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Who we are: Get to know some of our choir members

  • Helen Gremillion

    Picture of Helen GremillionHelen Gremillion is a researcher and teacher at Unitec Institute of Technology, and she also heads up research professional development activities for Unitec staff members.  She lives in Mt. Albert with her partner Nigel and daughter Ellie.  She’s been a member of Auckland Choral since 2009.

     
  • Alison Miller

    Picture of Alison MillerHi, I’m Alison Miller. I have been singing all my life, as both my parents had good voices, and we followed in their footsteps. I’ve sung in both church and community choirs, but when I was a pupil in the EGGS choir, we sang the third chorus part in St Matthew Passion in the Town Hall with Ray Wilson conducting and I was smitten. Years later when we returned to Auckland, and heard Auckland Choral singing Brubeck’s Light in the Wilderness in 1969, I knew I had to belong to this magnificent choir.. I joined in 1970 as a soprano 1, and have been a member since then, with the first concert being Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast, with 6 weeks rehearsal time.
    Various committee positions have kept me involved, and I was secretary (in those days - a very basic General Manager) for 7 years, before taking on the Librarian’s position. I was very proud to see our daughter Sandy join Choral while she was still at school, and when I joined the alto line I remember her moral support for me as a new alto. Auckland Choral is my life and the members are my music family, which I am very conscious of every time we perform on stage. Unfortunately I have had to take leave on several occasions because of ill health, but one positive to that is I’ve been in the audience to witness the choir’s great presentations from in front of the stage.

    Away from choir and family, I take a team of handbell ringers who meet each week in East Auckland.

     
  • Maria Millar

    Picture of Maria MillarHi! I'm Maria Millar. I'm an Alto 1, and also convener of the Auckland Choral Music Committee. I first joined Auckland Choral in 2015, in time for the Missa Solemnis. I come from a musical home, with a Dad who played Organ at church and piano for the local pantomines and performances. Thanks to his influence, I've sung for most of my life. I studied singing with Margaret Medlyn when I lived in Wellington, as well as singing simultaneously with both the Bach Choir and the Orpheus Choir. I was also a performer in two International Festival of the Arts operas: Salome and Madam Butterfly. I lived in Sydney for three years, and stepped away from the predominantly classical choir style, and sang with the gay & lesbian choir, whose repertoire was more contemporary in nature. Then, in 2001 I moved to London, and while there returned to my classical roots and sang with the Wimbledon Choral Society for a number of years. I took a bit of a break from singing when my two children came along, finding it a struggle to juggle full time work and a young family. It was when we finally moved back to NZ in 2014 that I decided it was time to get back into singing. I returned to singing lessons under the tutelage of Claire Martin, and joined the Auckland Choral Society, which was exactly what I was looking for. By day, I work as a marketing researcher and strategist, a job which I've been doing for 20 years, and which has taken me all over the world. When I'm not working or singing, my happy place is in the kitchen. I love to bake - bread, cakes, anything!

     

     
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