X close menu
Forgotten password
Association of Choral Directors
Back to previous page

Announcing our presenters and choirs for Choral Connect '21

We are thrilled to announce our keynote presenters and choirs…

NZ and International Presenters
Addressing the conference theme of the Choral Traditions of Aotearoa New Zealand, we welcome presentations and workshops from some of New Zealand’s leading experts in Māori and Pasifika music. Dr. Charles Te Ahukaramū Royal brings his experience as a composer, performer, and researcher of indigenous knowledge to share how aspects of mātauranga Māori inform our approaches to creativity. We will also have two practical workshops on Māori and Pasifika music, led by Ataahua Papa and Opeloge Ah Sam, where delegates will learn more about the history and performance practice of these traditions. Our Artistic Advisor, Robert Wiremu, will also share his research into language and diction, including how to approach te reo Māori and other Pasifika languages.

Through the wonder of Zoom we are looking forward to hearing from international specialists based in the United States and the United Kingdom. André de Quadros is a conductor, ethnomusicologist, and human rights activist, born in India and resident in the US, who brings significant experience to his presentation on engaging communities through social justice projects. Swedish-born Sofi Jeannin will present on the challenge of programming and repertoire selection, pulling from her wide and varied experience as director the BBC Singers, the French Radio Chorus, and the choir school la Maîtrise de Radio France. And Venezuelan native Cristian Grases will draw on his experience as an award-winning composer and choral conductor to present a session on composing and commissioning works for choirs.

Choirs Connect
At the end of each conference day, delegates will enjoy a public concert featuring some of the country’s finest talent. Our Thursday and Friday evening concerts feature eight local ensembles invited to showcase Auckland’s choral community. The performing choirs represent a variety of musical styles from the Chinese music of The Music Association of Auckland, to the gospel a cappella stylings of the Jubilation Choir. We also have choirs that represent the diverse fabric of Auckland’s choral community, including Auckland’s rainbow choir GALS, and the Auckland Youth Choir. Many of the ensembles are un-auditioned, but none are as big as Everybody Sings, who will be bringing over 150 of their members to show what community singing is all about. We’re also pleased to welcome the Kaitaia Community Choir Voices from the far north, who will share a fusion of gospel and popular styles influenced by music of the Pacific. Each concert will conclude with a performance by one of Auckland’s top chamber choirs: The Graduate Choir (Thursday) and Viva Voce (Friday).

Opening the first half of our final concert on Saturday evening is taonga puoro practitioner Horomona Horo. Horomona’s collaborations as both composer and performer are diverse, including with the NZ String Quartet, Voices New Zealand, Gareth Farr, Ross Harris, Moana and the Tribe, Fat Freddys Drop and Maisey Rika. Also performing in the first half will be Te Kapahaka ō Te Wharekura ō Hoani Waititi Marae. This kapahaka group have regularly achieved top placings in kapahaka competitions, giving highly engaging and stirring performances showing a real commitment to this traditional artform. The second half of the concert will open with performances by members of Voices New Zealand Chamber Choir of two of the compositions workshopped earlier that day, and the concert will conclude with a bracket by the award-winning New Zealand Secondary Students Choir.

Composition Workshops
Delegates will also have the opportunity to observe artistic director Karen Grylls and guest composer David Hamilton work with Auckland-based members of Voices New Zealand Chamber Choir, as they workshop a number of compositions by student and emerging composers. We sent out a call for scores some weeks ago for a composition workshop to be held during Choral Connect. We encourage you to share this information with anyone you think could be interested in submitting a work. Submissions must be received by 1st June 2021.

Five conductors will be given the opportunity to participate in a conducting masterclass with Artistic Director, Karen Grylls and the New Zealand Secondary Students Choir. Each participant will be given 15 minutes to work with the choir on aspects of gesture and rehearsal technique. Delegates who are interested in participating should contact our Artistic Programme Coordinator, Jono Palmer at jono.palmer@nzcf.org.nz for further details.


All sessions will be held at the Dorothy Winstone Centre, 16 Howe Street, Freemans Bay, Auckland, and will be available online via the Hopin conferencing platform.