August 9, 2017

2017 Christchurch Choral Festival

These annual festivals are a developing tradition for the city, intended to sustain and strengthen separate choirs, some of which have lost facilities and performing spaces since the earthquakes. Initial festivals were held in the Arena, despite increasing costs and acoustic concerns. It is hoped that a restored Town Hall Auditorium will be a suitable future venue, available at affordable cost.

Meantime, St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, Manchester Street, Christchurch, serves the festival for this year’s event: Saturday 2 September 2017 (report 6.30) 7.00pm to 8.00pm

1. Ave Verum (Mozart – composed, in the year of his death, 5 December 1791, as a payment), 2. Sanctus & Benedictus (Francis Jackson – 100th anniversary of his birth), 3. Ave Maria (attrib. Jacques Arcadelt, born circa 1507, 510 years ago), 4. (the massed items) Cantique (Faure – first performed 4 August 1866: Montivilliers Abbey), Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves (from Nabucco, Giuseppe Verdi, first performed ‎9 March 1842; Teatro alla Scala, Milan, Italy).

RSCMNZ choristers are invited to download and print out the scores referred to above (NB: please ask for hard copies if your set up does not facilitate downloading): CONTACT your choir director; in such cases choir directors are encouraged as soon as possible before the event to supply hard copies to needful intending participants.
OR email OR telephone Robert Tait 021 143 6661.

1. Mozart: Ave Verum: Mozart Ave verum11082017
2. Jackson: Sanctus & Benedictus:Jackson Sanctus Benedictus12082017
3. Arcadelt: Ave Maria: Ave Maria Arcadelt12082017
4. Fauré: Cantique: Cantique12082017
5. Verdi: Hebrew Slaves: Verdi Hebrew Slaves12082017

RSCMNZ Church Choirs gather the night before the Choral Festival to rehearse items: i.e. Friday 1 Sep 2017 at 7.00pm to 8.00pm latest. See calendar.


Choirs are drawn from the combined inner city churches, community, youth, barbershop, and concert stage. They are grouped into clusters, each group performing for up to 10 minutes, and choosing their own items, conductors and accompanists. Both piano and organ are available for accompaniment.

The festival, which normally lasts a little over one hour, is concluded by massed choir items, followed by after-glow socialising (bring a plate – liquid refreshments proviced).

With blessings from Father John Adams, Papanui Priest and President of CBS Music, Don Whelan, Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament Director of Music is the event host and the Royal School of Church Music choir is lead by RSCMNZ President, Paul Ellis, supported by Dr John Linker, Director of Music of Christchurch Transitional Cathedral.

For this occasion, choristers are invited to ROBE if possible, otherwise semi-formal garb.



Scores are now uploaded (12 Aug 2017) so singers et el can download and printout their own sets: NB: for those whose set up does not provide for downloads and/or where choir directors have been unable to assist, hard copies will be on hand on Saturday 2 Sep 2017 pre-concert.