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CBS Music

Cathedral of the

Blessed Sacrament

Choir & Orchestra

PO Box 10069


New Zealand





Music at St Mary's Pro-Cathedral

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. New members are welcome to the 7.30 pm Wednesday evening rehearsal at the CBS Music Centre, beside the Pro-Cathedral, at 373 Manchester Street, Christchurch. 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.

2019 Music

Bach’s so-called Refugee Cantata will feature in a charity concert on Sunday, March 10, 2019 at 3.30 pm in St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral. Admission will be free, with a retiring collection for the Red Cross refugee programme.
The concert will begin with a specially composed orchestral Song for Refugees by Ian Bolton, a local string tutor and viola player. Anatoliy Zelinsky will be the viola soloist.
Bach’s Cantata 39 originally attracted the name “Refugee Cantata” as it was thought that he had written it to commemorate the expulsion of Protestants from Salzburg in 1731, and it was highlighted in last year’s London Refugee Week. While its varied movements give ample scope for the vocal talents of soloists Sarah-Jane Rennie, Louisa Pilkington and Ken Joblin, the central theme of the work is an imperative call for charity towards the homeless, best expressed in a magnificent, extended opening chorus: Break Your Bread With The Hungry.

The other work on the programme, Mozart’s Symphony 25 in G Minor, has become well known as the haunting introductory theme music of the movie Amadeus. It is the earliest work by the seventeen-year old composer to have secured a place in the modern orchestral repertory, and first of only two in the minor key – distinguished from the popular 40th as the “Little G Minor”, but sharing its energetic drive.

CBS Musical Director is Don Whelan, and the orchestra is led by Natalia M. Lomeiko.

Another interesting year of varied activity for the CBS Choir and Orchestra includes the regular Good Friday Bach St John Passion, and the usual Christmas Messiah. As part of a Cathedral Festival on Sunday, 23 June, the group will present Mozart’s Piano Concerto 20, and Bach Cantata 30. Their annual Haydn concert on 29 September will include his Drumroll Symphony 103, and Creation Mass. A number of new works this year join the existing comprehensive liturgical repertoire, including a Lassus 8-part Mass, and the Mozart Missa Longa.

The weekly Wednesday at One Pro-Cathedral concert series continues to attract a supportive audience, and presents a variety of soloists, ensembles and orchestras. Besides experienced local professional players, opportunities are provided for advanced performers from Canterbury University’s School of Music, and some local secondary schools.