We will combine with Vic Folk – Ceilidh band.

  • 23 & 24 November 2019 A Very Welly Christmas.
    Festival Singers will perform a 30 minute slot on Saturday and a 30 minute slot on Sunday.

  • 2:30pm Sunday 1 December 2019 –Christmas concert.

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)


Video interviews with choir members

Click the images to run the videos

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.



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



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