Jubilation Choir Members
SOPRANOs: Altos: Tenors: Basses:
Buzz Worley Callie Blood James Nicholson Alan Jones
Isolde Grunwald Fiona Samuel Liz Whittaker James Moore
Jackie Clarke Jennifer Ward-Lealand Lorraine Havill Jim Hall
Jean McAllister Judy McIntosh Mark Swift Nic Beets
Jenny Gordon Kate Slattery Paul Gurney Rick Bryant
Karen Rutherford Mimi Lewell Peter Kirkbride Simon Pierpont
Kate Ward Smythe Olivia Stephens Simon Clark Tim Tenbensel
Katrina Batten Sarai Dee Tim Dodd
Tricia Hurrell Sally Dodds Tom Woods
I grew up at Bethells Beach, and have now moved to New Lynn via Laingholm - Westie and proud - with my partner and two kids. I work for a trade union and attend Auckland University part-time, slowly doing a BA in English and Philosophy.
My musical history includes the bands Rough as Guts (punk, glam, rock covers), The Rank Outsiders, (alternative rock, originals), and Rick Bryant and The Jive Bombers (Rhythm and Blues). I joined Jubilation when it was six people in a basement with a piano - I love singing a capella, and hanging out with this stellar bunch of people.
I have a quiet penchant for musicals, Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Dorothy Love-Coates but sometimes I go back to my roots and channel Suzi Quatro, and Poly Styrene - hold on to your hats!
One of my fondest musical memories is singing in harmony with my four sisters. My father would drive our VW van, the boot full of musical instruments, while we went through our top-twenty list.
One thing I love about being with this group is singing in the back of the tour bus when we go to festivals all over the country - I guess it brings back those childhood memories and I continue to enjoy every moment of singing.
I am a founding member of the Jubilation Choir, and in my other life I’m a counsellor and business administrator. I’ve emigrated from Germany to Ponsonby and am happy to call it home.
I sing and talk for a living, but Jubilation is my vocal recreation of choice. I’d always wanted to be in a choir, I live to sing harmony and I love singing gospel, so it was a no brainer to hook up with this lot - I joined 14 years ago and I still really love it.
Professionally I’ve always done a mix of things - musical theatre (Mamma Mia, Anything Goes, Sweet Charity), bands ( The Lady Killers, The Darlings, When The Cat’s Been Spayed), TV ( judging NZ Idol and Showcase, documentaries, acting and comedy), lots of voice work (cartoons, voice overs and jingles ) plus I swan around a lot as a soloist in a glittery frock at various glamorous soirees.
I also co-host and programme the annual Kids for Kids concert tour, featuring massed choirs of kiwi kids singing loud and proud.
I have been in Jubilation since Rick Bryant called me one day and asked if I’d like to come and have a sing with a group of people who were starting up an a cappella gospel choir. I had been in bands since I was a teenager and have always loved vocal harmony in all its glory. It was that magic blend by the likes of John and Paul and Aretha and her backing singers that first got me hooked as a kid.
Being in Jubilation reminds me that when you sing soulful songs with thirty or so others you can lose yourself and become part of something better. Whatever we do as individuals for the rest of the week, on Tuesday nights and when we sing for a crowd, we know everything’s going to be all right.
I am a married mother of two who has always been passionate about singing.
After 20 years of full and part-time work for chartered accountants, small businesses and having children, at 40 years old I decided to go to Auckland University and complete my Bachelor of Music Education. Now I teach at a Kowhai Intermediate School as the music specialist.
I joined Jubilation as I started my teaching career and both have kept me busy and musically excited and challenged. I love singing with the people in Jubilation – it’s magic!
I’ve been singing with Jubilation since the choir’s early days. What do I love about it? There’s something really amazing about putting your individual voice in among 30-odd others and hearing a piece of music come together - I never tire of that feeling.
