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

Past concerts




2:30pm Sunday 27th November 2022


Handel’s masterpiece will be performed by the Bay of Islands Singers with:

Elizabeth Mandeno - Soprano

Sarah Court  - Mezzo-Soprano

Lachlan Craig - Tenor

Thomas Røshol- Bass

With guest orchestra conducted by John Jackets







 “On the wings of a dove”

2.30pm Sunday July 31 2022

In the current turbulent times the music in this concert offers up the hope for a more peaceful and joyful future!

The choir welcomes back Kerikeri’s popular soprano Tania Priebs and tenor Michael Burch, along with Auckland organist Michael Bell and Pippa Howes, flute and Philippa Mandeno, oboe. Conducted by John Jackets

The programme will include a part of Bach’s masterpiece, St John Passion, three contrasting works by Mendelssohn, Fauré’s popular Cantique de Jean Racine, two short pieces by contemporary composer John Rutter and end with the joyous fourth Coronation Anthem by Handel. 

In addition there will be two short instrumental works, a Bach organ fugue and a part of Marcello’s well known oboe concerto.

The programme
Mendelssohn    Drei Geistliche Lieder Three Sacred Songs
Fauré                Cantique de Jean Racine
Bach                 Little Fugue in G minor  BWV 578
Bach                 From St John Passion


Mendelssohn   Ave Maria
Marcello          Oboe concerto in D minor (2nd movt.)
Rutter              Look at the world
Mendelssohn   Lord hear my prayer
Handel            Coronation Anthem - My heart is inditing




“and All that Jazz” - Saturday 4th December 2021 3.30pm

A celebration of jazz, popular songs and…..the bicycle























Autumn Concert - Sunday 18 April, 2021

2:30 pm in the  John Dalton Auditorium - Turner Centre

Carmina Burana by Carl Orff


This hugely popular work is a cantata composed in 1935/6 with text from medieval secular poems set into an exciting collection of songs illustrating such things as the fickleness of wealth, the fleeting nature of life, the joy of Spring and the pleasures and perils of drinking and gluttony, with its most famous opening section, O Fortuna. This performance will be accompanied by an army of percussionists alongside two grand pianos


The programme will also include the reflective Five Mystical Songs for Baritone and Choir by Ralph Vaughan Williams











Spring Concert - Sunday 29 November, 2020

2:30 pm in the  John Dalton Auditorium - Turner Centre

After nearly a year with no concerts, the Bay of Island Singers are finally able to get back on stage to present their end of year concert. The optimistic and tranquil setting of Fauré’s  Requiem is followed by works with both celebratory and Christmassy themes by Haydn, Handel, Holst, Adam and Finzi. The choir is joined by a line-up of top soloists with guest orchestra directed by John Jackets  



Soprano – Elizabeth Mandeno

Tenor – Michael Burch

Baritone – Jarvis Dams


Guest Orchestra led by Emily Allen

Organ – Michael Bell

Conductor – John Jackets


Programme includes:





Te Deum


In Terra Pax – Christmas Scene


Christmas Day


O Holy Night


Zadok the priest


The first half of the programme is a performance of the ever popular Fauré Requiem, noted for its underlying sense of hope, serenity and peace.


The second half opens with Haydn’s popular setting of the Te Deum followed by music with a Christmas theme: GerardFinzi’sevocative In Terra Pax – Christmas Scene written in 1956 followed by a setting of Christmas Carols by Gustav Holst, the all-time favourite O Holy Night and ending with that up-lifting Coronation Anthem by Handel – Zadok the Priest



Elizabeth Mandeno has an MA in Advanced Vocal Technique from the Wales International Academy of Voice where she studied with Dennis O’Neill and Nuccia Focile. Elizabeth won the Dame Malvina Major Foundation First Prize at the New Zealand Aria in 2019

Jarvis Dams was the 2017 Winner of the Dame Malvina Major Foundation first prize at the prestigious New Zealand Arias Competition and winner of the Sydney Eisteddfod Opera Scholarship for 2018.

