Christ’s College Chapel Choir

Sunday September 29, 2024 @ 15h00

Christ’s College was established in 1850 as part of the Canterbury Church of England settlement. The College has throughout time developed into one of New Zealand’s leading boys schools. As an independent Anglican school for boys it draws its 640 students not only from Canterbury but also all over New Zealand and abroad. While it has preserved tradition, it has been innovative and a leader in many fields of boys education. Its campus occupies a prime site beside Christchurch’s picturesque Hagley Park, and has been described as containing ‘the finest collection of buildings in New Zealand’ where the modern have been aesthetically blended with original heritage buildings.
The Chapel choir is one of the largest male voice chapel choirs in the country. Comprising 128 members, it is an auditioned choir ranging in age from 12 to 18 years, representing all levels of the college community. Positions in the choir are keenly sort after with many of its members being leading sportsmen, academic scholars as well as music scholar. Singing in four to eight parts with trebles, altos, tenors and basses, their repertoire not only reflects the college’s Anglican heritage, but it also encompasses a range of sacred and secular works from leading New Zealand and other contemporary composers. Commissioned works by
leading New Zealand choral composers Patrick Shepherd, Chris Archer, David Hamilton and the Puanaki Whanau are included in their repertoire.
Established over 150 years ago as musical leadership to the regular chapel services, the chapel choir leads the school in their weekly Eucharist and Evensong services. They can be heard in services and concert work throughout the city and on national radio and television. They are also in constant demand to perform at both civic and public functions. In recent years they have combined with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and Christchurch City Choir in performances of Christmas Crackers, Orf’s “Carmina Burana,” the Mozart and Lloyd Webber “Requiems.” They performed with the Welsh National Male Voice choir sung at the rugby test match between the All Blacks and the Springboks, performed with the Lions Rugby Tour
choir and were part of the massed choir when the Vienna Boys’ Choir visited Christchurch.
The choir has toured several times within New Zealand and Australia. For the last four years they have been selected as one of the top sixteen choirs to participate in the highly competitive national finale of the NZ Secondary Schools Big Sing Choral competition. In 2004, 2005 and 2006 they gained Silver awards.
This is the Choirs sixth European Tour with performances in leading venues such as St George’s Chapel, St Paul”s Cathedral, Notre Dame, La Madeline, Salzburg Dom, Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Stephesdom in Vienna and St Peters Basilica in Rome, to name a few. In 2003 a small group from the choir toured Italy. 2007 they represented NZ in the inaugural Vienna International Youth Music Festival.
Robert Aburn Musical Director
Robert is an experienced choral director and has been with Christ’s College for over 24 years. He has built the choir up to a powerful ensemble that is well respected both within the Christchurch community and nationally. Collaboration with leading NZ choral composers has placed the choir at the forefront of developing innovative programmes. Recent work with the Puanki whanau as seen the creation of three powerful waiata for the choir which acknowledges the importance of celebrating the art forms of our indigenous New Zealand people.
In the past Robert has directed the NZ Male choir in tours to Europe and Australia. In 2012 he had the honour of directing an Australasian choir made up of choristers from leading NZ and Australian male voice choirs and the London Welsh choirs Olympic Games Choral celebration at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

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Repertoire performed will be selected from the following:
Magnificat & Nunc dimittis (1989) John Rutter
Magnificat in B-flat (2007) David Hamilton (NZ)
Messe in C (1866) Anton Bruckner
Missa Brevis Sancti Joannis de Deo (1775) Joseph Haydn
Agnus Dei from “Winter’s Dream” (1996) Paul Halley
Alleluia (2019) Michael John Trotta
Ave Maria (1992) Javier Busto
Beati Mortui (1837) Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Cantate Domino (1657) Guiseppe Ottavio Pitoni
Earth Song (2006) Frank Ticheli
For the Fallen (1992) Mike Sammes
Gloria (1991) John Leavitt
God be in my Head (1970) John Rutter
Hold out your Light (2019) Traditional Spiritual
Arr. Stacey V. Gibbs
Hear my Prayer (2001) Moses Hogan
Arr. Roger Emerson
If ye love me (1992) Philip Wilby
In Flanders Fields (2021) Rachel De Vore Fogarty
Jubilate Deo (1994) Sherri Porterfield
Locus Iste (1869) Anton Bruckner
O sing joyfully (1600’s) Adrian Batten
Oculi Omnium (2013) Bob Chilcott
Oculi Omnium (1927) Charles Wood
Save the Child from “Liverpool Oratorio” (1991) Paul McCartney & Carl Davis
Set me as a seal (1997) David N.Childs
Soon we will be done Traditional Spiritual
Arr. Kyle Pederson
The Call (2021) Mack Wilberg
The Lord bless you and keep you (1981) John Rutter
They lie at rest (2016) Tim Knight
Ubi Caritas (1960) Maurice Durufle
Ubi Caritas (2017) Michael J Trotta
Verleih uns Frieden (1831) Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy

E te atua tapu (2023) Commissioned work Te Huaki Puanaki
Haeri mai nga iwi Wehi Whanau
He Honere Ngapo Wehi
Ka waiata ki a Maria (1982) Dick Puanaki
Ko te whakapono ki te atua (2017) Commissioned work Puanaki Whanau
Pokarekare Ana Traditional Maori Waiata,
arr. Robert Aburn
Wairua Tapu Ngapo Wehi
Whakamanawa ki te atua (2019) Commissioned work Puanaki Whanau