Music

St Aidan’s has always had a strong musical tradition and we have a range of outlets for those that are interested.

About our Music Director:

After dropping out of high school, I joined a rock band doing the pub circuit.  I grew my hair wild, wore spunky clothing and aftershave, drank, smoked, swore, contributing to the expected topics of confabulation. I kept this up for years. At the same time a yearning was gnawing inside me. My girl-friend’s father was exposing me to other music. Mario Lanza. Bing Crosby. Johann Strauss. Gershwin, and others. I then rediscovered Mozart piano concertos. I bought a Yamaha grand piano and practiced like a maniac… My love for good classical music was returning with fervor.

CHRISI matriculated at Canterbury University to study music. I sat and passed my LRSM and FTCL in performance piano. And then, eventually, my Mus.B. was conferred. I did accompanying and jazz playing professionally. At the same time I joined the Catholic Cathedral Choir. I was singing Palestrina polyphony, Bach passions, Haydn masses, Bruchner motets, and Britten anthems.

Next was the Anglican Cathedral choir, singing traditional English music, and, as always, psalm chants. I joined the opera chorus and various respected choirs in the city. I learned to play other instruments. My work as an accompanist was expanding; teaching, accompanying, and performing classical piano became my livelihood. My love for pub music, and all that went with it, was long gone. I spent a few years tearing around South-East Asia teaching English as a second language in Japan, China, and then back to Christchurch, but I was aching to get back to a professional music career. I got into conducting choirs 11 and orchestras, as well as writing choral and orchestral arrangements on the Sibelius programme for performances. I was promoting concerts. Around this time I became organist / Acting Music Director at St Michael’s And All Angels in Christchurch, followed by MD of two choirs – the South Brighton Choral Society, and the Risingholme Singers, as well as establishing the Christchurch Chamber Orchestra.

Over the last two years I directed Handel’s Messiah (choir and orchestra), The Mikado (full production), and The Pirates of Penzance, and other concerts and shows, bringing choirs, soloists, and the orchestra together as usual. I also conducted various classical period symphonies with the Chamber Orchestra – specializing in Mozart and Schubert. A highlight was to direct Mozart choral works for choir, soloists, and orchestra, and Mozart’s Exsultate, jubilate for high-soprano and orchestra. I have just moved to Auckland to do my Post-graduate Diploma in Choral Conducting with Karen Grylls, as well as voice with Robert Wiremu. I am expanding my work as an accompanist, teacher of classical piano, and jazz performance. I like where I am now. Although I enjoyed my rebel years, I could not go back to the pub scene, and all that soulless music.

Chris Graham

ChoirChoir-1

Our choir performs during our 9.30am service, and they occasionally perform at other locations for various performances.

Choir practice is on Wednesday evenings from 7.30pm to 9pm.

Sing for the Church!

Opportunities to sing in our choir for men and women, boys and girls, and families. Make text and music more meaningful ! Sing anthems, psalms, hymns, descants, and contemporary songs. Reading music not essential. No audition to join. Rehearsals include voice coaching.                                                                                                                 Contact Chris, Organist / Music Director:  027 444 7615 or cjgmusic@hotmail.com

Soloists for Church Services

Opportunities for soloists to sing psalms, anthems, and songs in 9.30am Sunday services and special services. Any musical style. There is no obligation to join the choir. Contact Chris, Organist / Music Director:  027 444 7615 or cjgmusic@hotmail.com