Well-known Kerikeri tenor Michael Burch makes a welcome return to complete the trio


Running Time – 2 x 50 minute with a 20 minute interval



The Bay of Islands Singers present

 Sunday 1st December, 2019 2:30pm - John Dalton Theatre

"Choral Gems"


Soprano – Elaine Wogan; Mezzo-Soprano – Jessica Wells;  Tenor – Andrew Grenon; Baritone – James Harrison
Organ – Michael Bell  and Guest orchestra
Conductor – John Jackets

Britten - Ceremony of Carols

Charpentier - Messe de Minuit                  

Salieri - Organ Concerto

Haydn - Nelson Mass

Benjamin Britten wrote his cantata, A Ceremony of Carols, during World War II while crossing the Atlantic. It is a collection of short of medieval poems with Christmas themes which have become firm favourites with both choirs and audiences.

French composer Charpentier’s delightful Messe de Minuit pour Noel (Christmas Mass) is based on French folksongs for Christmas most of which are dance like in character.

The second half of the concert will begin with the third movement from Antonio Salieri’s organ concerto written in 1773 and ends with Haydn’s stunning “Nelson Mass”, arguably his greatest composition long associated with Nelson’s victory over Napoleon.












“Stage Lights”  -  music for the theatre  - Saturday May 4th 7.30pm – The Plaza at The Turner Centre

 Opera (Aida) : Operetta (Merry Widow; Gondoliers) : Musicals (Cabaret, Oklahoma, Les Misérables and Chess)

 Guest Orchestra with Tania Priebs (soprano) Ipu Laga’aia (tenor)  Conductor John Jackets


 John Marshall reviewed this concert for the Northland Age.




























Sunday 2nd Dec 2018 2:30pm - Turner Centre Auditorium

New Beginnings
“The promise of peace and hope at Christmas”
with Guest Orchestra & Soloists
 Programme includes Bach Christmas Oratorio (Pt 1 & 2) and the Christmas Music from Handel’s Messiah

















Sunday 19th Aug 2018 2:30pm and 4:30pm - Waimate North Church

Sacred Music down the ages

Lacrymosa (from the Requiem) - W.A, Mozart

My Soul, there is a Country - C. Hubert H. Parry

Magnificat - Charles Villiers Stanford

Rejoice in The Lord Alway - Henry Purcell

The Lord's my Shepherd - Howard Goodall

Benedictus (from The Armed Man) - Karl Jenkins

The Holy City - Stephen Adams

Locus iste - Anton Bruckner

Miserere - Gregorio Allegri

The Lamb - John Taverner

Ave Verum Corpus - William Byrd













Saturday 26th May 2018 7:30pm - Turner Centre Auditorium

Autumn Concert


With a Guest orchestra

Organ - Michael Bell

Soloists: Tania Priebs  soprano: Helen Acheson mezzo-soprano: Michael Burch baritone

Conductor  - John Jackets


Duruflé - Requiem

Caccini - Ave Maria

Boyce - Symphony No 5

Gigout - Grand Choeur Dialogue

Vivaldi - Gloria
















Sunday 3rd December 2017 - 2:30pm

Musical Allsorts

Toward the Unknown Region        Ralph Vaughan Williams
Peter and the Wolf                     Sergei Prokofiev
Gypsy Chorus (Anvil Chorus)       Giuseppe Verdi
Chorus of Hebrew Slaves            Giuseppe Verdi
Jerusalem                                 Hubert Parry
Radetzky March                         Johann Strauss Sr.
Sound of music                          Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein 2nd
Fantasia on British Sea Songs      Henry Wood

A large and enthusiastic audience enjoyed the variety in the choir’s December concert at the Turner Centre in Kerikeri.  
The Singers was joined by a large orchestra of first class players from Auckland, Whangarei and Kerikeri and directed by John Jackets

The title “Musical Allsorts” seemed very appropriate for this programme of music selected to appeal to a wide audience.
The concert began with an early 20th century English choral gem by Vaughan-Williams to a setting of words by Walt Whitman. This is a challenging work for both choir and orchestra but in spite of very limited rehearsal time, the performance was a fine rendition of this remarkable piece ending with a musical climax of vocal and orchestral grandeur so typical of RVW’s writing.    

