Proud of strong Christmas choir
The president of the Matamata Christmas Choir, Lesley Johnston, is proud it attracts an audience of both locals and people as far away as Tauranga, Taranaki and Auckland.
‘‘It’s part of their Christmas tradition, like the Christmas parade; it’s part of their lead-in to Christmas,’’ she said.
She is also proud that the choir is still going strong after 55 years.
She has been president of the choir for 11 of those years and has also been involved in the committee prior to that.
She is resigning after this year’s event but will still be tutoring and singing in the choir.
She said she had benefited from working with ‘‘Matamata musical icons’’ Grace Beng and Lesley Wills. ‘‘I learnt a lot about how to make sure songs were interesting and challenging for the musicians but still what the audience wants to listen to.’’
Johnston uses the guest spots as a platform to acknowledge the talent in the town.
‘‘This year we will have Jeri Rose who will sing a couple of beautiful songs and Thomas Schweizer will play a couple of piano pieces.’’ Johnston hopes the 16 Matamata Intermediate students will find it inspiring performing at the event. The audience will enjoy singing the traditional carols and the choir will sing contemporary songs.
The Matamata Christmas Choir concerts are on December 3, 4 and 5 at 7.30pm and December 6 at 1.30pm at the All Saints Anglican Church on Broadway, Matamata.
Saturday, December 5: Hinuera-Te Poi Lions paper drive. Helpers this month are a group of college boys who are in the early stages of planning for an overseas rugby trip. A reminder there will be no collection in January, with the monthly paper drive recommencing in February.
Sunday, December 6: Christmas at the Park, held at Bedford Park. The fair starts from 4.30pm, with the programme kicking off around 6.30pm. The spectacular Hobbiton fireworks display starts at 9.15pm. Wednesday, December 16: Twilight Christmas at the Races, Matamata Racing Club, first race approx 3pm. Monday, December 21: Christmas Service at the Walton Community Church at Walton, 7.15pm, followed by supper and carols by candlelight at 8.30pm. Items by members of the Matamata Brass Band and the ukulele ladies. All are very welcome. Friday, December 25: Community Christmas lunch, St John Ambulance Hall, 11.45am onwards. A free sitdown meal for those in need or lonely. Saturday, January 16: 50th Walsh Memorial Scout Flying School celebrations at Matamata aerodrome. For more, visit http:/ /walsh50.co.nz. Saturday, February 6: Swim Matamata annual carnival. Sunday, February 21: Rotary Matamata presents Concert by the Lake. Further details, including the headline acts, to come. Saturday, February 27: J Swap Contractors Breeders’ Stakes, Matamata Racing Club. Tuesday, March 1: Spud in a Bucket weigh-in, Railside by the Green, 5pm. Friday, March 4: The J Swap Tower Run, starting from Tom Grant Dr, up to the Firth Tower and back. A number of categories, both running and walking, available. April 20-23: Matamata Festival of Flowers, Matamata Memorial Centre.
This year will be last time Lesley Johnston is the president of the Matamata Christmas Choir.