September 1, 2011
Orpheus Choir’s new Music Director takes on busy schedule
Mark Dorrell has been appointed the new Music Director of the Orpheus Choir, at an unusually busy time for
the Wellington Choir.
The board of the Orpheus Choir was delighted that Mr Dorrell had accepted the position, Chairman Graeme
“With three important concerts before the end of the year, the Orpheus Choir has a packed schedule and we are
thrilled that someone of Mark’s calibre has agreed to guide us through.”
The Choir has two big concerts during September, including joining the Vector Wellington Orchestra for their
concert “On the Transmigration of Souls” on Sunday September 11 and then singing with the New Zealand
Symphony Orchestra in their “Odes to Joy” concert on Thursday September 22. On October 7, the Orpheus
Choir will be staging an “Evening with Cole Porter” in the Wellington Town Hall.
Mr Dorrell is a very experienced musician and is passionate about choral music. He studied at Cambridge
University, the Royal College of Music and the National Opera Studio. After four years on the Music Staff of the
Scottish Opera he moved to London in 1991 where he conducted the original London production of Stephen
Sondheim’s Into the Woods, Assassins and Passion.
While in London he worked with some of the big names of theatre and music, including at the National
Theatre conducting A Little Night Music with Judi Dench, Oklahoma with Hugh Jackman, and Peter Pan with
Sir Ian McKellen. He also worked on Guys And Dolls, Sweeney Todd, Candide, Lady in the Dark and Singin’ in the
Mr Dorrell lived in Bermuda for several years where he conducted many productions before returning to
London to become head of Music for ARTS-ED, one of the UK’s leading musical theatre colleges.
Since relocating to New Zealand in 2007 he has enjoyed a busy freelance career. He has worked with the
Orpheus Choir since 2010.
The Orpheus Choir is one of New Zealand’s leading symphonic choirs with about 100 members. It performs
regularly at major Wellington music venues with highly regarded musicians and soloists, and covers the major
classic choral repertoire through to contemporary and challenging works.
For more details, please contact:
Chairman of the board of the Orpheus Choir
(04) 479 9368
027 445 1931
(04) 977 7459
pdf of press release can be found here.
To Judy Salmond, on her retirement as Chair of the Board of Management, 2011
In the early 2000’s it became clear that the Choir’s governance would benefit from a Board devoted to the strategic and financial guidance of our activities, so a few of us looked for capable people in the community who may be willing to assist.
Judy Salmond was the first person approached for our Board of Management – and what a treasure we have had in her for the past 5 years. Her background in volunteer work in the Arts was legendary and it was an amazing spot of good fortune that she was interested, available and willing.
Judy’s leadership of the Board has been nothing short of brilliant – careful, astute attention to every aspect of what it takes to run a Choir like Orpheus; a really genuine appreciation of choral music; admiration of all of us making that music - our Music Director, accompanist, singers, volunteers on the Choir Committee doing the donkey work and everyone else involved; and a genuine desire to make things work. All of this required an enormous commitment of time, energy and imagination.
But the admiration is ours for you Judy – however do we thank you for everything you have given to Orpheus Choir? We give you our untold appreciation, admiration, love and good wishes for a big well-deserved rest and time of your own. When we see you at our concerts, you can be sure that we are singing to you from our hearts.
The Orpheus Choir's November fundraiser in the elegant surroundings of Park Road Post Production featured five short films created earlier this year for Tourism New Zealand’s ‘Your Big Break’ competition. In this exciting project, young filmmakers from around the world submitted three-minute screenplays, inspired by New Zealand, ‘the youngest country on earth.’ Five finalists created their films and completed them at Park Road Post, before being judged by Peter Jackson and broadcast in the United States.
Big thanks to all our sponsors for this event: The Village Goldsmith, Park Road Post Production, Spy Valley Wines, Harry's Boutique, Crabtree & Evelyn, and Zak's Cafe.
Thanks also to Juliet Dreaver for amazing vision and drive, and to Emma Blunt and the team for incredible catering.
Here's a blog piece from Ros Fogel, Orpheus soprano, on attending the function - http://stridingout.wordpress.com/2010/11/04/orpheus-choir-fundraiser/
By the way, if anyone wants to send photos from the function, feel free.
Thanks to Cath for the pic below: S-J and good friend Oscar :-)
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