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Who we are: Get to know some of our choir members

  • Jim Allardyce

    Picture of Jim AllardyceJim Allardyce here from Whangarei. Commuting to Auckland for work, down on a Tuesday and back on a Friday, has opened up a new side to my social calendar. Rehearsals at the choir have become my weekly highlight forming a natural part of my week. Joining only this year, I remember going for my first visit to "check it all out" - I sat at the back amazed at the choir sight-reading Mendelssohn in German (as it was their first reading and performance of the piece). Very soon I was in the thick of it - rolling my r's in Mendelssohn's tongue with the other singers in my bass one section. My inaugural concert in the Auckland Town Hall was unforgettable as the choir was stupendous.

    My day job is highly motivating, as a health and safety professional.  Working throughout a range of industries spanning 25 years I continue to provide coaching to ensure people take ownership for managing risk. My daily priority is sustaining zero harm and I do this by ensuring safe work methods and promoting a great safety culture. 

     

     
  • Tom Bishop

    Picture of Tom BishopTom Bishop was born in Australia, but has spent more than half of the time since out of it. He started choral singing at the age of nine in the fourth grade, where his teacher, a tall, elegant “confirmed bachelor” embraced new methods of education, which mostly consisted of allowing the class to run wild, but managed somehow to hold onto the idea of discipline enough to conduct the School Choir. In addition to singing, he also mangled the clarinet. Since then he has sung in high school, at University, at work, for work, in his spare time, and in less likely venues such as showers, streets and supermarkets, sometimes to the amazement and annoyance of partners, his children, and random passers-by. More formally, he has sung with the Yale Glee Club, the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus, and the Cleveland Early Music Singers, and has been fortunate to work with conductors such as Fenno Heath, Robert Shaw, Pierre Boulez, Richard Hickox, Simon Rattle, and Christoph von Dohnanyi, as well as Uwe Grodd. In his non-singing time, he teaches at the University of Auckland, where he lectures principally on Shakespeare and Drama. He is pleased to be a Tenor 1 because it means he gets a break at auditions.

     
  • Colleen Elliott

    Picture of Colleen ElliottColleen Elliott joined Auckland Choral in 1999. She comes from a musical background starting with piano at aged 7 which also included being a foundation member of the Whangarei Childrens Choir formed by her Mother in the mid 1950’s. Colleen passed LTCL performers in piano but never completed it as the desire to sing became more the focus and formal vocal training commenced.

    After marrying and raising 3 children over the next 2 decades, singing lessons ceased and all music was put aside until she heard Auckland Choral perform in 1997 at the opening of the newly refurbished Auckland Town Hall. This inspiring performance ultimately led to the courage to audition and acceptance as a singing member. Colleen loves learning the vast range of wonderful new works, the regular vocal coaching given every week, sharing her love of music with others and benefits significantly from the health benefits that singing offers. She has been actively involved as Membership Secretary for NZ Choral Federation for the past 4 years. Vivante Recording, a supporter of Auckland Choral is managed by her husband Larry who records most performances for archive purposes and has engineered two CD’s for Auckland Choral in past years.

     
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