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CBS Music

Cathedral of the

Blessed Sacrament

Choir & Orchestra

PO Box 10069


New Zealand





UK-Ireland TOUR


Following their 2012 Asia tour, and a visit to Melbourne in 2013, the group travels between June 23 and July 19, 2015 to Ireland, Scotland and England, with performances in the cathedrals of Los Angeles, Westminster, Chelmsford, Dublin, Kilkenny, Killarney, Galway, Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool and Birmingham. Other destinations, include Limerick, Durham and York. The tour will include an open return ticket to London, which will be the base for travel. Those interested in travel as performers or supporters are invited to make contact. New members are welcome to join the cathedral choir, which rehearses on Wednesday evenings at 7.30 pm at St Mary's Pro-Cathedral.

Christchurch Choral Festival

A city Choral Festival involving many local singers will be held in St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, 373 Manchester Street, at 7 pm on Saturday, 22 November, 2014. The date marks the Feast of St Cecilia, patron of music, and historically an occasion for composers like Purcell and Handel to write for great city choral festivals, when town halls resounded with ceremonial splendour.


This will be the fourth festival in a developing tradition for the city, intended to sustain and strengthen separate choirs, which have lost facilities and performing spaces since the earthquake. Past festivals have been held in the Arena, despite increasing costs and acoustic concern. Those organising primary, secondary and adult music festivals are still pleading for the urgent restoration of the Town Hall Auditorium as the most suitable place to mount such events.


As in past years, individual choirs will be grouped into convenient clusters, performing for up to 10 minutes, and choosing their own items, conductors and accompanists. These will be drawn from the combined inner city churches, community, youth, barbershop, and concert choirs of Christchurch. The venue offers ample space at the front, suitable for large choral forces, and accompaniment will be by piano and organ.


Admission will be free, and participants will pay nothing. There will be no interval, and the concert should last about 70 minutes. All should be in place by 6.30 pm on the day, for Brian Law to rehearsethe concluding combined item: Let their Celestial Concerts All Unite, from Handel’s oratorio Samson. As at the Charles & Diana royal wedding, this will be preceded by the soprano and trumpet duet Let The Bright Seraphim, to be performed by Lois Johnston, soprano, and Bruce Roberts, trumpet. After the concert, it is hoped performers and audience some will stay for some social time in the spacious narthex (front porch), and it would be helpful if they could bring a plate.

Music at St Mary's Pro-Cathedral

While waiting for decisions on the future of the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, the  Cathedral Choir and Orchestra sing a Solemn Choral Mass at 10.30 am each Sunday at St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, where they continue to maintain an extensive repertoire of masses and motets. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2015 on a new musical home for the CBS musicians, alongside the Pro-Cathedral, to provide them with the necessary rehearsal, library, and administrative spaces to maintain their liturgical commitments, and sacred concert outreach to the city. CBS Music is attempting to raise $50,000 towards this cost. Fund-raising will be assisted by benefit concerts.

In September, 2012, the cathedral choir and orchestra set off on their sixth international tour. 39 travellers presented Masses and concerts in the major cathedrals of Hong Kong, Beijing, Seoul, Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Kyoto and Tokyo. In 2013, they visited Melbourne, to sing at St Francis Church and St Patrick's Cathedral.

Based now at St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral, Manchester Street, the cathedral musicians maintain an extensive repertoire of masses and motets, sung each Sunday at the 10.30 a.m. Solemn Choral Mass. New members are welcome to the 7.30 pm Wednesday evening rehearsal at the Pro-Cathedral. Sight reading ability is expected. Scholarships and awards are available to suitable applicants. Those interested are invited to contact the CBS Musical Director, Don Whelan, phone 358-5873.