Fantasia of Carols – 17th December 2016

Saturday 17th December 2016 at 7.30pm

at St Peters Cathedral, Hamilton.

Tickets $25 – contact Kath on 07 855 0762

Ralph Vaughan-William’s “Fantasia on Christmas Carols,” an imaginative arrangement of well-known carols for choir, organ, cello and soloist, is just one of the beautiful pieces in this concert.   Musical Director Timothy Carpenter has chosen a variety of festive music, including a lovely “Ave Maria” by Rachmaninov, Mendelsohn’s joyful “Weihnachten,” the Latin “O Magnum Mysterium”, Sumsion’s “The Holy Birth” and several traditional carols given bright new arrangements by American, British and New Zealand composers.

Hamilton baritone Jonathan Eyers is the soloist in the Vaughan-Williams work. He is a member of the New Zealand Youth Choir which recently won the grand prize in the International Festival of Academic Choirs in Europe. Jonathan has performed leading roles in many opera productions and concerts at the UOW, and was joint winner of the Civic Choir’s Associate Artist Award in 2015. Also featured in this concert are Hamilton cellist Yotam Levy, Phillip Smith, organist at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Auckland, and pianist extraordinaire Francis Cowan.

Hallelujah! It’s a Sing-in Messiah – 13th November 2016

Sunday 13th November 2016 from 1.30pm to 5pm
at St Peters Cathedral, Hamilton, with Rachael Griffiths-Hughes

Registration $15 call Kath on 07 855 0762

Back by popular demand, Hamilton Civic Choir will host another
Messiah Sing In.

It will be an afternoon of fun, singing some of the best choruses in history!

Verdi’s Requiem – 8th + 9th October

Saturday 8th October at 7.30pm at St Paul’s Collegiate, Hamilton

AND Sunday 9th October at 5pm in Auckland Town Hall

Conductor Rita Paczian will lead the combined Hamilton Civic and Bach Musica choirs, the Bach Musica orchestra and internationally-ranked soloists Morag Atchison, Catrin Johnsson, David Hamilton and Joel Amosa in a performance of Verdi’s dramatic Requiem.  This work has it all – tender solos, joyful choruses, resounding brass and thundering drums – little wonder that it is still one of the most often performed major choral compositions.

The soloists for these concerts are Morag Atchison (soprano), Catrin Johnsson (mezzo), David Hamilton (tenor) and Joel Amosa (bass).

Morag Atchison has firmly established herself as one of New Zealand’s leading sopranos. She studied at the University of Auckland and Royal Academy of Music (London), and was a finalist in the Kathleen Ferrier and Royal Over-Seas League Competitions. She has performed many operatic roles and concert engagements throughout NZ and now teaches voice at the University of Auckland and is a vocal tutor for the NZ Youth Choir, and other youth choirs.  Morag was recently awarded a doctorate in Musical Arts from the University of Auckland, the first DMA in vocal studies from a New Zealand University.

Mezzo-soprano Catrin Johnsson is a Swedish singer who studied at the Royal University College of Music in Stockholm before graduating from the London Royal School’s Opera Course.   Besides her many operatic roles, Catrin is an accomplished recitalist, having performed extensively throughout Europe and the UK. In 1997 she received the prestigious Christina Nilsson Prize from the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm and at the Royal Academy of Music in London she was the recipient of numerous prizes. Catrin is noted for her energetic presence on the stage, and her excellent diction in operatic and recital work.

David Hamilton’s distinguished career has gained him a strong reputation throughout Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the United Kingdom in opera, oratorio and concert repertoire. After graduating from the Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, majoring in singing and flute, he moved to Sydney where he sang with The Song Company for seven years and in numerous operatic roles before relocating to Germany in 2007. Oratorio provides the perfect vehicle for David’s voice. He is well known for his moving renditions of the tenor solos in works such as Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Creation and Britten’s War Requiem. Since his return to Australia in 2012 he has frequently travelled to NZ to perform with choirs, orchestras and in recital.

Joel Amosa, the youngest of the soloists at 27 years old, is New Zealand-born of proud Samoan heritage and has a rich bass-baritone voice which has been described as powerful and dramatic.  He completed his music degree at Otago University and was awarded a Dame Malvina Major Scholarship in 2015.  His recent performance experience includes working with Opera Otago, the Napier Civic Choir and the Handel Consort and Quire.

Civic Choir Comes to Cambridge – 17th July 2016

Sunday 17th July at 2.30pm
St Andrews Church, Cambridge

A medley of choral music will be performed, as part of St Andrews Church’s monthly concert programme.

