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

  • Maria Millar

    Picture of Maria MillarHi! I'm Maria Millar. I'm an Alto 1, and also convener of the Auckland Choral Music Committee. I first joined Auckland Choral in 2015, in time for the Missa Somenis. I come from a musical home, with a Dad who played Organ at church and piano for the local pantomines and performances. Thanks to his influence, I've sung for most of my life. I studied singing with Margaret Medlyn when I lived in Wellington, as well as singing simultaneously with both the Bach Choir and the Orpheus Choir. I was also a performer in two International Festival of the Arts operas: Salome and Madam Butterfly. I lived in Sydney for three years, and stepped away from the predominantly classical choir style, and sang with the gay & lesbian choir, whose repertoire was more contemporary in nature. Then, in 2001 I moved to London, and while there returned to my classical roots and sang with the Wimbledon Choral Society for a number of years. I took a bit of a break from singing when my two children came along, finding it a struggle to juggle full time work and a young family. It was when we finally moved back to NZ in 2014 that I decided it was time to get back into singing. I returned to singing lessons under the tutelage of Claire Martin, and joined the Auckland Choral Society, which was exactly what I was looking for. By day, I work as a marketing researcher and strategist, a job which I've been doing for 20 years, and which has taken me all over the world. When I'm not working or singing, my happy place is in the kitchen. I love to bake - bread, cakes, anything!

     

     
  • Lisa Er

    Picture of Lisa ErLisa has been in the choir since 1974 with the exception of a couple of years when she was busy with small children.
    Born in the UK Lisa emigrated with her parents to New Zealand at the age of 16. Already politically active Lisa has continued to have a passionate interest in peace, politics, ethics and philosophy, as well as a deep love of music.
    A primary school teacher for 14 years, Lisa then created the business Lisa's Hummus, which she sold a few years ago. Now Lisa is immersed in creating political solutions via The Awareness Party, and  will continue singing in the choir as long as she is able!

     
  • Aria Zhang

    Picture of Aria ZhangSinging in choirs since I was at Fudan University in Shanghai, I have been regarding singing as one of the most important part of my life. Before I moved to Auckland, I searched online and found Auckland Choral. I told myself: that is the choir I want to join in!
    Then here I am. Being an alto at Auckland Choral, I enjoy every rehearsal we have every Wednesday. I love our conductors and our music committee for their professional selection and interpretation of music works. I love our marketing committee for their enthusiasm and persistence in promoting our performance. Being a helper at the marketing committee, I engaged in campaigns at University campus and the Chinese Community. That is definitely what I want to do as a PhD student at The University of Auckland and as a new Chinese immigrant. 
    Music is a language to communicate with other people no matter which country we come from. Being a member of Auckland Choral, I have an even stronger feeling of integrating into this vibrant and diversified city—Auckland!
     
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