Concerts & News

Festival Singers’ Workshop

10am to 4pm Saturday 1 Feb 2020 at St Hilda’s Anglican Church, 311 The Parade, Island Bay

Tune up for 2020 with Festival Singers

This will be a beautiful day of singing and swimming and we’ll all learn a lot. We’re fortunate to have some incredible people coming and I am so excited for you to work with them!

First we have the wonderful Chalene Scott, who has a Bachelor’s in Performing Arts but more importantly, has been doing theatre for almost all her life. She has done musical direction for many musicals, as well as devised movement and theatre pieces, and is excited to bring a tiny bit of theatricality to your day. She’ll be leading a physical warm-up to start us off.

Next we have Maaike Christie-Beekman, who will be doing a vocal coaching session with us. Maaike is a trained singer who has been leading choral workshops for years and is very well-known in the Wellington choral scene. She’s an expert in helping choirs find their best sound, and I’m absolutely thrilled that she’ll be working with us.

Jonathan Berkahn needs no introduction – we all know he’s a genius – and he’ll be running a very useful session on sight-singing.

After that, Ingrid will introduce us to some exciting 2020 repertoire.

To end the afternoon, Tessa Dalgety-Evans will lead our Waiata Reo Māori session. Tessa studies Music (cello performance), Māori Studies (reo Māori), Linguistics and English at the University of Otago. She has performance experience in kapa haka rōpū, choirs, orchestras and choral conducting.

Here’s the schedule for the day:

  • Coffee and tea from 9:30
  • Please arrive no later than 9:50
  • 10:00 Welcome
  • 15-20 minutes of physical warmups, and some rhythmic exercises led by Chalene Scott
  • 10:30 – 12:00 Vocal coaching led by Maaike Christie-Beekman
  • 12:00 – 1:00 Lunch and SWIMMING
  • 1:00 – 1:30 Sightsinging workshop led by Jonathan Berkahn
  • 1:30 – 2:30 Exciting 2020 repertoire, led by Ingrid
  • 2:30 – 3:00 Afternoon tea
  • 3:00 – 3:45/4:00 Waiata Reo Māori workshop led by Tessa Dalgety-Evans

With Maaike, you’ll be singing the Duruflé Ubi Caritas (a familiar piece in our repertoire) and Jonathan’s Pied Beauty, which we did in our August concert.

Email Philip Garside and he will email you PDF copies of both pieces so you can remind yourself how they go/learn your part.

The less you’re worried about notes, the more you can think about diction and vocal technique with Maaike. However, there’s no need to print the music to bring to the workshop – we’ll have everything there for you. Here’s a link to the Duruflé:

Here’s all you need to bring:

  •  Your glorious self (and any friends you like – it’s open to everyone)
  • $15 cash
  • A packed lunch
  • A soft pencil and eraser
  • A swimsuit and towel if you’d like to swim at lunch

* * * * *

Our Musical Director


We welcomed Ingrid Schoenfeld as our Musical Director from July 2019

Ingrid Schoenfeld is a classical pianist and accomplished teacher. She completed her Bachelor of Music in Classical Performance with first-class Honours at the New Zealand School of Music.

She has learned primarily from Richard Mapp as well as Dr. Jian Liu, and has played in masterclasses for Diedre Irons, Janos Cegledy, Paul Rickard-Ford, Natalia Sheludiakova, and the New Zealand String Quartet, among others. In addition to piano, she also studied harpsichord for three years under prominent early music specialists Dr Erin Helyard and Douglas Mews.

She made her orchestral debut in 2016 with the Nelson Symphony Orchestra, playing Shostakovich’s 2nd piano concerto.

Ingrid studied conducting at the New Zealand School of Music under Kenneth Young, and has conducted and accompanied multiple choirs around Wellington, including the Northern Chorale, St. James church choir, and the St. Mary of the Angels Youth Choir.

She sang with the St. Mary of the Angels church choir for two years, was a reserve member in the New Zealand Youth Choir, and currently sings in the Wellington Cathedral Choir under Michael Stewart.

In addition to performing regularly in solo, chamber, and choral concerts, she runs a successful teaching studio.

Ingrid has many exciting, creative ideas and the choir has a bright future under her leadership.

Ingrid was Festival Singer’s Accompanist from the start of 2018 to mid-2019.

Singalong Messiah

Festival Singers (director Jonathan Berkahn)
Northern Chorale (director Monika Smith)

Tawa Orchestra — conductor Thomas Nikora


With soloists:

Shayna Tweed

Linden Loader

Declan Cudd

William King

7 pm Sunday 2 December 2018

Wesley Methodist Church,
75 Taranaki Street, Wellington

The audience sang these choruses with us

4 — And the glory of the Lord

19 — O thou that tellest

12 — For unto us a child is born

17 — Glory to God in the highest

23 — Behold the Lamb of God

24 — Surely he hath borne our griefs

25 — And with his stripes

26 — All we like sheep

28 — He trusted in God

33 — Lift up your heads – second part

44 — Hallelujah!

46 — Since by man came death

53 — Worthy is the Lamb – Amen

Click here to download the
PDF copy of the Programme booklet for this concert

SingFest 2018

Festival Singers was one of 8 community choirs who gathered
on Saturday 7 April 2018 St Peter’s Church, Ruahine Street, Palmerston North, for SingFest 2018
***Special thanks to Kate Love Photographer for the photos***

Ingrid’s dynamic conducting set us off at a fast pace, singing Awake the Harp – from Haydn’s Creation

Jonathan leading us.

The Festival Singers pews

Singing Shenandoah

Singing Shenandoah


2017 Christmas Concert


Come Celebrate Christmas

Music included:
Mozart’s charming Pastoral Mass in G major, K. 140, and works by J S Bach, William Billings, J Barnby, Edward Elgar, Jonathan Berkhan and Zoltan Kodaly.

Directed by Jonathan Berkahn

7-00pm Sunday 10 December 2017
St Barnabas Anglican Church
35 Box Hill, Khandallah

Thomas Nikora ~ accompanist
The Festival Players
& special guests
The Northern Chorale.

 A koha for Downtown Community Ministry was collected

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


NZ Choral Federation workshop

On 5 & 6 May 2017 several Festival Singers members took part in the NZ Choral Federation’s workshop learning and then performing Donizetti’s Mass in G Minor.

Wonderfully led by conductor David Squire and accompanied by our own Jonathan Berkahn. Thomas Nikora also helped out leading sectionals.

Below are quick snaps of the basses, tenors and sopranos (top) and altos (bottom)


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