Our Next Concert

High Summer Holds the Earth

Exquisite Choral Music for the Christmas Season

We are delighted to perform works by:

  • Bob Chilcott: Dances of Time
  • John Gardner: Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day
  • Morten Lauridsen: Sure on this Shining Night
  • Jenny McLeod: Sun Festival Carols
  • Josef Rheinberger: Abendlied

2:30pm Sunday 1 December 2019

St John’s Anglican Church
18 Bassett Road, Johnsonville, Wellington 6037

Book online at EventBrite

We will be taking a separate koha / collection at the door for the Wellington City Mission.

Free admission for Primary and Secondary School pupils

Door sales available $10.
Cash only – no EFTPOS

Special thanks to Alexander Garside—Garside Imaging
for the use of his photo of Breaker Bay


Our last concert

Glory – Glory – Glory!

7:00 pm Saturday 21 September 2019
at Island Bay Presbyterian Church

Featured the premiere of an exciting new


composed by our accompanist — Jonathan Berkahn.

Also included the popular Vivaldi Gloria and Rutter Gloria


Janey MacKenzie — soprano

Eleanor McGechie — alto

Genevieve Davidson — saxophone

Click here to download the programme booklet PDF

Article: Three Glorias in one concert

Come and listen to a new way of expressing the old but constant message of the Gloria being premiered by Festival Singers this month. Jonathan Berkahn, former Musical Director and now Accompanist of the choir, has created a fresh, joyous version featuring the Festival Singer’s choir and three soloists: Janey MacKenzie SopranoEleanor McGechie Alto along with Genevieve Davidson playing the Soprano Saxophone. The programme also includes both Vivaldi’s and Rutter’s Glorias.

The choir’s new vivacious Musical Director, Ingrid Schoenfeld, chose these three pieces to feature in this her first concert as Director of Festival Singers. She has this to say about Jonathan’s new composition.

“Jonathan’s new Gloria is a joy to work with – behind the infectious rhythms and exquisite melodic writing is a quality of thought and craftsmanship that makes the piece function wonderfully for the choir and soloists. This combination of compositional expertise with Jonathan’s gift for effortless and direct musical communication imbues the piece with a sense of magic that makes it a delight both to sing and listen to.”

Bring your family and friends to hear Festival Singers singing Glory – Glory – Glory at 7pm, Saturday 21st September at Island Bay Presbyterian Church, 88 The Parade, Island Bay.

Come and compare Berkahn’s composition to the two other popular versions being sung as well: Vivaldi’s Gloria composed 400 years ago, and Rutter’s Gloria composed 35 years ago, and then decide which you prefer.



Our new Musical Director

We welcome Ingrid Schoenfeld as our Musical Director from July 2019

Ingrid Schoenfeld is a classical pianist and accomplished teacher. She completed her Bachelor of Music in Classical Performance with first-class Honours at the New Zealand School of Music.

She has learned primarily from Richard Mapp as well as Dr. Jian Liu, and has played in masterclasses for Diedre Irons, Janos Cegledy, Paul Rickard-Ford, Natalia Sheludiakova, and the New Zealand String Quartet, among others. In addition to piano, she also studied harpsichord for three years under prominent early music specialists Dr Erin Helyard and Douglas Mews.

She made her orchestral debut in 2016 with the Nelson Symphony Orchestra, playing Shostakovich’s 2nd piano concerto.

Ingrid studied conducting at the New Zealand School of Music under Kenneth Young,

and has conducted and accompanied multiple choirs around Wellington, including the Northern Chorale, St. James church choir, and the St. Mary of the Angels Youth Choir.

She sang with the St. Mary of the Angels church choir for two years, was a reserve member in the New Zealand Youth Choir, and currently sings in the Wellington Cathedral Choir under Michael Stewart.

In addition to performing regularly in solo, chamber, and choral concerts, she runs a successful teaching studio.

Ingrid has many exciting, creative ideas and the choir has a bright future under her leadership.

Ingrid was Festival Singer’s Accompanist from the start of 2018 to mid-2019.


Guy E Jansen PhD (1935–2019)

Guy conducts a rehearsal at our 40th Anniversary Renuion
at Khandallah Presbyterian Church in 2016. (Photo: Quentin Christie)

This year we reflect on the legacy of Guy Jansen PhD (1935–2019) founder our Greater Wellington community choir 43 years ago. He aimed to foster and encourage all ages to sing and support the best of Christian music styles, and to encourage and develop new music for the future.


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.
    All Is True based on last years of Shakespeare’s life and starring Judi Dench, Kenneth Branagh, Ian McKellan. 4:30pm for 5pm.  Tickets $20.00.
  • 7:00pm Sunday 23 June 2019, “O Nata Lux — Born of Light” 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 Saturday 21 September 2019 – Island Bay Presbyterian Church: Gloria concert, including Vivaldi Gloria, and a new Gloria by Jonathan.
    We will combine with Vic Folk – Ceilidh band.

  • 2:30pm Sunday 1 December 2019 – Christmas concert St John’s Anglican Johnsonville. 

For more information, please contact:

  • Ingrid Schoenfeld (new Musical Director)
    ingrid.s@outlook.co.nz, 027 240 6669  or
  • Philip Garside (Secretary)
    books@pgpl.co.nz 475 8855

See you soon at a rehearsal or concert!

Philip Garside (Secretary)


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:


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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