My day job is a Head of School role at AUT University with a fairly hefty amount of responsibility so Jubilation is a hugely creative and satisfying contrast to that. And being in Jubilation means that on Tuesday nights, I get to turn up to practice and sing with a really great bunch of people.
Musical inspiration for me - Nina Simone and Miles Davis with a side order of Argentinian tango.
I worked as a freelancer for a couple of decades on films, festivals, theatre and events. Highlights included 3 seasons as a presenter on TVNZ’s Maggie’s Garden Show; guest judge on TV3’s Wannabe’s and Wannabe Duos; co-judge of Sticky TV’s National Stage Challenge Finals; artistic direction and leadership on events such as Starlight Symphony; Opera In The Park; Christmas in the Park; Rotorua’s Lakeside as well as charitable work on fundraisers such as co-producing To Christchurch With Love
In 2014 I switched to the NZ charity sector with the For Everyone Charitable Foundation and executively produced the charity single, Song For Everyone, which went to #5 in the NZ singles charts.
I now work with the team at Auckland’s proudly independent Theatre, Q.
I love being part of a process that motivates communities to come together for memorable, shared experiences.
Singing with Jubilation is my happy place, my sweet release from the rest of life as a full time working parent. As J.R.R. Tolkien wrote, “If more of us valued food, cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” (The Hobbit)
Having trained and performed in the world of classical, opera and musical theatre, after having my two awesome kids, I was keen for a change. I was lucky enough to come across this brilliant choir, and even luckier when they decided to take me into their fold.
With my classical ‘hat’on, I had a brilliant time performing in the NZ Opera chorus in a number of productions, including: Madame Butterfly; Rigoletto; La Traviata. Back in my teenage years I was a founding member of the Opera Factory, highlights of which included touring with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and the NZSO.
During the day, the part of my brain that loves Sudoku has lead me into a career as an IT Business Analyst. But my main job is probably as an unpaid uber-driver for my 2 kids, which crazily enough … I love!
I’m a mum, singer, ginger, songwriter, painter of ketes and I make a rocking dhal. I was in my first band at 14….with the dubious name of Saxon Hair. Sang my first jingle at 15, and have been employed as a musician ever since, either writing jingles, TV scores or songs…..or singing same.
Have worked with many of NZ’s finest, from Dave Dobbyn to Jenny Morris, from Barry Saunders to Ian Morris and Dave McArtney and many in between. Had a number one single in 1987 with Tex Pistol’s Game of Love, sang on Peter Jackson’s Meet the Feebles soundtrack, and Dave Dobbyn’s Loyal for the America’s Cup.
Have released a CD of my songs with The Darlings. But being in the choir is a different kettle of pyjamas - it’s a wonderful family of souls… many like-minded individuals devoted to having a bloody good yodel.
I’m a writer and director for television and film, a playwright and an occasional actor.
I also read books for the Royal Foundation for the Blind and Radio New Zealand, am a passionate home baker, and a dedicated swimmer in the medium lane @ the Parnell Baths - Auckland’s finest.
I live in Western Springs with my husband, director Murray Keane, my son Murdoch and my daughter Queenie. A member of Jubilation’s alto section since 2000, I count among my favourite singers Alison Krauss, Don McGlashan, the Unthank Sisters, Kathleen Ferrier, Hollie Smith and Jack White.
* In 2012, Fiona was made an Arts Foundation of New Zealand Arts Laureate in recognition of her work in television, theatre and film.
In my working life, I’m an actress – I trained at Auckland’s Theatre Corporate and since then have worked in theatre, film, television, musical, voice over and radio for over 36 years.
I was a founding board member of The Watershed Theatre and a co-founder of The Actors’ Program. I am currently president of the actors union Equity New Zealand, Patron of Q Theatre, and serve as a trust board member of the Actors Benevolent Trust.
In the 2007 New Years Honours List, I was named an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to theatre and the community. I've been a keen student of te reo Maori since 2008. In 2017 I was gifted the name Te Atamira (The Stage) by Sir Timoti Karetu and Te Wharehuia Milroy.