Tickets: (Door sales only):
$15 adults, $10 concession, school aged children free.

Something Glorious – 10th July 2016

The Hamilton Civic Choir is performing “Something Glorious” at St Peter’s Cathedral on Sunday July 10th at 5pm.

Supper and mulled wine will be provided after the concert for a mid-winter glow to share the joy of the concert.

Timothy Carpenter is conducting the programme which includes Schubert’s “Mass No. 2 in G” and Mozart’s “Vesperae Solennes” with a handpicked chamber orchestra and soloists Jarvis Dams, Filipe Manu, Kayla Collingwood and Eliza Boom.

The soloists, two of whom are in the Dame Malvina Major Post Graduate course at Waikato University, will also perform Mozart arias to showcase their talent. It promises to be a glorious early evening of music.

Tickets are available by phoning 07 855 0762
Adults $25
Concession $20
Student Rush $10
Children Free (under 14 years)


Summer Medley – 20th March at 3pm

The Hamilton Civic Choir will present a free concert in the iconic Hamilton Gardens on Sunday March 20th, starting at 3 pm.  This is the third year that the choir has presented this type of concert, in which the choir takes its’ audience on a musical journey through the Paradise gardens; it is becoming a tradition much enjoyed by both singers and listeners.     Please bring a portable chair if you prefer to be seated while listening.

This year the Civic Choir will perform a wide variety of music ranging from simple folk songs and spirituals to more complex choral arrangements, both old and new.   The group will start the show near the Pavilion with Toto’s 1980’s hit “Africa”, and then set off into the gardens with the audience following along.  The choir will sing several well-known songs in the English Flower Garden, including “Lay a Garland”  and “The Willow Song”; then everyone will move on to the American garden for traditional Spirituals and contemporary compositions.  The Italian garden will be filled with the beautiful sounds of early music by Palestrina and di Lasso, and then the choir will more perform some modern arrangements of maori and pacific songs in Te Parapara, the Maori garden.  Finally, the Tudor garden will be the ideal setting for madrigals and songs of that period, before the complete contrast of “Lullaby of Birdland” to end the show.

This amazing range of music has been chosen by the Civic Choir’s new Musical Director, Tim Carpenter. Tim is a local lad, born and raised in the Waikato in a family full of musicians and singers.  He was educated at St. Peter’s Collegiate, and is a former chorister and organ scholar at St. Peter’s Cathedral.  He studied cello performance in the Department of Music at The University of Waikato, and after graduating with B. Mus transferred to Auckland University, completing an Honours degree in organ performance in 2014.  This year he is studying for a Masters degree in orchestral conducting, as well as working as Director of the Symphony programme at St. Kentigern College and as Assistant Director of Bach Musica, and singing in the choir at Holy Trinity Cathedral.  Tim has sung in the National Youth choir, and conducted many orchestras in NZ and overseas, including the Auckland Philharmonia, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.  Civic Choir Chairperson Sally Rosenberg says the choir is very fortunate to have secured the services of this promising young conductor and multi-talented musician for its 2016 programme.

The Hamilton Civic Choir is one of the city’s longest established community choirs, with a proud record of excellence in performance.   The group will perform three more concerts this year, including some with full orchestral accompaniment, and welcomes enquiries from singers who would like to consider joining the choir.


Messiah Sing In – 15th Nov 2015

Choruses for all-comers

Have you ever wanted to sing the great “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah?  Well, singers of no, a little, or plenty of experience can do just that in a “sing-in” on Sunday November 15th.

As a lead-up for their December concert of this work with Opus Orchestra, the Hamilton Civic Choir will host an event at St. Peter’s cathedral in which anyone who turns up can learn to sing some of the favourite choruses in  Frederick Handel’s mighty Messiah oratorio.  Handel wrote this beautiful and dramatic work in in 1741.  It is widely regarded as his masterpiece and is still today the most performed choral work all over the world, with a full performance requiring four soloists, an orchestra and choir.

For this month’s sing-in the singers will be led by conductor Nigel Williams. After moving to the UK to live and work from 2007-2014, Nigel is now back in NZ working as a freelance musician, teacher and conductor and continuing to write music.  He now resides in Tauranga but is no stranger to the Waikato, as he teaches music at several local schools and  conducted the Civic Choir for its first two concerts this year.  His relaxed and cheerful style in workshops like this is enjoyed by singers of all ages.

