2022 Festival Singers’
Vocal Workshop

We invite all singers to our next Vocal Workshop

on Saturday, 12 February 2022


St Hilda’s Anglican Church

311 The Parade, Island Bay

from 10:00am to 3:30pm

(Please arrive by 9:50am. Coffee & tea available from 9:30am.)


We’ll learn:

  • Singing technique

  • Vocal health

  • Good posture

  • New music for 2022

The sessions will be professionally led by:

  • Rebecca Woodmore: Soloist and singing teacher

  • Emile van der Mespel: Experienced, fully registered Alexander Technique teacher

  • Ingrid Schoenfeld: Musical director

  • Jonathan Berkahn: Composer and accompanist

We’ll provide morning tea and copies of the music.

Bring your own lunch,
and swimming costume for a dip in the sea during the lunchbreak

A Vaccine Pass is required

The cost is just $30.00

Book online securely at EventBrite


Or bring cash on the day.

 Travel by bus:

Catch a No. 1 Island Bay bus from town.

Get off at stop 6134 outside the church.

See you there!

Festival Singers 2022 plans

Thanks for visiting our website.

We rehearse at 7:00pm Monday nights at Newlands Christian Assembly 126 Newlands Road, Newlands, Wellington. Our first rehearsal for this year is 14 February 2022.

Please note that we require a Vaccine Pass,
and please don’t come to rehearsals if you are unwell.
Wearing a mask is recommended
, but not mandatory.

We are working on concerts and dates for 2022 and will post them here when they are finalised.

If you are looking for a choir to sing with in 2022 we’d love hear from you.
Contact details are at the bottom of the page.

Our Last Concert

Ceremony of Carols Christmas concert

7:00pm Saturday 20 Nov. 2021
St John’s on the Hill, Johnsonville


Benjamin Britten’s stunning
Ceremony of Carols for choir and harp
Michelle Velvin harpist.

We also performed a sparkling selection of traditional and contemporary Christmas music, by Gardner, Stopford, Lauridsen and new works by Jonathan Berkahn.

Programme Booklet

Click here to download a PDF
of the programme booklet for the concert


Starlit Night Concert 

Our concert is postponed until 2022 due to the Covid Lockdown

We will advise a new concert date and time
as soon as they are finalised



    • Seek Him That Maketh the Seven Stars by Jonathan Dove
    • Nocturnes (including Sure on this Shining Night) by Morten Lauridsen, and
    • Music by Jonathan Berkahn

Our soprano soloist is Rowena Simpson

Documentary Video about making the recording of A Hopkins Gloria


Buy Our Digital Album
A Hopkins Gloria

Click here to order the album on our Payhip store $15


Here is Alexander Garside’s trailer video about the album

Composer’s note:

A Hopkins Gloria was initially premiered at a concert that included two other Glorias, by Vivaldi and by John Rutter. In the back of my mind were Classical and Baroque “cantata-masses” like Vivaldi’s Gloria, where each fragment of the (Latin) text is spun out into a complete movement. I was tempted in this direction, but decided at length to set the text in English (mostly the version in A New Zealand Prayer Book) – partly because most of the rest of the concert was in Latin. And as soon as I had made that decision, I felt that I couldn’t repeat each clause indefinitely, treating them as tokens to fill out abstract musical designs, but had to regard the text (or at least larger sections of it) as meaningful wholes.

Then I had an idea. Gerard Manley Hopkins’ Pied Beauty (“Glory be to God for dappled things…”) came into my head, which I had attempted without success to set at various times over the last twenty-five years. I thought of ‘inhabiting’ this canonical text with other, related texts (“and the birds of the air shall make their homes in its branches…”). It occurred to me that one of Hopkins’ Terrible Sonnets, written out of his blackest depression, could make a useful counterpoint to the Agnus Dei sections; then I wondered if the second half of his “That Nature is a Heraclitean Fire and of the comfort of the Resurrection” might work as a way of bringing about a return to the joyful mood of the whole.

So there is a kind of spiritual drama, a dark night of the soul, at the heart of the piece. And it may be worth saying that the emotional dynamic of this section – the attempt to soothe and manage dark imaginings in the early hours of the morning by repetition of the Agnus Dei prayer – is, quite literally, something that has been a regular part of my spiritual life. I do believe, somehow, that joy will have the final word; but suffering and resurrection have to happen first.

Jonathan Berkahn, December 2020


  • For more information, please contact:

  • Ingrid Schoenfeld (Musical Director)
    ingrid.s@outlook.co.nz, 027 240 6669  or

  • Philip Garside (Secretary)
    books@pgpl.co.nz  475 8855

Site designed and maintained by Philip Garside: www.pgpl.co.nz

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