Nota Bene formed in August last year and since then has performed live on National Radio’s Nine to Noon, at the opening of the Holbein to Hockney exhibition at Te Papa and at the World Aids Day service at St Andrews on the Terrace. In April this year the choir presented its first public recital in the Hunter Council Chamber.
Most of the singers have trained with the New Zealand Youth Choir and many are past or present members of Voices New Zealand. The choir’s music director, Christine Argyle, studied conducting at Auckland University with Karen Grylls and Uwe Grodd, and for a year was assistant conductor of the Dorian Choir. Christine is probably best known to music audiences as a presenter on Concert FM.
Christine formed Nota Bene to perform a wide range of music ranging from classical through to contemporary art music and jazz. The ensemble performs with any number from 4 through to 20 voices and aims to present a variety of timbres and textures in its concerts, by varying the number of singers, and using a range of accompanying instruments where appropriate.
Their next concert, on 4 September, is titled Birdsong, and will include pieces such as The Blue Bird (Stanford), The Silver Swan & Dainty Fine Bird (Gibbons), Le chant des oiseaux (Janequin) and A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square.