Choir News


Congratulations to our youngest choir member, Iona Panoho, who came third in the recent 'Stars in Their Eyes' event at the ASB theatre. Performing as Aretha Franklin, Iona raised $250 for her chosen charity, Upbeat Development Orchestra and Theory Club. 

Photo courtesy the Marlborough Sun.

Coming Up

Last Night of the Proms

Arrangements are coming together for the 'Last Night of the Proms'. There will be more than 100 people on stage from the combined brass band, orchestra and choir, so it will be a fantastic spectacle and a thrilling event to take part in.​ 

Our uniform for the first half of the concert will be our 'formal' one of black bottom halves and white shirts on top. At halftime we will change into bright colours and as much BLING as you can lay your hands on. Tiaras optional.

In the first half we will be singing (not necessarily in this order):

Hallelujah Chorus


The Long Day Closes

Luck be a Lady

In the second half we will be singing (along with the audience):


I Vow to thee my Country

Rule Britannia 

Land of Hope and Glory

Hine e HIne

National Anthem in Te Reo and English

It's going to be a great event, so don't forget to tell all your friends, family, neighbours etc about it. NOTE that the publicity, posters etc show the concert on Saturday evening beginning at 7.30. However, there seems to be a certain rugby match on later that evening, so it has been put back (forward?) to 7.00 to allow sports fans time to get home in time for the match on TV. Perhaps have a black marker pen handy so you can amend the time on any posters you see about the town!

Flags, toitoi ...

The call has gone out for any of the above to help decorate the theatre foyer and auditorium. If you can help, contact Kathryn, We'll also be looking for streamers, hooters etc – anything to contribute to an atmosphere of celebration (aka controlled chaos).


For those needing to brush up on the Maori version, here are the words:

E ihowa Atua,
O ngā iwi mātou rā,
Āta whakarongona;
Me aroha noa
Kia hua ko te pai;
Kia tau tō atawhai;
Manaakitia mai



This will be performed, with members of the Marlborough Civic Orchestra, at 4pm on Sunday 8 December in the ASB theatre.

The songs we we will be singing are listed below. (Page numbers for the Novello edition.)   

4. And the glory of the Lord (p.10)  

9. O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion (p.88) 

12. For unto us a child is born (p.47) 

17. Glory to God in the highest (p.61)

22. Behold the Lamb of God (p.80)

24. Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows (p.87)

25. And with his stripes we are healed (p.91)

28. He trusted in God that he would deliver him (p.104)

33. Lift up your heads, O ye gates (p.116)

44.  Hallelujah (p.158)

46. Since by man came death (p.172)

53. Worthy is the Lamb, Amen (p.196)


Handel's Messiah was first performed on April 13, 1742 in Dublin, Ireland as a charity concert benefiting three charities: prisoners’ debt relief, the Mercers Hospital and the Charitable Infirmary. Handel sought and was given permission from St. Patrick’s and Christ Church cathedrals to use their choirs and he even had his own organ shipped to Ireland for the performance. To ensure that the audience would be the largest possible, gentlemen were asked to remove their swords and women were asked not to wear hoops in their dresses. The takings from the concert were around £400 and each charity received about £127 which secured the release of 142 indebted prisoners.


The reason for this has its origins in a legend that may or may not be true. The often repeated story is that King George II was so moved by the chorus during the London premiere that he rose to his feet. Because of protocol, the audience in attendance also stood and thus the tradition was born. However, many experts agree that there is no evidence that King George II was even in attendance at the premiere. Newspapers of the time did not mention his attendance and it would be unlikely they would leave out the detail of a royal presence. The first written documentation of this story was a letter written 37 years after the London premiere. The London premiere also received a rather cool reception unlike the Dublin one which was a hit. All of this has led to numerous debates and countless passive-aggressive battles between sitters and standers.

Taken from the website below. Worth looking up for more interesting material about the Messiah.

QUESTION: Do audiences in Blenheim stand during the singing of the Hallelujah chorus??

Practice videos

The internet is full of useful videos for those who want to learn or practise their parts. You may prefer to sing along with all the other parts either muted or at normal volume, or learn yours in isolation. The suggestions below are just some of those available. Let us know if you find a particularly useful one to share with the rest of the choir.


These feature an instrumental accompaniment with your 'voice' emphasised above the others.


Scroll down beyond the Verdi etc and you'll find a full range of Messiah parts.


