A Christchurch Choral Festival, lasting about one hour, will be held in St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, 373 Manchester Street, at 3 pm on Sunday, 11 August, 2019.
The Catholic Pro-Cathedral offers ample space at the front, suitable for large choral forces, and seating is available for an audience of at least 500, although the performers will use a proportion of that during the concert.
This will be the ninth festival in a developing tradition for the city, intended to sustain and strengthen separate choirs, which have lost facilities and performing spaces since the earthquake.
As in past years, individual choirs will be grouped into convenient clusters, performing for up to 10 minutes, and choosing their own items, conductors and accompanists. Combined inner-city church choirs, conducted and accompanied by Paul Ellis and John Linker, and co-ordinated by the Royal School of Church Music, will open the concert with a stirring Stanford Te Deum and Martin Shaw’s rousing With A Voice Of Singing.
The Community Choirs of Christchurch will be led by Sandra Norquay, accompanied by Jean White, singing some popular arrangements and an Irish Blessing by NZ composer David Hamilton. Folk song arrangements will be heard from the Christchurch Boys’ Choir, conducted by Nicholas Sutcliffe, and the Christchurch Cathedral Choristers, conducted by John Linker will sing an Ave Maria by Dupré and The Lamb by another NZ composer, Anthony Ritchie.
Concert choirs will sing Duke Ellington’s Don’t Get Around Much Anymore, arranged and conducted Mary Rushton, together with Gibbons The Silver Swan, conducted by Felicity O’Brien, and the dramatic Dies Irae, from Mozart’s Requiem.
Admission will be free, and participants will pay nothing. There will be no interval, and the concert should last about one hour. All performers should be in place by 2.30 pm on the day, for rehearsal of the concluding combined item: Parry’s I Was Glad.