Music Team

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Musical Director and Conductor – Lachlan Craig

Lachlan completed his BMus in Performance Voice at the University of Auckland studying with Dr. Morag Atchison, and also winning the Pears-Britten Scholarship for Singing. He has recently completed his Honours Degree in Choral Conducting and Pedagogy with Dr. Karen Grylls gaining First Class Honours, as well as completing specialist topics singing large collections of works by Britten and Schumann, and giving a lecture recital on the adolescent male voice. Lachlan studied at The Choral Music Institute at Oxford University in July 2015 under Dr. James Jordan and Dr. James Whitbourn and is currently completing a Master’s degree in Performance Voice under Dr. Te Oti Rakena.  Lachlan is known as one of the most versatile tenors in NZ and his postgraduate study centres around the singer and a soloist, ensemble musician, teacher, conductor and performer.  He is a member of Voices NZ Chamber Choir and the Freemasons NZ Opera Chorus and is also an alumni of the NZ Secondary Students Choir, NZ Youth Choir and the UoA Chamber Choir.

He has performed as a soloist with Auckland University Opera, Opera Factory, Regional Choral Societies, Youth Choirs, and National Choirs throughout NZ. His ensemble singing has taken him as far as Singapore, Korea, China, UK, USA, Canada, Brazil, Argentina and Australia. Lachlan has also been chosen to participate in several master-classes with The Kings Singers, Ian Honeyman, Dana J. Wilson, Jo-Michael Schiebe, Rodney Eichenberger, Simon Halsey, Tecwyn Evans, Keith Lewis, David Harper, Peter Lockwood and Andrew Dalton.

Lachlan holds a full-time studio teaching position as Director of Choirs at Saint Kentigern College. The choral programme at the College caters for over 100 singers in five ensembles.  His choirs Kentoris and Menasing have successfully gained entry to the Big Sing Finale in 2013, 14, 15 and 16 gaining Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards.  Kentoris have toured through South America, produced a CD, performed with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and been awarded Best Recital by a Mixed Voice Choir at The Big Sing.  He also directs the College Chamber Orchestra.  He has worked of several of the College musicals including West Side Story, Les Miserables, Sweeney Todd, Blood Brothers, Spamalot, and Oliver.  Many of his singing students have gone on to tertiary study in voice, been offered places in the NZ Secondary Students Choir, NZ Youth Choir, Voices NZ and won several awards, scholarships and titles at the Waiariki Institute of Technology New Zealand Aria competition.

Lachlan is the current Musical Director and Conductor of the Auckland Youth Choir who under his direction have grown to over 100 members, hosted sell out concerts, performed several World and NZ Premieres, created a conducting intern programme, the Wallace Youth Chamber Orchestra, a composer in residence scholarship and performed in Carnegie Hall, New York.  In his short time as the director of the choir he has lead them through successful performances of Faure’s Requiem, Brahms Liebeslieder Waltzer, Britten’s Saint Nicolas, Whitacre’s Five Hebrew Love Songs, Gjeilo’s Dark Night of the Soul, Durufle’s Requiem, Mealor’s Stabat Mater Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols and in 2017 will undertake James Whitbourn’s masterpiece Annelies.

Lachlan has been an intern for The IFAC Handa NZ Singing School, Gondwana National Choral School and the NZ Secondary Students Choir – also working as a Vocal Consultant to the choir. He is regularly in demand as a choral clinician and adjudicator for both choral and singing competitions.   Recent solo engagements include Saint-Saëns’ Oratorio de Noël, Haydn’s Creation, Beethoven’s Mass in C, Monteverdi’s Combattimento, Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s St Matthew Passion, Mozart’s Requiem.   Lachlan’s 2017 engagements include The Evangelist for Jack Body’s Passio in the Auckland Arts Festival collaborating with Voices NZ Chamber Choir and the Auckland Chamber Orchestra as well as tenor soloist for Bach’s Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis with Bach Musica.

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Assistant Musical Director and Accompanist – Grace Francis

23-year-old Grace Francis began learning the piano at the age of 4, and recently completed her Bachelor of Music (Honours) in classical piano performance under Rae de Lisle at the University of Auckland. She will begin a Masters in musicology with Dr Davinia Caddy next year. In 2012, Grace made her professional concerto debut performing Mozart with Bach Musica, and undertook early music studies in harpsichord with James Tibbles, culminating in a public debut as soloist with the Age of Discovery Orchestra.

She has also performed with the Auckland Philharmonia, Nelson Symphony, Auckland Youth, Manawatu Sinfonia, Aotea Youth, and Southern Sinfonia orchestras. Grace was a 2010 National Concerto Competition finalist, and the National Young Performer of the Year. More recently, she was a semi-finalist in the 2013 inaugural Wallace National Piano Competition. Having participated in the New Zealand String Quartet Adam Chamber Music Summer School and the Pettman/Royal Over-Seas League Chamber Music competition, and worked as a repetiteur and accompanist for the Whanganui New Zealand Opera School, University Opera projects and the National Aria Competition in Rotorua, Grace has a strong love for collaborative music. This currently manifests in her work as a musical coach for four school choirs around Auckland, and extensive work as an accompanist.

In the future she hopes to undertake a PhD in the United States following the completion of her Masters, as well as record and give concert tours with her twin sister Olivia, a violinist.