Proud of strong Christ­mas choir

Matamata Chronicle - - What’s On -

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.

PHOTO: ABBY BROWN/ FAIR­FAX NZ

This year will be last time Les­ley John­ston is the pres­i­dent of the Mata­mata Christ­mas Choir.

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