Friday, 7 December 2018

Christmas Music Celebrations in Rotorua

When I think of Christmas, I always think of the carols especially that have been part of my Christmas experience. I remember going carolling, usually on the back of a truck with a Salvation Army band accompanying. So this year, I've chosen 2 events that have been around a while in Rotorua, and are still going strong. This is only a short summary. I hope you are able to take the opportunity of hearing and being involved in one or both of these events this Christmas season.

Rotorua District Choir

Beginning as The Rotorua Chorale Society in 1960, the first Christmas concert was the “Prom Concert” - Carols in the Bath House. In 1962 the name changed to Carter Chorale which continued till 1989 at which time the name changed to The Rotorua District Choir. Every Christmas, covering a range of venues such as Tudor Towers, Soundshell, various churches, the Civic Theatre, the Council Chambers and Galleria and several of the Resthomes, the Choir has consistently offered to the community an occasion to hear and participate in the music of Christmas. The music has always been a mixture of classical, traditional, folk and contemporary.

Rotorua District Choir, previous years posters

This year’s Christmas Carol Concert will be held at St Luke’s Church on 7th December, 7pm and Saturday 8th December, 2pm.

To find out more about the Rotorua District Choir, see Our spirit sang all day: the 50 year history Rotorua District Choir by Dianne Estcourt 993.423 EST, held in both the New Zealand History & Travel lending collection or in the Don Stafford Room. Applications to join the choir can be found here

Carols by Candlelight

In 1992 The Geyserland Lions Club introduced the first Carols by Candlelight. By 1994, 3000 people were attending. Beginning in 1995 were several years of Midnight Magic, which began with Carols by Candlelight at Kuirau Park, followed by fun activities and shopping in town. A decorated Christmas trail guided folks from the park into town, or they could catch a double-decker bus. Numbers attending Carols by Candlelight rose to approximately 6,500 by 1999. A couple of years ago the Geyserland Lions Club combined with Rotorua East Lions and they jointly decided to continue with the free family event.

Candles by Candlelight in Kuirau Park 1997 and 3 year old Benjamin Cocker at Midnight Magic

Evelyn Falconer with  2 year old Matthew Ennor at Candles by Candlelight 1997

4 year old Laura Evans-Kemp with her aunt Carrol Whyte at the 1999 Carols by Candlelight

This celebration of Christmas will commence at 7 pm on Friday 14 December at Kuirau Park and will finish around 9:30 pm. The programme will feature the Rotorua Symphonic Band and local choirs and entertainers led by soloist and choir conductor, Evelyn Falconer. Paul Hickey from Classic Hits will MC the evening. Candles will be lit around 8:50 pm. Candles will be available for sale, with the proceeds going to the Hospital Chaplaincy. Vendors will be selling hot food, and Hospice will have a Tree of Remembrance.

Thanks to Margaret Callaghan from the Rotorua District Choir, and Rotorua East Lions for information and pictures. Other photographs from Daily Post fiche held in the library. This blog written by Trish

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