Membership

The choir welcomes anyone who loves to sing in a group and who is prepared to put in sufficient effort to achieve a high standard of performance on concert night. The ability to read music is not essential though even a rudimentary knowledge of musical notation is a big advantage. To help members learn their parts for each new program, audio rehearsal material is made available on the choir website. Individual parts for each section (soprano, alto, tenor and bass) can be downloaded or played on line.

Rehearsals

Preparation for a concert takes about three months with rehearsals every Monday night at the Warkworth Methodist Church between 7.15 and 9.15. In addition a workshop intensive to gain initial familiarity with a new program's material is normally held on the Saturday following the first rehearsal between 10am and about 1pm with a break to enjoy a sociable morning tea.

From time to time the choir splits into groups for sectional rehearsals which concentrate on details of the individual voice parts.

Later, a workshop to run the whole program in order and to attend to concert technicalities, is normally held on the Saturday or Sunday a week before the concert date.

Chamber Choir

Often, when some items call for a more intimate presentation or higher vocal skills, a section of the program is performed by a small group drawn from the ranks of the full choir. These singers are required to commit to extra rehearsals outside the normal choir schedule.

Concert venues

The concert venues are chosen from several auditoria in the area, typically Warkworth Town Hall, The Belfry at Ascension Wine Estate and the Puhoi Community Hall. Occasionally the choir has performed as guests further afield such as at the Aotea Centre and Kerikeri Arts Centre.

Training

In order to develop our singing skills further than can be achieved during normal rehearsals,  workshop sessions with choral tutors have been arranged  from time to time. In this way we have benefited from the tuition of experts like Karen Grylls, David Squire and Simon Carrington.

Social activities

The year normally begins before the first rehearsal with a late afternoon Summer social gathering at one of the members' homes. It is a time to catch up with and share a relaxed BBQ with other choristers who come from a wide range of  vocations, interests and backgrounds.

A car rally with an itinerary of cryptic clues was a lot of fun and occasional fund-raising events such as monster garage sales have proved  enjoyable social occasions as well as providing valuable funds to promote the choir's musical activities.

Our name

The town of Warkworth is bisected by the Mahurangi River. The northern bank of the river, opposite the main business area and wharf, is blessed with a covering of mature Kowhai trees (Sophora microphylla) which are festooned with bright yellow flowers every Spring. This annual stunning display has led the town to adopt the Kowhai as its symbol and its name appears in the title of a number of local businesses and organisations including our choir.


Flowers and leaves of the Kowhai tree, Sophora microphylla

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