On Sunday 25 February 2018 more than 180 choristers from throughout the country came together to celebrate and remember NZCF’s former Patron and Founder Professor Peter Godfrey at Auckland’s Holy Trinity Cathedral. The event began with a Choral Evensong at 5.00pm followed by a concert at 7.30pm.
At Evensong members of the St Mary’s Singers, Cathedral Choir and the Orlando singers (conducted by Anita Banbury) sang the responses, psalms and Magnificat and were joined by the massed choir (conducted by Terence Maskell) to sing the introit, anthems and Nunc Dimittis. The hymns (All my hope on God is founded, The duteous day and The day Thou gavest) were known to be among Peter’s favourite hymns. Peter Watts gave a very fitting tribute in which he added some personal anecdotes and memories.
Following a meal break, the concert opened with a bracket from the massed choir, conducted by John Rosser, performing Lassus’ Jubilate Deo, I will give my love an apple, Great god of love, and Soon ah will be done. Each of the five guest choirs – New Zealand Youth Choir alumni, The Graduate Choir, Orlando Singers, Viva Voce and Auckland Chamber Choir – performed one or two pieces that were often conducted by Peter. When introducing their items each conductor mentioned the significance of their choice and recounted how Peter had influenced their lives.
The concert concluded with a final bracket from the massed choir, conducted this time by Karen Grylls and Peter Watts, performing My spirit sang all day, Abendlied, Early one morning and Parry’s I was glad.
Many friendships were rekindled and old friends reunited, but most of all it was a time to sing, remember and honour the man who contributed so much to choral music in New Zealand to make it what it is today.
See our New Zealand Choral Federation Facebook pages for photos of this momentous occasion.