Seventeen-year-olds Amelia Foster and Greta Healy-Melhuish didn’t realise the significance of the New Zealand Secondary Students Choir’s upcoming concert at Waipu Cathedral on 20 January...

That’s until Greta’s father, John Melhuish, reminded her he’d sung there for many years, as had his father, his uncle, his cousins …. In fact, John’s not even sure how many of the Melhuish clan have been in the St John’s Cathedral Choir.  Amelia and her mother Natalie Stent both currently sing in the choir!

Amelia, from Woodford House, is the one of two Hawkes Bay students in NZSSC, our prestigious national choir for fourteen to eighteen year olds.  The other is Sam Harris from Central Hawkes Bay College (image attached). Greta, who was Head Girl of Wellington East Girls College in 2017 (John was Head Boy at Napier Boys in 1978) is NZSSC co-leader with Morgan King from Dilworth College.

NZSSC gathers New Zealand’s finest young voices and offers a once in a lifetime opportunity — a two-year membership to learn from top vocal teachers and consultants culminating in an international tour. In July 2018, Sam and Amelia will travel with the choir to Hong Kong to attend ‘Belt & Road’ World Choir Festivalas well performances in Shanghai. In 2016, NZSSC had a blast on tour to Canada and as Guest Choir at the  International Choir Kathaumixw.

Arriving in Hawkes Bay on 17 January, the 57-strong choir  will be rehearsing at Lindisfarne College in the lead-up to the Napier concert.  Under the direction of Dr Andrew Withington, this vibrant, young choir will offer a dynamic, multicultural repertoire, including works by Eric Whitacre, Shawn Kirchner, Pachelbel, Sydney Guillaume, David N. Childs and Puanaki Whanau.

All the students are following on from some of our biggest opera names. In 2016, NZSSC celebrated its 30th anniversary with an impressive alumni, including Simon O’Neill, Johnathan Lemalu, Christopher Bruerton, Anna Leese Guidi and Hawkes Bay soprano Madeleine Pierard.  Former Havelock North High School student, Benson Wilson, is another alumnus inspiring current members. Benson won the 2016 Lexus Song Quest and has gone on to study at Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.

 

New Zealand Secondary Students Choir in Hawkes Bay
Saturday 20 January, 7:30pm, Waipu Cathedral of St John
Adults $20, Students $10 with ID, tickets here

For more information, interviews or images, contact: 

Rachel Healy, PUBLICIST. 027 5277732, rachel@rachelhealy.co.nz