Counsel in Concert is based at Crown Law and has been running since 2009. The choir and orchestra are comprised of lawyers and legal staff from throughout the Wellington region, augmented by members of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra Wellington.
Each year Counsel in Concert performs a large scale charity concert raising funds for the Child Cancer Foundation. Over 60 lawyers are involved in the event. This year the choir will also be joined by the judges' choir, "Just Voices".
Counsel in Concert's programme this year is a combination of choral classics, favourite waiata and soloist choices. The programme ranges from Mozart and Vivaldi to Leonard Cohen, Elton John and Stevie Wonder. The concerts will be conducted by Brent Stewart.
In addition to the choir, Counsel in Concert regularly features soloists from the legal profession. This year’s featured soloist is Justice Joe Williams from the Supreme Court. Justice Williams, whose tribal affiliations are Ngāti Pūkenga and Te Arawa (Waitaha, Tapuika), also has another claim to fame—a hit song from the 1980s from when he was a Kiwi music legend. His reggae band Aotearoa made headlines and NZ Music Charts in 1985 with the single Maranga Ake Ai—a song calling for Māori youth to take pride in their identity. He was lead singer for the band while he was a law student. He continued to perform occasionally when chairman of the Waitangi Tribunal, and later a High Court Judge.
The soloists also include jazz singer Stephanie Bishop, tenor Jared Holt, Joe Mara, Abby and Tara Hauraki and Te Rau Kupenga.
The organisers are very grateful to the sponsors of the event: Simpson Grierson, Tripe Matthews Feist, Stout Street Chambers, Lane Neave, Greg Kelly Law, Rachael Dewar Law, Fyfe & Doherty, Lambton Chambers Barristers, Good+Law, Duncan Cotterill, WCM Legal and Extra Law.
Thank you also to St Andrew’s on the Terrace and Orchestra Wellington. The generosity of the sponsors and other supporters means that all donations from the concerts go to the Child Cancer Foundation.