On the weekend of 10th-11th July, the choir of the Waiapu Cathedral of St John the Evangelist in Napier invited the choir of St Peter’s cathedral Hamilton to join them for a two-choir festival. Led by Anthony Tattersal, DoM and organist at St John’s, Rachael Griffiths-Hughes, DoM at St Peter’s, and Anne Cleaver-Holm, organist at St Peter’s, the combined choirs spent most of the Saturday rehearsing the music for the Sunday Eucharist and for a concert performance in the afternoon. The choirs’ work ended on Saturday with a service of compline sung to plainchant, followed by a very convivial dinner at a nearby Indian restaurant.
The following morning the combined choirs enhance the parish Eucharist with a mass setting by Haydn, Kleine Orgelmesse, accompanied by the Cathedral Strings, an introit before the procession, David Goodenough’s I will sing with the Spirit, and as communion motet, Victoria’s well-known and well-loved O quam gloriosum.
The well attended concert in the afternoon was made up of two brackets of works sung by the combined choirs, with two pieces each by the individual choirs between.
The works sung by the combined choirs included representative, mostly well-known works from across the repertoire of Anglican choral music, from Batten’s O sing joyfully, Monteverdi’s Cantata Domino, through Stanford’s Coelos ascendit, Sumsion’s They that go down to the sea in ships, to Whitacre’s Lux aurumque, with other works within this long period. The Waiapu choir sang Weelkes‘ Hosanna to the son of David, and an arrangement of the Negro Spiritual Deep River. St Peter’s contribution was Tapu, tapu, the Sanctus from Te Miha Māori by St Peter’s choir member Fergus Byett, and Ola Gjeilo’s setting the well-known text Ubi Caritas.
All participants thoroughly enjoyed the weekend, singing great music together, catching up with old friends and making new one, and hope that the congregation and audience at the Sunday service and concert enjoyed what we had to present to them.
The combined choirs at rehearsal under the direction of Anthony Tattersal
The combined choirs singing at the Sunday Eucharist directed by Rachael Grifiths-Hughes and
accompanied by the Cathedral Strings.