The Royal Dunedin Male Choir


A warm welcome to the website of the Royal Dunedin Male Choir. With origins in 1878 it is one of New Zealand’s oldest and most respected male choirs.

Members of the public are welcome to attend all or a part of one of our rehearsals at Caversham Baptist Church (see Map) - Mondays 7.15 to 9.30pm with a break around 8.30pm.

The Town Hall will be the venue for the Christmas Concert

Chor Farmer Concert September 2018

On Sunday evening 9th September the King's and Queen's Performing Arts Centre was packed to capacity (and extra chairs were brought in) to hear the visiting choir from Tokyo deliver their 21st biennial concert.

The choir was formed by Hiroshi Masumoto when he was a 22 year old student at the Tokyo University of Agriculture in 1967. Since then he has arranged much of their music and generously shared many pieces with Royal Dunedin Male Choir.

Hiroshi is a lover of Schubert's Lieder and this is reflected in the selection with which the choir started and showed their excellent command of diction. One member of the audience who has lived in Germany for 20 years commented later that their accents were excellent. They followed this with a number of popular Japanese songs about the four seasons - their rendition of 'Who has seen the Wind?' was highly evocative.

Christina Rossetti wrote the poem in English and Hiroshi set it to music...

Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you:
But when the leaves hang trembling,
The wind is passing through.

Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I:
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.

There followed songs in Spanish, Maori, English and all were greeted rapturously by the audience.

Their pianist, Masako Yuyama, a concert pianist in her own right, played three Songs from Spain which celebrate the mood of one of the composer's favourite cities (Cordoba) and a popular dance form based on flamenco rhythms in 'Seguidillas'. The expression which Masako brought to these pieces was absolutely enchanting.

The King's High songsters treated us to 'Something' (in the way she moves) recorded by Elvis Presley (among others) and brought great credit to themselves and their conductor.

The Royal Dunedin Male Choir (who hosted Chor Farmer) contributed 'Rhythm of Life' in a very lively fashion at the beginning and joined Chor Farmer at the end in a rendition of 'Now is the Hour' both under the baton of Peter Keddell.

The resultant standing ovation was truly deserved and reflected the enjoyment of the audience who doubtless will need no persuasion to attend any future concert by Chor Farmer.

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Some of the Choir getting ready to entertain passengers at Dunedin International Airport just before Christmas - photo: Richard Roberts
The choir sang Christmas Carols at Dunedin International Airport in the week before Christmas. Peter Keddell conducted
At the conclusion of the 2017 Christmas Concert - Photo: Russell Leader

Choir in good form and well supported

Christmas Concert Review by Elizabeth Bouman of the Otago Daily Times

ODT Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Music for the Festive Season featured at a variety concert on Monday night, presented by the Royal Dunedin Male Choir conducted by Richard Madden with accompanist Linda Folland, organist David Burchell and guest artists.

The choir opened with Rogers and Hammerstein’s It’s a Grand Night for Singing, which indeed they did with popular choral arrangements of songs such as Bohemian Rhapsody, Seventy-six Trombones and Fascinating Rhythm. The choir was in good form with some impressive harmonies in numbers such as an interpretation of Sing We Now Nowell, a beautifully serene Mary Did You Know? and This Nearly Was Mine.

The Dunedin Star Singers presented two brackets of selected choral numbers, which included a choral arrangement of Breathe Soft Ye Winds and a humorous seasonal song The Twelve Days After Christmas.

Guest artist tenor Ridge Ponini is a name to remember. This young man came from Rarotonga in 2015 to study voice at University of Otago, and the three songs performed last evening showed strong tenor resonance with a passionate sincerity in expressing the text, demonstrating his determination to succeed as a professional singer.

Music from Kaikorai Metropolitan Brass Band (conductor Norman Thorn) was a popular addition to the programme, their highlights being O Holy Night with cornet soloist Mat Patchett, and a very energetic Snoopy’s Christmas, with the audience clapping and coming in right on cue with “Merry Christmas My Friend!”.

The concert ended with both choirs and band combining for a robust delivery of And The Glory of the Lord from Messiah by Handel, and a powerful medley of carols entitled A Christmas Fantasy. The evening was compered by Tony Binns, who introduced the items with interesting background information.

Ridge Ponini richly rendered his songs
The Star Singers gave colour, in more ways than one, to our Christmas Medley

A visitor made this video at one of our earlier concerts

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