About us

The Choir

Hamilton Civic Choir has delighted national and international audiences with concerts of great choral music performed at the highest musical standards since 1946.

Characterised by a heartfelt belief in the value of Hamilton Civic Choir’s mission and vision, and supported by devoted singers and audiences, talented artistic staff and dedicated Committee members, the group’s passion for sharing the thrill of live choral music has remained steadfast throughout its long, proud history. And indeed, this Choir enjoys a reputation as one of New Zealand’s finest.

Our mission is: “To continue to be Hamilton’s premiere classical choir, regularly presenting the world’s greatest choral music, at the highest possible standard, to the people of the Waikato and beyond for the mutual enjoyment and enrichment of choir and audience.”

We are committed to connecting singers, audiences, and the community through experiences with diverse choral music. And, under the artistic leadership of Elise Bradley the organisation will produce a series of concerts each year in the wider Waikato area with concert performances also in Auckland.

Being a fully auditioned choir with approximately 50 singers, we are able to perform works outside the scope of many community-based choirs. In addition to the large choral works of the great composers, usually performed with organ or orchestral accompaniment and the best national and international soloists, the choir’s repertoire includes chamber music and other shorter and more modern works.

Hamilton Civic Choir has been chosen several times to sing major choral works with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. We also sang in Carnegie Hall in 2018, as part of DCINY’s Dreamweaver concert. And in 2019 with a collaborative concert with Melbourne’s CHIME Choir to commemorate ANZAC Day.

If you are interested in helping us along our journey, please see our sponsorship options.

Elise Bradley, MNZM – Musical Director

Elise Bradley MNZM, Musical Director Hamilton Civic Choir

A passionate musician, award-winning conductor, and internationally respected educator, adjudicator and clinician, Elise Bradley served for many years as the Head of Department Music at Westlake Girls’ High School in Auckland, New Zealand. She founded and conducted the school’s renowned treble choir, Key Cygnetures from 1991-2007, and directed the New Zealand Secondary Students’ Choir from 2001-2007, both of which won numerous national and international awards. She was also a soloist and member of New Zealand’s National Chamber Choir, Voices New Zealand from 1998 – 2010. In January 2018, Ms. Bradley was named a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM), an honour awarded in recognition of her services to Music.

Elise repatriated home to New Zealand at the end of 2021, after 14½ years as the Artistic Director of the Toronto Children’s Chorus. During her tenure, the Chorus recorded professionally, commissioned Canadian compositions, collaborated with numerous international and national artists, and represented Toronto on nine international and four national tours. She also produced a virtual recording for the ACDA National Conference in 2021 and for the Hong Kong World Choral Festival in 2022. The Chorus is internationally recognized for the high standard of its performances, and for its challenging repertoire which spans diverse cultures, languages, and traditions. Its latest CD, Sounzscapes: From Our Lands, directed by Elise Bradley, was named the most Outstanding Choral Recording by Choral Canada in 2014.

In addition to her work as Artistic Director of the Toronto Children’s Chorus, Ms. Bradley received many invitations to conduct, adjudicate choirs, and present at conferences around the globe, recently including the 11th World Symposium on Choral Music (Spain), Dozan wa Awtar (Jordan), the inaugural New Zealand National Children’s Choir (Auckland, NZ), the IFCM World Choral Expo (Macau), Gondwana Voices (Australia), Orientale Concentus (Singapore), Crystal Children’s Choir (United States), Carnegie Hall, (United States), and Hong Kong Inter-School Choral Festival (China). She has also been invited to present at the World Choral Symposium in Turkey in April 2023.

Since her return to New Zealand, Elise has co-founded the company “Choral DirectioNZ”, the New Zealand Children’s Choral Academy, and has completed a number of Kodály Music Certificates in preparation for her return to the primary music classroom as part of the Creatives in Schools initiatives. She is currently the Music Director of the Hamilton Civic Choir, Nota Bella Junior Choir at Westlake Girls’ High School, Leonessa at Takapuna Grammar School, Ficino Primary Choirs, Kristin ‘Noteworthy’ Choir and she conducts the Chiron Choir for the Chiron Music Academy.

Ms. Bradley is dedicated to inspiring young singers through the study of the choral art, and to helping build not only their musical abilities, but also their self-confidence and life skills. Through music, she believes that they also learn about leadership and responsibility while experiencing the special joys and friendships that participation in the choir provides.

Chris Greenslade – Collaborative Pianist

Chris Greenslade was a student of Bruce Greenfield and went on to complete his honours degree in performance with Richard Mapp at the Wellington Conservatorium of Music where he was a prize winner in various competitions. His post graduate studies were at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester with Mark Ray. He was the recipient of the RNCM Julius Scholarship and studied chamber music with Dr Christopher Rowland as well as accompanying and appearing in recital.

He appears regularly in New Zealand as soloist and accompanist and is also the official pianist for the St Pauls Collegiate Girl’s Choir and Mixed Choir accompanying them in both in New Zealand and Australia.

Chris is passionate about music education and has a busy studio of students who have had regular success in both local and national competitions including the North Shore concerto competition, the Wallace National Jr Piano Competition and the CMNZ secondary schools chamber music contest. As well as adjudicating for IRMTNZ he is an NZMEB examiner and has been regional coach and regional adjudicator for the CMNZ secondary schools chamber music contest.

He has also worked for a number of years with Conductive Education Waikato providing music appreciation classes for children with special needs.


Hamilton Civic Choir is pleased to have Dean Williams as patron.