I live in Grey Lynn with my husband, actor Michael Hurst, 1 of our 2 sons and 2 Burmese cats, one of which is a thief.
I trained as an actress with fellow Jubilation members Jennifer Ward-Lealand and Nic Beets in the days of Theatre Corporate and the Mercury Theatre In Auckland.
My twenty five years as an actress have been spent mostly in film and television, in shows like ‘’Gloss, ‘Go Girls’, ‘Step Dave’ and ‘Agent Anna’ in New Zealand, and ‘GP’ in Australia. Films include recent US productions ‘The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe’ and ‘Bridge to Terebithia’.
Theatrical highlights include various singing roles in musical theatre, with two seasons of ‘Cabaret’ at Theatre Corporate with Jennifer. Currently I teach English and Drama at St Cuthbert’s College, and at The Actors Program in Auckland.
I started playing the piano at age 5, refused to vacate my seat after seeing my first stage production of Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat at age 7, and cut my singing teeth with ABBA and a hairbrush microphone, swapping harmony and melody with my sister for hours.
With 20 years as an English and Maths teacher, I have taught in large multicultural schools here and in the UK and acted as vocal coach for vocal groups and school productions, also playing piano and saxophone. I now work in tertiary education “teaching lecturers how to teach”.
Through my teaching connection I was encouraged to audition for Jubilation - it’s fun and fabulous to once again be singing in harmony. The Māori whakataukī encourage us to be in harmony with self, others and nature. Jubilation reminds me of this.
I was born in St Peter, Minnesota in the USA. My family was very musical and I grew up singing in choirs - I first joined the Cherub Choir when I was 5 years old.
The Cherub Choir also lead me to my kiwi husband Terry - visiting my best friend from the choir at her home in Malibu, we took a trip to Mexico and at Hussong’s Cantina in Ensenada, I met a guy who had just sailed a 48 ft. yacht from Fiji… Thirty years and three children later, here I am.
When I was young and people asked me what I wanted to do, I always said I wanted to be a singer in a rock & roll band. Ever since I joined Jubilation in 2003, I have felt like I’ve made that dream come true - just with a choir.
I have been singing with the altos in Jubilation since 2003 - choir practice on a Tuesday night is an essential and much loved ritual for me.
Singing live in harmony with others each week makes my life better, and also helps me keep perspective in my working life. Sharing the soulful sound of gospel and performing to an audience is also very cool and it’s gorgeous fun singing with a bunch of people who seem to feel the same way.
I also find it very satisfying backing some of our wonderful soloists, and as a choir we have had some great experiences together over the years...it’s special.
I played piano before uttering a word, so music was bound to be an essential part of my life. Graduated with a BA in Mathematics and Music from Auckland University and joined the Happen Inn vocal group in 1972.
Moved to Sydney and worked freelance doing vocal backings on TV shows, records and live shows, as well as touring with Perry Como, Norman Gunston and Charles Aznavour, among others.
Currently I’m a MYOB contractor and part-time piano and theory teacher which provides the means to enjoy my many hobbies - movies, theatre, bike trails, cruises, trips to Melbourne to visit my son, and playing ukulele and piano in a seven-piece band called Highly Strung. Blessed are those who sing!
I’m one of that rare breed, a born and bred Aucklander. I joined Jubilation in 2007 after stumbling across them singing @ the Allelujah Cafe on a hen’s night, impressed both by the singing and who was in the audience.
I’ve worked a huge variety of jobs - publicity assistant, legal secretary , waitress, 3D animation producer, jewellery maker, voice-over artist & actors among them.
At the moment I’m a core actor for Sue Haldane’s MOM project, a workshop series designed to help people living with teens or partners with cognitive difference - Asperger Syndrome, ADHD, ADD etc. I’m also on the Board of Circability, who run community circus classes for all ages and abilities.
