Community Choirs Open Workshop – Catrin Johnsson & Karen Grylls

We are pleased to welcome  Catrin Johnsson and Dr Karen Grylls into our region from 2 – 6 May. They will be mainly working with Secondary School Choirs, many of whom are preparing for this year’s Big Sing Regional Event on 7 June in the Christchurch Town Hall.

However, on Friday 3 May 6.00-8.30pm there is a rare opportunity for you to come and observe open workshop sessions with two of our city’s choirs.

The workshop is on Friday, 3 May, 6pm – 8.30pm at Heaton Normal Intermediate School, 125 Heaton Street. These sessions are open to any interested person and entry is a $5 donation.

 This may be a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to see two of our greatest choral practitioners at work. Look forward to seeing you there!

Karen Grylls, ONZM, is Undergraduate Advisor and Associate Professor in Conducting and Head of Choral Studies at the University of Auckland. She has directed the Auckland Dorian Choir (1985-1998), assumed the position of Musical Director of TOWER NZ Youth Choir in 1989 and founded TOWER Voices NZ in March 1998. In addition to being the current Musical Director of both of these national choirs Karen also conducts the Chamber Choir at the University of Auckland and directs courses in choral ensemble skills. Karen is much in demand as a choral clinician and has many CD recordings to her credit. Invitations to adjudicate have taken her to Australia, Singapore, Tolosa, Hong Kong, Gorizia, Xiamen and Marktoberdorf. In 1996 the University honoured her with a Distinguished Teaching Award in Music and in 1999 she received a New Year’s Honour (ONZM) for her services to choral music. Karen has recently been appointed to the board of the International Federation for Choral Music IFCM. In May 2005 she was awarded an Artistic Leadership Scholarship Award from Creative NZ to attend the Seventh World Choral Symposium in Kyoto. In 2006 she was awarded the KBB Citation for Services to NZ music from the Composers’ Association of NZ and the Lilburn Trust Award for services to NZ Music. Also in 2006, “Spirit of the Land”, recorded by TOWER Voices NZ, won the NZ Tui Award for the best classical album. She also held an appointment as Artistic Director of the Exultate Chamber Singers in Toronto, 2011-2013.

Catrin Johnsson, mezzo-soprano, was born in Sweden and trained at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm and the Royal Academy of Music in London. Awards include the prestigious Christina Nilsson Award. Catrin has lived in London for many years and has recently moved to New Zealand. Operatic roles include the title role in The Duchess of Malfi for English National Opera, Dido Dido and Aeneas, Medoro Orlando, Cherubino Le nozze di Figaro, La Ciesca Gianni Schicchi and Dimitri Fedora for Opera Holland Park., Dorabella Così fan tutte, Carmen, Meg Page Falstaff, Hansel Hansel and Gretel, Adelberto Ottone and Idelberto Lotario (London Handel Festival), Nicklausse Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Zerlina Don Giovanni, Second Lady (NZO) and Third Lady The Magic Flute. She is also active on the concert platform in Europe, Scandinavia, UK and New Zealand. Catrin teaches voice and stagecraft at the University of Auckland, is vocal consultant for Voices NZ Chamber Choir, Auckland Chamber Choir and Auckland Choral Society, and was the 2017 National Adjudicator for the IFAC Handa Australian Singing Competition. In 2018 she was awarded an ARAM (Associate of the Royal Academy of Music) from the Royal Academy of Music in London.