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Musical director Dr Nichi Voice is a talented flutist. Photo: SUPPLIED

Choir’s new musical director

After a nationwide search, Dr Nichi Voice has been selected to lead a celebratory performance for St George’s Church’s 150th anniversary.
Dr Voice, who performs under the name of Nichola Genn Harris, is rehearsing the choir, and will conduct two performances of Handel’s Messiah in November.
A passionate musician, Dr Voice is currently head of the music department at Thames High School.
She hails from Nelson, where she began her musical training, learning piano and flute.
She played flute and piccolo in the Nelson Youth Orchestra and also for the Radio Nelson orchestra.
Dr Voice was also an extra in the Sydney Symphony Orchestra as a flutist, playing bass, alto, and concert flutes, and piccolo.
Dr Voice’s undergraduate degree was earned at the NSW State Conservatorium, in Sydney; her master’s degree in flute performance, from the University of Canterbury.
Her first job as conductor was for Nelson Repertory Theatre, presenting many musical theatre performances.
There is a strong connection with St George’s Church for Dr Voice.
Bishop Selwyn, New Zealand’s first Anglican Bishop selected her great, great paternal grandfather to come to New Zealand, from England, as a missionary for Māori.
He translated one book of the Bible into Māori, and it is quite possible that he was actually at the opening of St George’s Church in 1872.
There is also a Thames connection, with Dr Voice’s maternal grandmother having been born in Karaka St.
It is likely that she sang Messiah at St George’s too – her personal copy of Messiah is dated Thames, 1926.
Dr Voice said that she was “really enjoying” her work with the choir.
“I’ve been made to feel very welcome, with everyone here very friendly,” she said.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with this group of enthusiastic songsters, conducting choral work, which adds to my own expertise.”
DETAILS: Handel’s Messiah will be performed at St George’s Church, Thames on Saturday, November 26 at 7pm, and Sunday, November 27 at 2pm.