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

  • Picture of Josephine ShakiraWith a long history in music and performance, Josephine was singing in choirs from the age of 5. She has had the privilege of singing under Dr Raymond White, Sir David Willcocks (Kings College, Cambridge) and was a member of the New Zealand National Youth Choir with Professor Peter Godfrey from 1985 – 1988.

    Josephine’s eclectic tastes took her into a multitude of performance genres, including Opera, voiceover for TV and Radio jingles, singing in Rock and Punk bands (although some might have labelled that screaming) Street Theatre, and a Children’s Entertainer with ‘The Aunties.’  She has a degree in Education, and qualifications in Film and Multi-Media.

    Josephine works as an Alternative Therapist and Empath.  In January 2015, she returned to classical music, joining Auckland Choral as an Alto 2.

     
  • Picture of Neil Hawkes in a flying armchairHi, I’m Neil Hawkes - I have been singing for a while: Tewkesbury Abbey choir from the ages of 5 to 30yrs, then a variety of English choirs before coming to NZ. When I arrived in Auckland I sang with the Choral Society, then with the Anglican Cathedral Choir and the Graduate Choir, before being stopped by a heart condition (since fixed 100%).

    Other hobbies include gyrocopters - see photo of the flying armchair…

    I am an engineer, currently studying for a PhD at Auckland Uni in mechanical engineering (carbon-neutral power generation).

     
  • Picture of Nigel HighNigel grew up choral singing with the choirs of Kings School and Kings College in Auckland, but then took a break for the next 30 years while focusing on his career as a Consulting Engineer in Ottawa Canada where he moved with his wife in 1981. Later he joined a choir in Ottawa as a way of relieving the stresses of the daily grind, and found that he really enjoyed the challenge, stimulation, and therapy that choral singing provides. He sang with Coro Vivo Ottawa and the Ottawa Festival Chorus for many years, and part time with Auckland Choral since 2006 on his many visits back to New Zealand, before moving back to Auckland with his wife Ming, last year.  He sings as a Tenor 2.

    He thoroughly enjoys the music and camaraderie of Auckland Choral, and the high standards demanded by the professional team headed up by Uwe Grod.  While not singing, he spends as much time as possible sailing on the waters of the Hauraki gulf, and since retiring is a keen traveler and cruiser.   

     
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