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Wednesday 14th July 7:30pm – Saturday 17th July 9:30pm
Dorothy Winstone Centre, 16 Howe Street, Freemans Bay, Auckland
Dr. Karen Grylls, Artistic Director

We are excited to welcome you to Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland for the 2021 NZCF Association of Choral Directors’ national conference, Choral Connect. This biennial conference is the ACD’s flagship event, providing professional development and networking for choral musicians of all experience levels.

The theme for this year’s conference is about celebrating the ‘Musical Traditions of our Māori and Pasifika communities.’ We are delighted to feature a number of prominent artists and scholars in a series of presentations and workshops that we hope will broaden your understanding of te ao Māori in the choral world as well as the creative practices used throughout the Pacific Islands.

With border restrictions limiting our ability to engage an international clinician, we are taking the opportunity to Zoom in several presenters from the United States and the United Kingdom for an even greater variety of ideas and perspectives than we can usually manage. These presentations will be complemented by The Conducting Toolbox, a series of sessions dealing with topics essential to the choral musician, such as vocal pedagogy, rehearsal techniques, and programming. We are also delighted to feature the New Zealand Secondary Students Choir in a Masterclass with five delegate conductors, who will work with artistic director Karen Grylls on aspects of gesture and communication.

Showcasing the diversity of Auckland’s choral scene, we are excited to present performances by eight choirs from the Auckland region, as well as the New Zealand Secondary Students Choir, with other performers to be announced soon. Access to these concerts will be included in registration and ticketed for the general public.

We are also thrilled that Auckland members of Voices New Zealand Chamber Choir will workshop five compositions submitted by student and emerging composers resident in New Zealand. Karen Grylls will rehearse the works, with input from guest composer David Hamilton, and two of the works will be performed in the final gala concert.

The ongoing pandemic has presented challenges for many in the arts community, with lockdowns cancelling or postponing events with short notice. For this reason, the organising committee has made plans to live-stream the entire conference, so should a lockdown occur we are able to quickly move nearly every event onto the virtual platform, Hopin. This also means we can provide an online-only option for delegates who would otherwise not be able to travel to Auckland. Hopin is highly interactive and will enable you to watch the sessions, comment and ask questions, and connect with other delegates. In-person delegates won’t miss out on this either, with a phone app enabling all the same interactivity with those online.

Whether you are new to choral music or already have a wealth of experience, we encourage you to join us this July either in Auckland at the Dorothy Winstone Centre, or in our virtual conference space wherever in the world you may be!


  • Three days of inspiring presentations, workshops, masterclasses, and concerts
  • Gain a deeper understanding of performance protocols relating to Māori and Pasifika music
  • Take time to observe, participate, and reflect on your own practice
  • Connect with other delegates and build new professional relationships
  • Be refreshed, renewed, and energised for the future of choral music in Aotearoa New Zealand

For any enquiries, please contact us at choralconnect@nzcf.org.nz.