Register 2020



It is pleasing to see the choristers come from all sectors of the College community and work collaboratively to create a very cohesive and musical force. Membership remains strong at around 88 boys, with many also being leading academics, thespians and top competitive sportsmen. This adds to the dynamic mix of the choir while bringing its own challenges of ensuring the members meet their rehearsal and performance commitments. It was great to have 18 Year 9 students join the choir, reinforcing the treble and alto lines in particular. Year 9 students Angus Whitteker and Harry Vaughan took up the roles of co-head trebles and have been strong role models in leading with outstanding musicianship throughout the year.

This year Medbury School joined us for the Advent Service and added another layer in the fabulous rendition of Purcell’s famous “Rejoice in the Lord Alway”. A large congregation gathered to support the choristers and many commented on the professional standard of the works and the flow of the service. Once again, we were treated to a fabulous evening for Carols on the Quad. The inclement weather of the preceding days had cleared and a warm night added to the magic of what has become a well-supported community event. We certainly were lucky. Highlights from the choir included Chilcott’s “Rejoice, Rejoice” and Rutter’s “Carol of the Magi”, which was beautifully accompanied by cello soloist Jasmine Hooker. Special mention needs to be made of the outstanding solos of treble Angus Whitteker in opening the service with “Once in Royal David’s City”, and Thomas McClean and Ben Davis in “Carol of the Magi”. Carols on the Quad always signals the end for the Year 13 students in the choir, who have been an effective and musical group. The leadership from Head of Choir Thomas McClean and Deputy Head of Choir and Head of Schola Cantorum Ben Davis has been highly effective, creating a tight leadership team alongside Sam Barnett as crucifer. It is once again an honour for the choir to see both the Head and Deputy Head of School being members of the choir. Congratulations to Dominic Edmond and Louis Gunn for their superb support this year and, amongst all their other commitments, for still making time to commit to the choir’s activities.

While there have been so many interruptions to the College programme this year due to the pandemic, the Chapel Choir has maintained a strong presence within the College community leading services and at large events. The cancellation of the New Zealand Choral Federation Big Sing national choral competition and a scheduled European tour in September, whilst disappointing, has allowed the choir to focus on its core skills and to develop more advanced choral repertoire. The fact that as a College community we could not come together and worship in weekly Chapel services and gather for our regular Sunday evening services until Term 4, allowed the choir to rehearse a work they had intended to be pivotal to their European tour repertoire. Louis Vierne’s “Messe Solennelle” (Solemn Mass) for choir and two organs is a magnificent tour de force and was presented as part of College’s liturgical acknowledgement of All Saints’ Day. Accompanied by organists Jeremy Woodside and Year 10 student Joshua Hooker, the large congregation was transported into the musical world of Paris’s noted Notre-Dame Cathedral. It is intended that the choir in future years continue with this tradition as the College community remember those who have gone before us. The inclusion of waiata in College’s acknowledgement of the bicultural world in which we live, has seen the choir continue to lead a number of mihi whakatau and po¯ whiri ceremonies plus the development of the school waiata “Ko Te Whakapono Ki Te Atua”.

Honours Ties are a means of acknowledging those Year 13

members who have not only given outstanding commitment, but also exceptional service and skill to the choir over five years. All members awarded this year were not only in the Chapel Choir, but in a number of cases were also members of Schola Cantorum and, in 2019, the combined choir with St Margaret’s College. Their leadership and musical ability has contributed to the work of the choir over the years as they lead Chapel services. Many have toured internationally several times with the choir and competed in a number of Big Sing national finales. Recipients of Honours Ties this year were: Sam Barnett, Ben Davis, Dominic Edmond, Louis Gunn, Charlie Hanson, Ederick He, George Lill, Thomas McClean, Will Simcock, Owen Short and John Wong. No College year is complete without the annual Advent and Carols on the Quad services.

Many of the choir learn singing from vocal tutor Shelley Spang.


Christ’s College Canterbury

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