We could all do with an uplift of spirits, listening to the toe-tapping, swinging sounds of Irving Berlin, Cole Porter and the Gershwin Brothers.

Such an opportunity is coming our way this month, as the Central Otago Regional Choir performs its Christmas concert.

Conducted by Richard Madden, accompanied by Sandra Crawshaw on piano and supported by the drumming skill of local legend Peter Doyle, the choir will have you welcoming the joy of the coming Christmas season.

Richard Madden, QSM, was for 19 years the Musical Director of the Royal Dunedin Male Choir, Musical Director of Knox College, and a long-standing member of St Paul’s Cathedral Choir.

He has written more than 50 choral compositions, his decision to retire to Clyde in 2019 was Central Otago Regional Choir’s, and our gain.

For this concert, as well as the much-loved swing melodies, there’ll be a selection of John Rutter’s unforgettable original carols, like Jesus Christ, and Shepherd’s Pipe Carol’.

The choir likes to support guest musicians, and this year they are very excited to welcome two remarkable young artists, pianist Abhinath Berry and soprano Rhiannon Cooper. Rhiannon was in the New Zealand Youth Choir from 2017-2019 and is now a member of Octagon Ensemble.

This year she was a soloist with Simon O’Neill and Anna Leese.

Abhinath only took up the piano at 15 years of age, and now, five years later, completing his piano and composition degree at the University of Otago, he was placed second in the Dunedin Concerto Competition.

There are three chances to catch this concert in Central Otago:

  • Arrowtown, Fri, 19 Nov, 7.30pm, Athenaeum Hall.
  • Wanaka, Sat, 20 Nov, 7.30pm, Lake Wanaka Centre
  • Alexandra, Sun 21 Nov, 2.30pm, Memorial Theatre.

Tickets ($25) may be purchased locally at Cromwell Paper Plus.  School students free. Due to Covid regulations, door sales may be limited.

Don’t forget your masks.

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