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About Us

wososi History
Kaupapa
Conductors
Members
Rehearsals & Workshops

 


History

On his journeys throughout the world, and by working with many inspiring and talented singers Bert van Djik collected an exciting repertoire of mostly a capella songs and chants from various ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

In the mid to late 90s he began to share this repertoire of songs in workshops and from this emerged the need to form a choir with like-minded people who share the enjoyment of singing world song.   In the early stages the choir operated under the name Wellington World Choir, practising in the stunning Erskine Chapel in Island Bay.   On average about 50 – 60 singers attended rehearsals and performed in concerts.   As there was a lot of coming and going Bert felt the need to establish a smaller but more committed vocal ensemble under the name: WOSOSI (World Song Singers).

WOSOSI has been in existence since 2002 and over the years we have invited various guest conductors to share songs and approaches to polyphonic, a cappella singing.

bertBert is an internationally renowned theatre director, performer, conductor, voice and acting coach.  His voice work integrates the unique Roy Hart approach of the Extended Voice with principles from the  Michael Chekhov technique. Bert was founder and musical director of WOSOSI for ten years until he left Wellington in 2012. His presence is missed - his repertoire and kaupapa live on.

“For me the human voice is by far the most potent, intimate, soulful, extraordinary, profound means of expression and communication. I particularly love exploring our extreme vocal possibilities: the roars, the squeaks, the sighs, the rattles, the sobs and the wailing.”   Bert van Dijk



WOSOSI Kaupapa

To sing with ease, form, beauty, connection and wholeness.  To entertain and engage with our audience and each other.  To raise people’s spirits.  To celebrate cultural diversity.

An essential element of our kaupapa is to share our joy of singing with people in rest homes, hospitals and hospices, thus lifting the spirits of those who may be suffering from ill health or old age.



Conductors

condnaomi

Naomi Parker

Naomi is a scientist who sings like an angel, while leading us fearlessly into new gospel territory and beyond. She gently keeps us in line, in tune and focussed (with the help of an occasional shepherd's whistle). Naomi is a dedicated and accomplished conductor.

"I've really appreciated the opportunity I've had through WOSOSI to spread my conducting wings and to explore some of the rich gospel tradition along with the world music genre.  It's an amazing feeling when we collectively get to those moments where the wonderful WOSOSI voices and the intention of the song come together into something very special."

 

condbert Pam Hughes

While Pam is more used to training young people and job seekers she manages to keep us on track with carefully researched methodologies, an intuitive feel for the music and a slightly suspect sense of humour. And she sure can belt out a full, rich alto!   With the departure of Bert van Dijk in 2012, Pam stepped in and took up co-directorship with Naomi Parker.

“WOSOSI has been a part of my life for so long it's hard to imagine a time without it. What a fantastic choir family we have - laughs, love and naughtiness - often all in one evening!! From my very first time singing with Bert I have been hooked on world music - the variety, the depth and the stories behind the songs make for an exciting, challenging and often moving repertoire. It's wonderful to share these songs with others and know that we are helping to keep alive some very old treasures.    Moving from singer to co-leader is a privilege - I'm looking forward to an exciting journey ahead!”  

Guest Conductors

To keep things interesting and challenging, throughout the year we invite guest conductors.   They bring in new repertoire and new approaches to singing and performance. Past guest conductors have included Max Maxwell, Julian Raphael, Sean O'Connor and the wonderful Tony Backhouse.

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memMembers

WOSOSI members come from a variety of musical backgrounds. We are passionate about and committed to learning and sharing world song. We entertain and engage with our audiences and raise people's spirits.

Whakawhanaungatanga is important to us, we enjoy each others company and having a laugh.



Want to sing with WOSOSI? Click here to find out how to join.

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Rehearsals & Workshops

Rehearsals

Our practice sessions are on Wednesday evenings every week during normal school terms.
Time: 7:15pm - 9:15pm with a light supper.
Venue : Wadestown Presbyterian Church
Please contact us first before coming to a rehearsal.

Workshops

We hold a choir workshop on a Saturday each term to consolidate and fine tune our repertoire. These days also give us a great opportunity to spend some social time together.

If you are interested in joining WOSOSI, contact us to arrange coming along to one of these workshops.   This day is an ideal time for us to get to know each other and for you to see if this is the right choir for you. Click here to find out more about joining.

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