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Of all the treasures of Western choral music, the two passions by J.S. Bach rank among the highest. The St John Passion is an unforgettable experience. There are feisty choruses that speak for the madding crowd, sublime chorales that reflect on the harrowing events, and lyrical statements of faith that emanate from the rich vocal contributions of six soloists.

For those who were brought up in a Christian tradition, this work serves to confirm and enhance their faith. For others, the intense spirituality of the music is present everywhere. And for everyone, the St John Passion is, in a single phrase, Bach’s and Baroque music at its best.

Marlena Devoe Soprano

Sarah Court Mezzo-soprano

Henry Choo Tenor

Christopher Bowen Tenor, Evangelist

David Greco Baritone Petrus & Pilatus

Barry Mora Bass, Jesus

Auckland Choral

Pipers Sinfonia

Uwe Grodd Conductor

 

Saturday 1 April 7.30pm

Holy Trinity Cathedral

 

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

  • Garnet Tregonning

    Picture of Garnet TregonningGarnet has a long involvement with Auckland Choral after his first introduction to singing in Lead Roles in Gilbert and Sullivan Operettas at Kings High School in Dunedin,followed by being a member of Capping Sextet at Otago University with Sir William Southgate in the 1960s.

    First joined the Choir under Ray Wilson in 1968-71 as a Junior Doctor before travelling Overseas for Orthopaedic Training in Canada and the UK.Rejoined under Bill Power 1976-1986 then again in the mid 1990s up to the present time-so have been a member on and off over some 47 years.Was a committee member for 5 years and continue to be inspired by the opportunity to be a member of the Choir which I believe continues to improve and I believe is currently performing at its highest level over the past 40 years –no doubt due to the superb direction of Uwe and the support of Elizabeth and the wonderful Vocal Coaches.

    Currently working full-time as a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Middlemore Hospital. 

     
  • Sandy Bulmer

    Picture of Sandy BulmerLike so many contraltos, I first got put in the alto section as a school girl because I could read music and manage to sing a line of harmony. I joined Auckland Choral when I was in high school and now I’ve been a member for 40 years! I started singing with my mum as a toddler, sitting on her knee while she played the piano and sang soprano and tenor Messiah arias. I used to come to Auckland Choral’s Saturday dress rehearsals in the Town Hall and follow the score in my early teenage years, and it was a natural step to join Mum in the choir when I was 15. I remember Choral Hall in Airedale Street where we used to meet (before Mayoral Drive was built). It was a dusty old building and freezing in winter, but the ladies in the alto section were very kind to me and welcomed me into the back row. Nothing really changes in that respect; the Auckland Choral altos today are a great bunch of people as well!

     
  • Alison Miller

    Picture of Alison MillerHi, I’m Alison Miller. I have been singing all my life, as both my parents had good voices, and we followed in their footsteps. I’ve sung in both church and community choirs, but when I was a pupil in the EGGS choir, we sang the third chorus part in St Matthew Passion in the Town Hall with Ray Wilson conducting and I was smitten. Years later when we returned to Auckland, and heard Auckland Choral singing Brubeck’s Light in the Wilderness in 1969, I knew I had to belong to this magnificent choir.. I joined in 1970 as a soprano 1, and have been a member since then, with the first concert being Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast, with 6 weeks rehearsal time.
    Various committee positions have kept me involved, and I was secretary (in those days - a very basic General Manager) for 7 years, before taking on the Librarian’s position. I was very proud to see our daughter Sandy join Choral while she was still at school, and when I joined the alto line I remember her moral support for me as a new alto. Auckland Choral is my life and the members are my music family, which I am very conscious of every time we perform on stage. Unfortunately I have had to take leave on several occasions because of ill health, but one positive to that is I’ve been in the audience to witness the choir’s great presentations from in front of the stage.

    Away from choir and family, I take a team of handbell ringers who meet each week in East Auckland.

     
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