• Fiona Wilson and Elise Bradley at St Matthew in the City July 2019.
  • Key Cygnetures Alumni Reunion Choir

Singing together again

Key Cygnetures Alumni Choir

Westlake’s highly acclaimed musical groups feature consistently as top award winners at national and international music festivals. The premier choirs – Choralation (combined with Westlake Boys) and Cantare (the premier girls’ choir) have both been selected for this year’s ‘Big Sing’ Finale in Dunedin.

Westlake Girls has a proud tradition of musical excellence before the establishment of our current top choral groups. The Music department and the Alumni Association recently took the opportunity to bring together some of our former choristers to collaborate and sing with the visiting choir of their former Musical Director, and Cantare.

Key Cygnetures Choir was one of the most celebrated secondary school choirs in New Zealand for more than 15 years. Established in 1992 by former WGHS HOD Music, Elise Bradley MNZM, as Westlake’s top choir, Key Cygnetures was consistently selected to receive gold and platinum awards at the national choral competitions.

It had a string of international successes too, culminating in acclaimed performances in 2008 at the Summa Cum Laude International Festival in Vienna, and the eighth World Choral Symposium in Copenhagen. In 2008, Ms Bradley took up a new position as Choral Director of the Toronto Children’s Chorus (TCC) and Fiona Wilson (Milmine), one of Ms Bradley’s first music students at Westlake, became the new HOD Music.

Recently, more than 30 former Key Cygnetures choristers formed an Alumni Reunion Choir to perform again in a concert at St Matthew in the City, singing some of the favourites from their repertoire, and some new pieces as they combined in song with TCC and Cantare.

Many other past choir members and music staff joined the group for a wonderful reunion gathering at Westlake, and many messages were received from choir members now widely spread over the world – 130 of them still connected through their Facebook group. There was great enthusiasm and pleasure in the sharing of music across the Westlake eras, something we hope to do more of in the future, particularly as the new Westlake Girls Event Centre takes shape, replacing the original hall, over the next 18 months.

For any information about the Westlake Girls alumni network, email the alumni co-ordinator, alumni@westlakegirls.school.nz