Singers are asked to register in advance, and to bring their own score if they have access to one.

Family and friends will be welcome to come along at 4 p.m. to listen to the results of the afternoon’s practice session.

The Best of Gilbert & Sullivan

When: Friday September 25th 2015 at 7:30 pm

Where: Southwell School Hall, Peachgrove Road, Hamilton

All the best bits – a Gilbert & Sullivan Spectacular

A young lover threatened with a death sentence for flirting, young men disguising themselves as ladies to infiltrate a women’s university, dim-witted politicians getting confused about fairies…

These improbable scenarios, and many more, will be explored at the next concert by the Hamilton Civic Choir which features “all the best bits” from the operas of well-known British pair, Gilbert and Sullivan.   Librettist W.S Gilbert and composer Arthur Sullivan produced fourteen comic operas between 1871 and 1896; many of these are still performed all over the world today. In these shows Gilbert and Sullivan managed to comment on the social and political mores of the late 1800s while entertaining the masses with song and dance, humour, catchy melodies and fast, funny text.

For this concert, Musical Director Francis Cowan has hand-picked his favourite excerpts and finales from shows like The Mikado, Princess Ida, Iolanthe, Ruddigore, The Yeomen of the Guard and The Gondoliers and has also found three rarely heard beautiful art-songs composed by Arthur Sullivan. Usually, Francis is seated at the piano for Civic Choir rehearsals and concerts, but for this concert will give up the accompanist role to his friend and colleague, Claire Caldwell, and instead will direct the choir in songs which showcase the musical pizzazz and ingenuity of Arthur Sullivan as well as the quirky humour of Gilbert. Francis says he chose the pieces for the program mostly because of their musical interest – many feature excerpts from works by famous composers such as Mozart or Beethoven, which would be recognised by the musically literate audience members of the day.

Francis is well known in the Waikato for his expertise in musical theatre and opera production, especially for the wonderful shows (many of which were G & S standards) presented by the young students of Southwell School during his tenure there as Head of Music between 1994 and 2008.   He is a busy accompanist and vocal coach for other groups including Opera Brava and the Hamilton Gardens Opera Company, and for many years spent his summers on a “busman’s holiday” at the NZ Opera School in Wanganui. His day job in Hamilton is as piano accompanist at The University of Waikato Conservatorium of Music.

The Civic Choir, along with local soloists Ian Campbell and Blaire White, will present the G & S music in the popular format of a supper concert in the hall at Southwell School on Friday September 25th.   The ticket cost will include finger food and a complimentary beer, cider or juice – extra drinks can be purchased at a cash bar.  Audience members are invited to dress in British style to add to the fun and are advised to book tickets early, as previous events of this type have quickly sold out.


Bach & Brahms – 13th June 2015

Saturday 13th June 2015 at 7.30pm
at Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts, University of Waikato.

J. S. Bach’s beautiful motet Jesu, Meine Freude and Brahms’ magnificent Requiem

Baroque specialists Rachael Griffiths-Hughes (harpsichord) and Martin Griffiths (cello) will accompany the choir for the Bach motet, while the Brahms work will feature soloists Jonathon Eyers (baritone) and Elaine Wogan (soprano) with Francis Cowan and Chikako Komaki playing Brahms’ own reduction of the orchestral score for four hands on piano.

Tickets via Academy Booking Office or

Adults $35, Concession $30 and Students $10

For more information: Bach and Brahms concert

Martin RachaelChikako Francis

A Summer Medley at Hamilton Gardens FREE CONCERT – 29th March at 2.30pm

A Summer Medley in the Gardens returns by special request

The Hamilton Civic Choir’s free “progressive” concert in the Hamilton Gardens last year, was so successful that the choir has been asked to perform a similar gig this year.

So, on March 29th choir and audience will progress through the gardens performing music which reflects the style of each space, beginning in the Piazza at 2:30pm and moving on to the English garden and the Indian Char Bagh garden before returning to the Piazza and then to the Italian garden.

The music will range from the much-loved Shenandoah and Hine e hine to English madrigals and contemporary compositions, including settings of three Shakespearian sonnets by local composer Janet Jennings.

Do come along if you can, and bring a friend or two. Hats are essential if the afternoon is sunny; if rain threatens the concert will be transferred indoors to the Pavilion.  You can bring folding chairs, and perhaps refreshments to enjoy along the way, or call in to the Gardens café for a coffee or cold drink.

Free, but koha would be appreciated

Hamilton Gardens concert 2015 - poster