Whether it’s experiencing Handel’s glorious oratorio Messiah or the classic It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra audiences in December can also help those in need during the festive season.
As part of a new partnership with The Wellington City Mission, the NZSO is supporting the charity’s annual Christmas Star Appeal. At the Orchestra’s Christmas Brass and Messiah concerts, audience members can donate food or funds to City Mission volunteers.
“The Wellington City Mission is proud to partner with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. We’re delighted that our collectors can be at the Orchestra’s Christmas concerts for donations that will make a big difference for those in need at this time of year,” says Wellington City Missioner Murray Edridge.
A City Mission Star featuring the NZSO was placed on Wellington’s waterfront at the launch of the Christmas Star Appeal in October. The City Mission’s Walk of Fame campaign is another part of their appeal this Christmas, with their Hollywood Walk of Fame-style stars on display during December.
Families will love Christmas Brass, where the Orchestra’s brass section takes centre stage to perform many popular Christmas tunes and songs. O Magnum Mysterium, The Little Drummer Boy, Winter Wonderland and Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow! are just a few of the favourites.
Renowned American conductor and trumpeter Brian Buerkle will lead the NZSO Brass in in Big Band interpretations of Christmas classics.
The following night the NZSO presents the festive favourite Messiah, conducted by Englishman Nicholas McGegan, a world authority on Handel. The oratorio is so popular, this will be the seventh year in a row the NZSO has performed it in Wellington.
Joining Maestro McGegan are some of the best vocalists in Australasia – soprano Madeleine Pierard, alto Kristin Darragh, tenor James Egglestone and bass Martin Snell. They will be joined by specialist early choral group The Tudor Consort.