Away from work I run a sports and recreation taxi service for my beautiful children Stella and Oli, and a small Grey Lynn menagerie featuring an Italian Greyhound, two cats, two rabbits and assorted chickens.
My mum says I was singing Au Clair de la Lune before I could talk, and it wasn’t long before I decided I wanted to BE Crystal Gayle after seeing her on the Muppet Show - I even grew my hair as long as hers.
Making the mistake of joining a youth orchestra playing the oboe instead of joining a choir I made up for it in later life by joining the all-girl a cappella quartet No Strings Attached as their rhythm and bass section.
After auditioning as an alto for Jubilation in 2005 I was swiftly relegated to the tenors and have been in my Happy Place ever since. I juggle teaching, parenting my two sons, singing and commuting 2 hours a day to my seaside idyll at Maraetai, where I live with my music teacher partner and her umpteen guitars.
A first generation New Zealander of Samoan descent, the daughter of Philipo and Florence Dunn, I was educated at St. Mary’s College, Ponsonby, Auckland where I studied under the renowned Sister Mary Leo.
After winning the New Faces TV talent contest in the 70’s, I developed a career on the cabaret and rock scene, progressing into jazz and blues with various bands around the country at long-gone venues and performing in a wide range of musical theatre productions.
Now the mother of two daughters, I work in the television industry, sing with Jubilation and step out with Highly Strung Ukelele Band - I love being part of the magic that can happen when musicians create something special which brings joy to audiences and themselves
I’m a newish member of Jubilation, since 2013 – the choir lacked a proper bald man.
My roots are in Iowa in the American Midwest and Auckland has been my adopted home since 1997, when I took a job as a lecturer in Russian at the University of Auckland. I repeated the old immigrant story – met a Kiwi woman (Kate) and now we have a teenage son (Walter). I enjoy cycling and gardening and think it’s a gas I can have a garden here all year round.
Singing hymns, carols and folk songs in church and school choirs was part of my growing up, and at university I sang in a Russian choir. I’m really pleased at this age and stage of life to reconnect with the simple and profound pleasure of making music with such a class act and fine bunch of folks.
I first appeared on stage in rock bands in Wellington at the tender age of 18, and have being plying my musical trade ever since.
Music is both a passion and an obsession for me - as lead vocalist, guitarist and a songwriter with Auckland-based touring band The DeSotos; part of acoustic roots line up The AGM with Richard Adams (Nairobi Trio), Stuart McIntyre (The DeSotos), and former Split Enz drummer Paul Crowther, and in my work as Music Tutor at Auckland Live Arts Trust Toi Ora, supporting members’ mental health and well being.
I have a love of the dark southern country blues and gospel genres, so joining Jubilation Choir felt like a natural fit.
I’ve played music most of my life. I’ve been in bands playing guitar and singing. I’ve played reggae, funk, soul, jazz, big band, kid’s music. And since its early days, I’ve sung with Jubilation.
A cappella gospel is such a blast to sing, it’s different to a band - not many people can turn up louder than you, there’s less gear to lug around, and someone else will always remember the words.
I live in Whangaparaoa, I have a wife and kids, and I work as a builder.
I started touring at 16 years old as a musician for the British Army playing clarinet in the concert band, the marching band and the Dixie band, tenor sax in the Big Band and lead singer in the dance band.
After leaving the army I travelled around Asia and Oceania before working as a scuba diver, riding school manager and aerobics instructor. Then emigrated to New Zealand and back to the military as lead clarinet for the NZ Navy Band, where I befriended the euphonium player… who also had a barbershop quartet… so I joined and sang my way to a gold medal at the NZ Championships in Hawaii in 1998.
Then I discovered acting, went to drama school, graduated with a performing arts degree and joined Jubilation in 2006, doing my best to disrupt the tenor section at every opportunity. Perhaps most importantly, I’m an Arsenal fan.
