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City Choir Dunedin and its fore-runners have been entertaining audiences for 150 years. The present-day choir, one of New Zealand’s oldest, traces its origins back to two choral groups, the Musical Union and the Choral Society, which were formed in 1863 and amalgamated the following year, with a membership of around 45, compared with today’s 120. The choir (registered as Dunedin Choral Society Inc.) has been operating under different names over the years: Schola Cantorum from 1967, City of Dunedin Choir from 1993, and City Choir Dunedin from 2013. As befits a community choir, the Choir attracts people of all ages, from all walks of life, and from around the Otago region.

Over the years the choir has been led and inspired by many talented and dedicated musical directors and it is undoubtedly because of their drive and vision that are among the reasons for the choir’s longevity and success, combined with the commitment of singers, the hard work of committee members, audience support, and financial assistance from many sources.

As Dunedin’s leading exponent of large-scale choral works, the choir strives for the highest standards in performing the classics of the repertoire, such as Bach’s St Matthew Passion, and Christmas Oratorio, Handel’s Messiah, the Beethoven Ninth and Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius. In addition, the choir has performed major new compositions by New Zealand composers, such as Missa Pacifica by David Hamilton in 2006, and John Drummond’s The Journey Home in 2012. For its 150th anniversary celebrations the choir has commissioned a new work from New Zealander Christopher Marshall and we look forward to performing the world premiere of For What Can Be More Beautiful? in 2013.

Source: City Choir Dunedin, December 2012

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