Auckland Welsh Choir is committed to the community, as a non-profit organisation we are proud to donate proceeds of our concerts to charity groups which support people in need. Our other main aims are to promote and value Welsh language and music, to maintain a lively, enjoyable and social programme for our members, to strive always for choral excellence, and to challenge ourselves to explore varied repertoire while maintaining our cornerstone of Welsh music.
Auckland Welsh Choir is a member of the New Zealand Choral Federation. NZCF is a non-profit, incorporated organisation whose central purpose is to promote the performance, creation and enjoyment of choral music.
Where we are
We rehearse every Thursday evening in the hall of the lovely historic church of St Barnabas on the corner of Mt Eden and Bellevue Roads. Usual practice takes place between 7.30 and 9.30pm, although at times may be extended until 10.00pm as we draw closer to a concert. Please contact the secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org to advise if you would like to join and will be attending a rehearsal. We will then make sure you are welcomed and introduced to the right people.
Director of Music
Diana Rhodes, FTCL, LRSM, AmusA, AIRMT
Diana is a member of the NZ Association of Teachers of Singing, is an itinerant music specialist in Auckland, and amongst her other interests is Music Director of the Auckland Welsh Choir (Côr Cymraeg Auckland). As a New Zealander of Welsh heritage, Diana has been delighted to be introduced by the choir to the Welsh language through performance of traditional Welsh songs. She has always felt a special affinity for Celtic music, and in addition has continued to broaden the scope of repertoire. The result is a choir that is comfortable with a wide variety of genres.
The music team – all members of the choir who keep concerts and rehearsals running smoothly. We are grateful to our active and willing choristers and committee members who undertake roles such as music librarian, publicity, stage management, catering and front of house – all those tasks that help us to function efficiently. The volunteers on our committee enable the choir to fill its role as a community choir and charitable organisation, making significant financial contributions to our wider community as well as entertaining our audiences.
History of AWC
The first Auckland Welsh Choir was formed in 1988 to boost the morale of the Welsh Rugby team in its game against New Zealand at Eden Park. Despite an inspirational effort, Wales lost to the All Blacks. In 1989 the choir, then a part of the Auckland Welsh Club, played a major part in the “Wings from Wales” campaign that sponsored a Welsh youngster suffering from leukemia to New Zealand for the Commonwealth Games.
In 1999 the choir was re-established separately as the Auckland Welsh Choir, continuing its mission to keep Welsh music alive in New Zealand. Diana Williams Rhodes was invited to become Musical Director and under her leadership and with the subsequent appointment of Associate Director Steven Rapana, the performance repertoire broadened and vocal talent was strengthened as choir membership grew. Over the following years tours were undertaken to Timaru, Christchurch, Kapiti, Levin, Paeroa, Rotorua, Tauranga, Wellington and Whangarei.
In 2006 the choir was registered as a charitable organisation, cementing its commitment to support good causes in conjunction with continuing the tradition of Welsh choral music in New Zealand.
With Steven Rapana having left in 2014 to further his music overseas we are still lucky to be under the guidance of Diana Rhodes who has incorporated a broader repertoire of Celtic and religious music. Auckland Welsh Choir currently has 40 members from a wide range of backgrounds. Members are encouraged to share their talents whether they can play an instrument or contribute a solo to add variety to our performances. Please come along to a concert whether it be to listen and enjoy, support a worthy cause, or decide if you would like to join our choir for friendship, musical challenge and fun.