- Alison Carey
- Born: 1936
Alison Rosemary Carey (nee Hall) was born in 1936. Many of her ancestors played musical instruments or sang in choirs. As a child she learnt piano and enjoyed theory! She is convinced that she gained an understanding of classical harmony and melody through early constant use of the Methodist Hymn Book (1933).
Organ lessons at St Paul’s Pro-Cathedral were continued in Christchurch with William Hawkey. She completed a BA majoring in music at Canterburry University College, studying with Vernon Griffiths and John Ritchie, and later did counterpoint at Victoria with David Farquhar. Since her student days she has played the organ intermittently for church services and sung in many church choirs, the more memorable being Durham Street Methodist in Christchurch and St James’ Anglican in Lower Hutt.
Based in Lower Hutt she taught theory both privately and in association with other teachers at the Chilton School of Music. In the 1970s and 1980s compositions included a suite for recorders, works or arrangements for community groups, anthems and hymn tunes. In 1982 a cantata, called A Disciple’s Journey was written for St James’ Choir. It featureed the life of St James and the choir has performed it three times, mostly recently in 2009.
Many tunes have been written to hymnwriter Bill Wallace’s words. Several have been published in hymnbooks both here and overseas, including those of the New Zealand Hymnbook Trust. We are an Easter People has become popular in churches around New Zealand, has been broadcast on Radio NZ hymn sessions and has appeared many times on TVNZ’s Praise Be.
In recent years Alison has written three books of organ voluntaries which been played extensively. She enjoyed her membership of the Wellington Organists’ Association, plays monthly for services – piano now – and sings in a madrigal group.
As a fifth generation Lower Hutt Resident she has a keen interest in genealogy and local history. She has published family histories and has written book son the origins of Lower Hutt street names.
Alison is the mother of Ross, composer and pianist; Jillian, who teaches cello and violin; and Helen and Peter, whose musical abilities have been overlaid with other pursuits!Source: Alison Carey, July 2010