I’m a tenor and conductor with Jubilation, and a Music Producer for Radio New Zealand Concert, recording concerts for broadcast on the wireless. I also produce features about music including New Horizons, William Dart’s weekly look at the latest rock, pop, country and folk releases.
I’m mostly a classical music guy, but I love all kinds of music and have played keyboards in rock and jazz bands in days gone by. I am married with three beautiful daughters, I ride the bus every day, and I like to read, eat, drink and go on holiday.
I’m a Mount Albert local, I work as a community mental heath nurse and I joined Jubilation in 2011. I try never to miss a practise.
Growing up, l learned piano and organ and sang with choirs at school and during university years, where nursing enabled me to study music. I wanted to listen to Concert FM and not get confused, so papers on composition, electro-acoustic technique and ethnomusicology were of particular interest in the degree.
Joining Jubilation has combined for me a love of music with the therapeutic effects of singing in a group. In recent years I’ve also been playing keyboards in friends’ bands, enjoying working on original songs with other people.
Yes, born in Wales. I’ve always enjoyed the camaraderie of being in a choir since early days at school and Uni. Memories of singing counter-tenor at College seem a long way from the Jubilation bass section.
Came to NZ in ’96 with my wife, Charyn (Kiwi), and four kids (hybrid), now grown up and some with families of their own in NZ and Canada. By profession, a teacher – not quite retired. By choice, time for friends, theatre, sport, wine, food - and travel.
Being ‘on the road’ with the choir is always a highlight – whether Taupo, Timaru, Wanaka or Wellington. Jubilation never stands still. A repertoire combining old favourites with new discoveries keeps us vibrant.
Music and visual art are my passions. I have had numerous solo painting exhibitions in Auckland and fronted a rock band called the Lure of Shoes for 13 years.
My paid vocation is teaching. After 12 years of teaching art at a number of Auckland’s tertiary institutions, I recently switched to secondary school teaching and am currently HOD of Art at Marcellin College, still writing and recording songs, having the occasional reunion with my old band and planning my return to the art world.
I love singing with others in a choir and have been with Jubilation since its inception in 2000.
Many years ago when my children were wee and colicky, the only thing that would settle them down was putting them over my shoulder and walking around the house singing to them. An hour or two every day reconnected me with my love of singing which I had lost since I “retired” from my acting career.
After a few false starts I discovered the newly formed Jubilation had two of my old drama school buddies in it and ever since it has been a huge part of my life (and sanity). In my day job I am a clinical psychologist who specialises in relationship and sex therapy. There is nothing like a good sing of uplifting music to help me keep my sense of proportion on all the cares and woes I deal with at work.
I feel very privileged to be part of a group with so many fabulous musicians in it and, even better, they are also great people to party with – we have the most amazing singalongs!!
Currently sings with Jubilation, Jive Bombers, Black Soap Boys, and the Windy City Strugglers. Started in the 60s and was with Gutbucket, Mammal, Blerta, Rough Justice, Top Scientists, and The Neighbours.
In 1982 started the Jive Bombers, a 12 piece R&B band, which has been my main thing through many changes, up to this time. Originally a classic but not clichéd cover band, it has evolved into a platform for songs mainly written by myself and writing partner, Gordon Spittle.
Was among the small group that started Jubilation in 2000, would describe myself as a blues singer who strives to be versatile. I live in a no-budget recording set up in order to make records.
I emigrated to NZ in 1997 to further a career in the super yacht industry working for one of the world’s premier yacht builders. I live in Glen Innes with his family, Lucy, Hannah, Madeleine and Reuben along with the family pets.
Being part of Jubilation’s bass section is a lot of fun and puts the day’s working life into perspective.
I ‘daylight’ at the University of Auckland, where I claim to be an expert on New Zealand health policy. Apart from enjoying the great spirit and camaraderie of Jubilation, I enjoy the challenge of coming up with new vocal arrangements for the group, hopefully helping to build the great Kiwi gospel songbook.
(Previous bio information: click here to download)