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Three South Auckland Orchestra & Choirs ‘In Paradisum’

7 May 2019

An orchestra and two choirs based in South Auckland will join forces for the first time ‘In Paradisum’ (‘Into Paradise’) for one of the most widely-loved choral-orchestral works.

The seventy-piece Manukau Symphony Orchestra and 75 voices from the South Auckland Choral Society and Pakuranga Choral Society are coming together to perform the ethereal Requiem by Gabriel Fauré.

“As Manukau’s orchestra, we look forward to collaborating with our local choirs and exquisite soloists to bring this beautiful work to life,” says Uwe Grodd, Manukau Symphony Orchestra’s Music Director.

It will be the first time the South Auckland Choral Society and Pakuranga Choral Society perform with a large-scale orchestra together.

“What makes this concert extra special is singing with a full orchestra in a large professional venue such as the Vodafone Events Centre,” says Elizabeth Lau, Musical Director of the South Auckland Choral Society. “We have been rehearsing since the start of the year, and can’t wait to experience the Requiem with our local orchestra.”

Gina Sanders, an internationally-acclaimed soprano based in South Auckland, will join the sought-after baritone James Harrison as soloists in the Requiem.

Beethoven’s spirited masterpiece Symphony No. 8, fondly referred to as “my Little Symphony in F”, is a light-hearted, though not lightweight, work to begin the concert with.

The Manukau Symphony Orchestra gratefully acknowledges the support from Foundation North, Auckland Council, Four Winds Foundation, Pub Charity, Creative Communities NZ, Second Nature Charitable Trust, Multi-Media Systems, Vodafone Events Centre and the NZCT for this concert.

What: Manukau Symphony Orchestra presents ‘In Paradisum’ with Pakuranga Choral and South Auckland Choral

When: Saturday 25 May 2019, 7.30pm

Where: Vodafone Events Centre.

Tickets on sale now by calling 09 577 3031 or book at

Editor’s Notes

Manukau Symphony Orchestra

Founded in 1993, the Manukau Symphony Orchestra (MSO) is a leading community orchestra which aims to achieve a balance of professional, community and youth players, and is known for its 'very special spirit'.

What started as music workshops is now an established community orchestra made up of around 80 players aged between 17 to 85. The Manukau Symphony Orchestra gives 3-4 concerts each year featuring local and international players and artists, and celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2018.

Pakuranga Choral Society

Pakuranga Choral Society was founded in 1974 by Ross Lewis and presents three concerts each year at All Saints Church in Howick. We sing a wide range of music, from sacred works and oratorios, to lighter works – including show tunes, spirituals and opera choruses, and our Christmas concert is always much more than the usual Christmas carols! Occasionally we go ‘on tour’ and sing with other community choirs, which is always a rewarding experience for all.

South Auckland Choral Society

The South Auckland Choral Society Inc. is a four-part choir that meets weekly to rehearse on Tuesday evenings in Papakura. Three concerts are usually performed each year, with guest soloists and conductors. Singers come from a wide area - from Auckland through to Te Kauwhata in the south and coast-to-coast from Waiuku across to Clevedon. With the recent introduction of a scholarship scheme to encourage young people in choral singing, ages now range from 16 through to 70-plus, with most in the middle-age group. Young and old enjoy singing together in the various types of music presented. The choices range from serious classical to light-hearted pop.

Gina Sanders - Soprano

Gina has a combined oratorio and operatic repertoire of over 60 roles, holds seven degrees and diplomas in music, education and languages, and has extensive experience in vocal teaching. A resident of Papakura/Clevedon, she devotes her career to supporting her community. She has appeared as a soloist with all of NZ’s leading orchestras, opera companies and choral societies, is a Concert FM National Artist and has recorded for ABC in Australia.

James Harrison - Baritone

James Harrison, baritone, has recently returned home to New Zealand from London. Born in Christchurch, he studied singing at the University of Auckland. Whilst based in London, he received the Dame Malvina Major 2017 Scholarship which enabled him to further his studies at the Royal College of Music and the National Opera Studio. This gave him many opportunities to perform in operatic productions. In 2018 he returned to NZ to star in NZ Opera’s production of Carmen. He is much sought after as a performer, singing teacher and choral educator.

High-resolutions images available on request.

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