Bay of Islands Singers - Choir in the Bay of Islands, Northland

Kia Ora

Welcome to the Bay of Islands Singers’ website. We are a mixed-voice community choir of around 60 singers. Though based at the Turner Centre in Kerikeri, rehearsing on Mondays from 6.30 to 9.00pm, we attract members from as far afield as the Hokianga, Doubtless Bay and Opua. The choir embraces singers of all ages, stages and walks of life. What unites us is our love of singing and the desire to bring the best of the classical and contemporary choral repertoire to audiences in Kerikeri and throughout the Far North. New members are always welcome. If you are interested in joining the choir please Contact Us.

Most of our performances are accompanied by musical ensembles and often feature talented young and established soloists. Three concerts in the year are costly to put on, and we are grateful to our various financial Supporters to allow us these opportunities to perform. The choir has built up a library of music over the years and this is available for hire to other choral groups.

Our Concerts section includes full details of our next performance and information about our past concerts, which illustrates the broad range of music we perform. You will also find photos of past performances.

 

2021 Concert Schedule

 

Sunday 17th October 2021 - 2:00pm in the John Dalton Auditorium, Turner Centre. Kerikeri

  

Organ Recital with Michael Bell to celebrate the arrival of the new Bay of Islands Singers organ. The recital includes works by Bach, Schubert, Handeland Widor. During his recital, Michael will talk about the new organ and demonstrate some of its principal features and stops

 

 

 

 

 

Recital Programme

 

Handel             Overture to the Royal Fireworks HWV 351

 

Bach                Three Schubler Chorales BWV 645-650

 

  • Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme (Wake, Awake for Night is Passing)
  • Ach bleib bei uns, Herr Jesu Christ (Lord Jesus Christ, with us abide)
  • Kommst du nun, Jesu, vom Himmel herunter auf Erden (Come thou, Jesu, from heaven to earth)

 

Mozart             Opera themes: Don Giovanni and The Magic Flute

 

Bell                  Hymn(s) - Improvisation

 

INTERVAL

 

Beethoven       Symphony no.7 - 2nd Movement

 

Schubert         An Die Musik

 

Brahms           Requiem No.2  (Behold all flesh is as the grass)

 

Joplin               Maple Leaf Rag/The Entertainer

 

Widor               Toccata from Symphony No. 5

 

 


 

"Messiah"

Sunday 5th December 2021 - 2:30pm in the John Dalton Auditorium, Turner Centre. Kerikeri

 

  Concert Reviews

Autumn Concert - Carmina Burana

 

18 APRIL 2021 - Concert review by John Russell

 

John Jackets has done it again! Time after time he demands more and more from the Bay of Island Singers of which he is their Musical Director. As always, the choir worked hard to achieve what was possibly its most stirring and best performance ever. The Singers were supported brilliantly by musicians from all over the North Island along with the extraordinarily talented baritone, Malcolm Leitch, from Christchurch.

 

Their exciting programme ranged from the ‘pianissimo’ to the ‘fortissimo’ beginning with the beautiful and haunting folksong, ‘Dirait-on’ by the American composer, Morten Lauridsen This was followed by ‘The Rose’, by Norwegian-born Ola Gjeilo with two pianos, played by Rosemary Barnes and Michael Bell, accompanying the choir in this sweet and gentle melody conjuring up thoughts of a warm wave washing over the listener. Next up, the ‘Seal Lullaby’ by American composer Eric Whitacre to a poem by Rudyard Kipling was movingly rendered by the choir.

 

The first half was rounded off beautifully with a performance of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ ‘Five Mystical Songs’ for Choir and Baritone solo accompanied by organist Michael Bell.

 

After the interval, the excited audience returned to a superb rendition of Carl Orff’s ever-popular Carmina Burana, with text, occasionally profane, in medieval Latin and German. Beginning and ending with the almost brutish ‘O Fortuna’, this truly stirring cantata of lusty, wild, even boorish ostinati saw the Bay of Islands Singers, along with soloist Malcolm Leitch accompanied by an army of percussionists and two grand pianos, thrill and inspire the audience to a noisy and prolonged standing ovation.

 

 

 

 Spring Concert: Fauré, Finzi & Festive Favourites - Sunday 29 November, 2020

 

Despite Covid 19 delaying the Bay of Island Singers first concert of the year, the choir out-performed  its past matchless presentations proffering yet another eagerly anticipated performance to a packed auditorium in the Turner Centre Kerikeri.  In the words of John Jackets, their Musical Director, this concert was ‘a celebration of the joy of making music together’

The three fine soloists, Elizabeth Mandeno, soprano, Jarvis Dams, baritone, and Michael Burch, tenor, added their professional talents to the choir’s exquisiteness thereby ensuring that the magnificence of the human voice and spirit enthralled us all throughout the concert. The choir and soloists were further embellished by a magnificent 23-piece orchestra. The entire ensemble was directed by Kerikeri’s own John Jackets QSM who also kept the audience informed and amused with anecdotes about the programme.

The concert opened with Fauré’s ‘Requiem’. Fauré himself, declared that ‘art and music existed to elevate mankind as far as possible above everyday existence’ and to this aim, the choir and audience truly did him proud. 

The second half began with Haydn’s Te Deum one of his most popular choral works, and followed by a rare performance of Gerald Finzi’s ‘In Terra Pax-Christmas Scene’, The audience was swiftly enamoured by the ensemble’s superb performance of this relatively obscure work which will undoubtedly ensure that the music of Finzi will be remembered in Kerikeri for a long time to come.

A short orchestral masterpiece, ‘Sleigh Ride’ by Leroy Anderson, had miracles being worked by the percussionists and filled the audience with nostalgia and mirth.

Gustav Holst wrote ‘Christmas Day: Choral Fantasia on Old Carols’ in 1910 for his students at Morley College. The fantasia includes beautifully written settings of a variety of classic Christmas Carols enthusiastically and memorably performed by the choir and orchestra.

French composer Adolphe Adam’s ever popular ‘O Holy Night’ marking the birth of Jesus as humanity’s redeemer was lovingly rendered by the choir, soloists and orchestra and delighted the audience.

Finally, what choral performance would be complete without the rousing anthem ‘Zadok the Priest’ by Handel. The audience was enraptured by the choir’s presentation of this work and awarded two curtain recalls demonstrating its appreciation and gratitude for the incomparable excellence of conductor John Jackets, the Bay of Islands Singers, soloists and orchestra.

From a concert review by John Russell