In these videos a gentleman named WML takes you through individual parts for some of the pieces of the Messiah. It is like a one-on-one tutorial and excellent for beginners.


Voice recordings in mp3 format with individual parts emphasised. Download and sing along while you work on something else!

You might find the notes on Messiah Markings 2017.pdf interesting (slightly familiar, even).

Messiah Soloists Confirmed

Emma Pearson (soprano)


Emma Pearson is an Australian soprano who held the position of principal artist at Hessisches Staatstheatre, Wiesbaden from 2005–14. When she left the company, the State of Hessen awarded Emma the honorary title of 'Kammersängerin' (literally meaning 'chamber singer', an honorific title for distinguished singers of opera). She is the youngest opera singer to have ever received this title. She has performed countless titles among her 30 roles throughout this time in Germany, and on her return to Australia. Emma is a graduate of a Bachelor of Music (Vocal Performance) from the University of Western Australia.

Emma and our bass Wade Kernot are a married couple, juggling their busy careers with the care of their young son.

Elin Tomos (contralto)


 Elin Tomos performs with the Marlborough Singers regularly, and is well known to Marlborough audiences, her local fame enhanced by her singing of the National Anthem at several All Black test matches. 

Born in Wales, Elin studied music at the prestigious Kings College in London and received her vocal tuition at the Royal Academy of Music.

After coming to NZ, she taught Performing Arts to the children at Springlands School for six years but is currently taking a break from teaching so that she can focus all of her energy on being a mum to a young daughter.



Declan Cudd (tenor)


New Zealander Declan Cudd has been a Freemasons New Zealand Opera Artist with New Zealand Opera since 2017. Declan holds a Bachelor of Music and Post Graduate Diploma in Classical Performance Voice from the New Zealand School of Music, where he was awarded the Te Koki New Zealand School of Music Directors Scholarship.

Since 2013 he has performed in New Zealand Opera tours of Sweeney Todd and The Mikado and played a number of other roles. Concert performances include the tenor solos in Elijah, Mozart Mass in C minor, Mozart Requiem, Rossini Petite Messe Solennelle, Donizetti Messa Di Requiem, and Handel’s Messiah.

Wade Kernot (bass)


Since he was a founding member of Auckland's Opera Factory in around 2002, Wade Kernot has had a stellar career, performing major roles in Europe, Australia and NZ. In 2009 he was a semi-finalist representing NZ in both the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World and the Neue Stimmen, in Germany, then from 2010-2015 he held a full-time principal position at Theater St Gallen, Switzerland.

Wade has appeared as a soloist in many concert performances with the New Zealand Symphony, and Vector Wellington and Auckland Philharmonia Orchestras, and held a principal position with the Australian Opera Studio in Perth, later graduating with honours. He then pursued further studies at the National Opera Studio in London and attended the Solti/Te Kanawa Accademia di Bel Canto and the Verbier Festival Opera Studio. 


Two interesting concerts coming up



"Three of NZ’s top musicians (piano, cello, and violin) who are renowned for not only their insane talents, but also their warm and casual kiwi stage presence and interesting mix of contemporary and classical works within one concert experience."


Ashley Brown, (cello), Amalia Hall (violin) and 

Somi Kim (piano). 

ASB Theatre Marlborough

Tuesday October 15th, 7pm

Tickets $40 Adults / $20 Students

For more information see their website


A love letter to the oceans

Voices New Zealand Chamber Choir
Musical Director, Dr Karen Grylls

Nelson Centre of Musical Arts, 19 October 2019

Voices New Zealand perform a stunning musical and visual reminder about the beauty and importance of our oceans, essential to survival on our planet. This inspiring concert celebrates our oceans as taonga with uplifting and moving music from around the globe.

A newly commissioned work by New Zealand’s Warren Maxwell (composer of the glorious soundtrack to the Waka Odyssey in the 2018 NZ Festival) will capture his personal experiences of the Southern Ocean and Antarctica when spending time on the ice. Traversing the northern ocean currents, Finnish composer Jaakko Mäntyjärvi will create a new work about the Arctic Ocean.

A landscape of projected moving images will accompany the music. Created by multimedia artists Tim and Mic Gruchy whose visual designs have featured in works by the likes of Opera Australia, Sydney Theatre Company, New Zealand Festival and Australian Dance Theatre, this will be a spectacular audio visual celebration.