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Tributes to Grant Hutchinson

Grant was unable to attend the recent The Big Sing Finale Gala in Wellington but he played a key role nonetheless. As he watched the livestream with friends at his home in Auckland his prerecorded video message played down on the big screen.

NZCF Chair Juliet Dreaver then announced that Grant had been awarded Life Membership of the Federation and presented the certificate to his daughter Liz, who, unbeknownst to Grant, was there to receive it on his behalf. John Rosser, who served as Chair or Vice-Chair through most of Grant’s tenure, then delivered a tribute to him for his ten years of admirable service to NZCF.

Read John’s tribute here


A selection of tributes to Grant from our Facebook pages are below:

From Guy Jansen

I remember watching Grant play the Holy Trinity Organ during Choral Connect last year and admiring his skills and enthusiasm. How fortunate we were to have him, with all of his background, to help re-establish the Choral Federation. Grant was loyal, humble, winsome and genuinely caring. We have lost a great friend.

From Tim Sharp
This breaks my heart. We lost him so quickly. Thank you, Grant. I am a better person to have known you.

From Chris Archer
I am so sorry to read this news. Grant was infectiously excited and committed to supporting and growing choral music in Aotearoa. I and my colleagues at Creative New Zealand extend our deepest sympathy to his whanau and all the the NZ Choral Federation and Choirs Aotearoa NZ.

From Elena Sharkova
What terrible loss for the whole choral community. I am heartbroken for his wife and their little child. Deepest condolences to all colleagues in New Zealand and the NZ choral federation. Rest in peace, dear Grant.

From Stephen Leek
Deeply saddened to hear this tragic news. Grant gave so much to choral music in New Zealand and beyond. And, I enjoyed many hours with him working on the Asia Pacific Choral Council. RIP Grant.

From Stephen Bowness
So sad. I loved every interaction I had with Grant. He was one of those people that always put a smile on your face. Condolences to the family and everyone at NZCF who worked with him.

From Rory Gilmore
You have been my great friend Grant. Honest,informed, open minded, curious, creative, musical and dignified are just some of the words that come to mind about Grant Hutchinson. Love you Grant, sorry to see you go.

From Yoshi Egawa
We are deeply saddened by the loss of Grant. We can imagine the sadness you must be feeling. He was also our valued colleague in Asia Pacific Choral Council and made a huge contribution to the success of our team. We feel honoured to have had the opportunity to work with him. Rest In Peace.

From Francesco Leonardi It is a really sad news, our condolences to his family and to the bigger family of the NZCF. Abril, Gemma and Francesco

From Clinton De Reuck such sad news, grant was a great choirmaster and organist at St Mary’s St Mary Cathedral, great times were had during his time as organist and master of the choristers. Condolences to the family. RIP Grant , gone but not forgotten

From Jenny Firth
Our condolences to Grant’s family.
It is because of people like Grant that organisations such as NZCF can achieve as they do.
Thank you Grant for your time energy and love.
Jenny and Norman

From Michael Littlewood
Such a sad loss to the choral community and, of course, to his family. I have known Grant as a colleague, choir director and friend. We will miss him on all counts.

From David Squire
The tributes here say it all – Grant was an honourable man who loved his work and gave so much to see Choral music flourish in Aotearoa. Above that, he was a genuinely lovely person who was a pleasure to work with. Arohanui to Luca and whanau.

From Christine Argyle
Grant’s passing is a huge loss to choral music in NZ. He was totally dedicated to promoting the joys and benefits of group singing and to growing the NZCF’s activities and reach. A very fine musician and a truly lovely man. He will be greatly missed.

From Dragan Atanasov
Very sad to hear of this loss of a wonderful and dedicated man to both his beautiful family and New Zealand choral music. I think a true gem of a man has been lost and I sure hope that humanity gets on top of such debilitating diseases. My deepest and heartfelt condolences to the whole family!

From Clarissa Dunn
I am very sad to hear this news. My condolences to Grant’s family. What a wonderful contribution he made. He had such an infectious energy.

From Warwick Harvey
Auckland Youth Choir had a concert last night entitled Nocturnes in St Matthews.
Probably most of the members of AYC would have sung in a Big Sing while they were at school and thus benefited from Grant’s contribution to that part of our choral world. Before the performance of the NZ premiere of No 7 from “The Consolation of Apollo” by American composer Kile Smith, Lachlan Craig paid a brief tribute to Grant and dedicated the performance of this piece to his memory. The first line of the text by 5th century Roman philosopher Boethius was “The stars shine with more pleasing grace when a storm has ceased to roar and pour down rain”. I hope this can eventually become true for Luca and Grant’s family and us all.