Hibiscus Coast Singers History
The Hibiscus Coast Singers choir was formed in 1990 with Neville Bradley as Musical Director (MD).
Neville had previously been MD of the Orewa District Choir.
Initially, the Hibiscus Coast Singers was a community choir not all of whom were auditioned. Auditioning was introduced later as an entry requirement but no regular auditioning process occurs.
Following the resignation of Neville Bradley in 1999, Maurice Gorbey (formerly Musical Director of the Wellsford District Choir) served as Acting Musical Director until the appointment of Norman Firth in 2000.
Norman Firth lifted the choir's standards to a high level of performance of music, attracting critical acclaim.
Anita Banbury has occasionally stood in for Norman when he has been away for long periods.
After 17 years with the choir, Norman Firth took his final bow on Sunday, 10th December 2017. He has presented programmes of great variety and interest and introduced high standards and famous choral works to the choir. We appreciated his enormous talent and patience.
Our new Musical Director, Robyn Allen Goudge was appointed in 2018 and introduced more varied programmes, starting with A Winter's Feast, which was performed in June 2018.
Donations are regularly given to Hibiscus Coast Hospice.
Previous Musical Director
Norman has been involved with choral music for more than 50 years. He is a former executive chairman and president of the NZ Choral Federation.
He was a member of the Auckland Dorian Singers choir for 35 years, Musical Director at the Takapuna Methodist Church for 30 years and has been the Musical Director of the Hibiscus Coast Singers for the last 15 years.
Since taking over as MD of the HBC Singers, he has sought to present programmes of great variety which provide a musical challenge to the choir members, thereby improving standards of performance and greater familiarity with the repertoire. He has introduced the choir to a number of famous choral works and the choir has grown significantly.
The late Barry Golding
The Australian (Melbourne) born pianist and conductor studied in Melbourne, but moved to Sydney to join the Australian Opera Company first as a repetiteur, and later as a conductor.
As well as working with the Opera Co. he conducted the NSW Police Choir, winning many awards for male choirs. He coached singers at the NSW Conservatorium of music, and was the Chorus Master for many television operas produced by the ABC. In that period he also came to NZ as Guest Conductor for the Opera. Then followed a period when he was Musical Director of the South Australian Opera Co.
In 1980, he moved to Europe, starting in Mannheim, West Germany, and then worked extensively throughout Europe as pianist and conductor in several opera houses, conducting both opera and operetta. He conducted and toured with a Youth Orchestra to many European countries, including Germany, Luxembourg, Poland and Hungary. He also made many trips to America as an accompanist for singers and instrumentalists.
He has often been involved with the HBCS and we wish to honour his memory. Barry passed away during 2017 after a long battle with cancer.