This was followed by the ever popular orchestral work, Peter and the Wolf. With it’s obvious appeal to younger audiences (sadly absent from this concert) this remains a favourite of all ages. The musical themes of the various characters were expertly played by the string section – leader Emily Allen, flautist Pippa Howes, oboe Alison Jepson, clarinet Donald Nicholls and bassoon Bridget Lynd. The three horns of Tony Webster, Yih-Hsin Huang and Matt Watson were a suitably menacing wolf.
Jane Jackets and Michael Burch expertly provided the characterful narration.

The second half had a ‘Last Night of the Proms’ feel about it without the flags and bunting! There was an opportunity for audience participation in Strauss’s Radetzky March and in a lively medley from the ever popular Sound of Music.

The concert ended with the Henry Wood Fantasy on British Sea Songs, another favourite from the Promenade concerts. In this edition, the music was arranged very successfully for orchestra and accompanying vocal sea songs.  


Saturday 12th August 2017 - 7:30pm

The Winter Concert in the Plaza at the Turner Centre: Transatlantic Festival of Music – In contrast to the May concert, this will be a relaxing and foot tapping evening with popular music from both sides of the Atlantic.  

Accompanied by dazzling jazz pianist Matt Watson and a 5-piece band, the choir will perform a wide range of jazz standards and show songs plus a lot more













Saturday 13th May 2017 - 7:30pm

Autumn Concert at the Turner Centre: Programme includes works by JS Bach, Howard Goodall, J Haydn and Karl Jenkins


























Handel’s Messiah – December 2016

The Singers received a standing ovation when they performed Handel’s Messiah to a full house at The Turner Centre in Kerikeri.  Conductor John Jackets appeared stunned as he made three curtain calls. It was as if the audience were asking for an encore!

The choir of around 80 singers was joined by four of New Zealand’s finest soloists and an amazing orchestra along with a number of invited singers from around Northland.  Soprano Elaine Wogan and mezzo-soprano Kate Spence were performing with BOIS for the first time and their singing was just glorious. There was a welcome return to Auckland based tenor Lachlan Craig and Chalium Poppy, bass  whose ‘Sound the trumpet’ with sparkling solo trumpet by Stephen Bemelman was a ‘show stopper’.  The orchestra lead by Emily Allen played with a great sense of ensemble and clarity with fine continuo playing of Michael Bell (organ) and Janet Robinson (cello).

Numerous wonderful accolades were received from soloists, visiting singers and the audience.  Here are a few:
     “I’ve sung the Messiah numerous times and never received a reaction like this – it’s very special”
     “Please invite me to sing again sometime”
     “The best performance of the Messiah I’ve ever had the privilege of hearing anywhere”
     “This is the best Bay of Islands Singers performance ever”
     “Your singing was magnificent”

The Singers sincerely thank John Jackets for his tutelage and guidance in their preparation for the performance.


Following on from our performance of  'The Messiah' on the 4th December, a member of the audience wrote this lovely poem:

Handel’s Messiah        10.12.2016     Sarah Angus

Brooding expectation in tuning violins.
Audience anticipation of familiar joy
from music touched by genius.

The Conductor's careful control
with back to the audience,
but fully present
with orchestra and choir,
as they navigate melodies
striving for perfection.

The singers perfectly positioned
as each voice carries
clearly to eager ears.

Peace fueled delight
wrapped in Isaiah's comfort,
and John the Baptist's resounding cry,
beheading not silencing his words of life.

The Glory of the Lord shall be revealed
and all flesh shall see it together.
Sweet clear voices and deeper resonance
join in sublime harmony.

Voices chime out in peals of praise.
Manuscripts clasped in fervent hands,
each one in rapt attention
to the finely polished score.

Divine inspiration within Handel's mind.
God's Word wrapped in glorious tuneful form.

Unto us a Child is born.
Unto us a Son is given.
He shall be called Wonderful.
Full throated proclamation pours forth,
lifting spirits and warming hearts
with satisfying Truth.

God's glory manifest in crafted chorus
and the trumpets shrill cry,
a journey through the Messiah's life.

And He shall reign for ever and ever.

Long after the concert goers
wend they way home
with satisfied hearts and minds,
and alleluias rising from their lips






































May 2019 poster