WelCom October 2023
‘Those who sing pray twice,’ said St Augustine.
The choir at St Teresa’s Church, Karori, Wellington, is looking for new members. Under the directorship of Douglas Mews, besides leading the congregational singing, the choir sings a variety of liturgical music: Palestrina motets, plainsong hymns, Māori waiata, Gelineau psalms as well as modern repertoire.
Practices are on Tuesday evenings at 7.30pm in the church at 301 Karori Rd; and on the first and third Sundays of the month the choir sings at the 10am Mass. At Christmas the choir sings carols to lead into the 10pm Christmas Eve Mass, and at Easter the choir plays an important part in the Holy Week services.
Douglas Mews says that ‘as a church musician since 1970, when my father (Dr Douglas Mews) roped me into playing the organ at St Pat’s Cathedral in Auckland, and made me write a “Holy, holy” and “Lamb of God” – which congregations sang for many years – I have developed strong ideas on liturgical music’.
‘I believe music should, above all, help us to understand the text. Sometimes the music can be simple, allowing the words to be heard without ornament, and at other times, the music can “paint a picture” to illustrate the text. At St Teresa’s, the choir sings a variety of styles.’
After ten years as organist and assistant choir director at St Pat’s, Douglas spent a similar period at St Mary’s in Nelson, plus a couple of years at the English Speaking Roman Catholic Parish in The Hague, Holland, before becoming organist and choir director at St Teresa’s, Karori in 1993.
As a keyboard player, Douglas began with piano and organ lessons from his father before undertaking study at Auckland University with Tony Jennings as his organ and harpsichord teacher. ‘This was followed by two years harpsichord study with Bob van Asperen at the Royal Conservatorium in the Hague. Since then I have taught at Victoria University for nearly 40 years while playing in various orchestras and chamber groups, and accompanying many choirs,’ Douglas says.
If you would like to join the choir at St Teresa’s please contact Douglas Mews at: firstname.lastname@example.org
There is a recording of the choir on YouTube: youtube.com/watch?v=tfjQrjWDW8s