Music is an important part of the history and traditions of Waiapu Cathedral. The Cathedral is a wonderful venue acoustically and is often used for concerts.
The Music Department of the Cathedral undertakes many important functions, from leading worship to providing music at Diosecan and Civic Events. The Music Director at Waiapu Cathedral is Anthony Tattersall, who can be contacted via the Cathedral office administrator.
A long tradition
The Cathedral has a long tradition of having high quality choral music. The choir sings as part of the Sunday morning worship and evensong, and at special events such as weddings, ordinations and concerts. The dedicated singers perform a diverse repertoire of masses, anthems and songs, both traditional and modern, including major choral works and New Zealand compositions.
Choir rehearsals are held weekly on a Thursday evening in the choir loft. The huge repertoire of music requires singers of confidence and high musical ability, especially in sight singing. If you are interested in finding out more about the choir, please contact our Director of Music, Anthony Tattersall, via the Office Administrator (LINK).
The Cathedral Strings is a small orchestra of both professional and amateur players who complement the musical resources of the Cathedral, regularly performing on major feast days and in concerts. They enjoy sharing their talents by supporting other local choral groups when performing major works.
The Waiapu Cathedral organ is one of the finest church organs in New Zealand and one of the largest, featuring more than 3700 pipes. It had a complete restoration by the South Island Organ Company in 2010, when pipes were replaced and relocated. A new, mobile organ console replaced the console in the loft and allows more flexibility in working with choir and orchestra, and for concerts by leading organists. The organ is capable of playing the greatest French, German and English compositions in their own authentic style.
The organ has 5 divisions – Great, Swell, Positive, Solo and Pedal. A Chamade projects horizontally and speaks with great authority to its counterpart, the Tromba on the other side of the Cathedral. The Positive is to be regarded as lesser Great organ with similar pipes but on a smaller scale. The Solo has edgy string stops as well as distinctive oboe and clarinet stops.
Earlier organs were: a harmonium (1863); a William Hill of London (1874); and a Dodd of Adelaide (1907) which was destroyed in the 1931 Napier earthquake.
After the earthquake, a Lewis organ dating from 1884 was installed in the temporary cathedral, with later refurbishment and additions by Lawton & Osborne (1938). Further improvements were made in the 1960s by Hayman of Lower Hutt and then Lee of Feilding, followed by a rebuild by Geo. Croft & Son of Auckland (1974) as the current cathedral was being completed, before being restored again this century.