Sir Karl Jenkins’ Cantata Memoria: for the Children of Aberfan

The Wellington Chamber Orchestra, in association with combined choirs of Wellington and singers from around New Zealand will present Sir Karl Jenkins’ Cantata Memoria:  for the Children of Aberfan in the Michael Fowler Centre at 2:00pm on Labour Day, 23 October 2017.  The Cantata is the most recent composition of one of the world’s most performed contemporary choral composers and commemorates the 50th anniversary of the coal mining disaster in Aberfan, Wales, where 116 children and 28 adults lost their lives.

The premiere was presented in Cardiff in October 2016 with tenor Bryn Terfel. The Wellington/New Zealand premiere of this dramatic new work is to be conducted by Dr Jonathan Griffith, principal conductor of the prestigious Distinguished Choirs International New York concert series,  in which many New Zealand choristers have  participated. Dr Griffith conducted the New York premiere in January this year.

The work is scored for a large adult choir, childrens/youth choir, with soprano and baritone soloists, and full orchestra, featuring solo violin, harp and euphonium. We have a great line-up of vocal and instrumental soloists which will be announced as soon as sufficient funding has been raised to formally contract them. String players are currently registering to play for this event (contact president@wco.org.nz if interested), positions in the brass and wind sections have already been filled. Interested singers can contact Paul Oliver.

Here are links to a recording and further information about the work.

Rehearsals for orchestral players will be held on the afternoon of Saturday October 7, the evening of Friday October 13 and the afternoon of Saturday October 14, as well as the morning and afternoon of Sunday October 22. The dress rehearsal will be held on the morning of the performance between 9.00am and 12.00pm, in the Michael Fowler Centre.


2017 Term 1 concert (9 April)

2.30pm, Sunday 9th April

St Andrew's on The Terrace (map)

Rachel Hyde conducts the orchestra, along with Siyu Sun (piano). The orchestra is led by Kathryn Maloney, with a programme of:
  • Rachmaninoff - Piano Concerto No.2 in C minor, OP.18
  • Elgar - Symphony No.1 in A-flat major, Op.55

Tickets are available online or at the door (cash only).


Derek Holland




The Wellington Chamber orchestra was saddened by the recent death of Derek Holland after a short illness. Derek was a much-loved and valued member of the orchestra; his flute-playing and his musicianship, his quiet leadership and loyal service to the orchestra for the past 15 years will be very much missed.  Derek joined the orchestra in 2005, and has contributed to the orchestra in very many ways, leading the flute section, acting as fixer of the wind section, and as a committee member since  2011. Derek’s quiet serenity, along with his dedication and passion for his instrument have made a lasting impression on his orchestral colleagues.