The Jubilate Singers are very pleased to announce that Philip Norman has been
appointed Patron of the choir. Philip succeeds our inaugural Patron, Professor
John Ritchie, who died in September 2104.
Philip was born in Christchurch in 1953 and educated at
Rathkeale College Masterton 1967-71 and University of Canterbury where he
graduated with a BA (Music and English) 1975, MAHons (Musicology) 1977, PhD
(Musicology) 1984. He was a student of John Ritchie.
Since 1978 he has worked freelance as a professional
composer and writer with additional work including musical direction,
conducting and broadcasting. He was principal music reviewer for the
Christchurch Press for much of the 1980s, co-founder and director of Nota Bene
Music Publishing Co from 1979 and was active through the 1980s as a committee
member, secretary and president of Composers’ Association of New Zealand. From
1991-95 he was music director of the Christchurch School of Instrumental
Music and in 1992 was composer in residence with the Christchurch Symphony
Orchestra, the only composer to have held a residency with that orchestra.
He has composed and arranged well over 200 pieces in a wide
variety of genres. He compiled three editions of the ‘Bibliography of New
Zealand Compositions’ which in 1992 formed the beginnings of the SOUNZ computer
database of New Zealand composers and compositions. He has had works
commissioned or performed by most of the leading music, theatre and ballet companies
in New Zealand.
His recent biography of New Zealand composer Douglas Lilburn
won the biography category in the 2007 Montana Book Awards. Philip was the 2007
Ursula Bethell Creative Writer in Residence at the University of Canterbury
English Department and the recipient of a 2008 CLL Writer’s Award, assisting
him to continue work on a general history of New Zealand composition.
Philip has been a
supporter of the Jubilate Singers over recent years and the choir has performed
and recorded his song “Shipwreck”.
The Jubilate Singers look forward to Philip's guidance and
advice and artistic collaborations.
Emeritus Professor John Ritchie, 1921 - 2014
John Ritchie was born in Wellington, New Zealand, in 1921. Professor Ritchie graduated in music at the Otago University and trained as a teacher at Dunedin Teacher’s College. Ritchie served in the navy in World War II and subsequently undertook post-graduate study with Walter Piston at Harvard University during 1956-57.
In 1946 he was appointed to Canterbury University, becoming Professor and Head of Music in 1962. Ritchie served as acting and Deputy Vice-Chancellor from 1973-83. During 1967-68 he held a Visiting Professorship at Exeter University and served on the board of Trinity College of Music, London.
Professor Ritchie has conducted many choirs and, in 1959, formed the John Ritchie String Orchestra and later the Christchurch Civic Orchestra. He has guest-conducted the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the New Zealand Ballet. In 1974 he was Music Director of the 10th Commonwealth Games and, in 1986, directed the music for the Papal Visit of John Paul II. Ritchie was Secretary General of the International Society for Music Education from 1976-84 and its President 1990-92. He was elected an Individual Member of the International Music Council in 1979.
As a composer Professor Ritchie is known for choral music, music for brass, concerto-type works, carols and church music. His work includes “Concertino for Clarinet and Strings”, “Concerto for Saxophone and Small Orchestra”, “Threnody” (brass band), “The Snow Goose” (flute and orchestra), and “Papanui Road Overture” (full orchestra). A recording of some of his choral works, Winter and Rough Weather, has been made by the Jubilate Singers.
John Ritchie was awarded the CANZ Citation for service to New Zealand music in 1992. He has a family of three daughters and two sons. His wife, Anita, a nationally recognised soprano, died in 2001.
John Ritchie passes away on the morning of his 93rd birthday, the 29th of September 2014. He is survived by three daughters and two sons.
The Jubilate Singers acknowledge the dedicated support of Professor Ritchie for the choir over many years.
Jubilate Singers is an incorporated society, administered by an Executive. The choir seeks to:
- perform choral music to its highest achievable standard;
- challenge members to continually improve their musical standards;
- provide audiences in Christchurch and further afield with proven and new choral repertoire.
The current Executive members are:
- John Jefferies (President)
- Vivien Hicks (Secretary)
- Howard Harvey (Treasurer)
- Susan Densem (Music Director)
- Denis Guyan (Assistant Music Director)
- Lois Chick
- Janine Heeringa
- Steve French