Friday 19th May – 7:30pm; Takapuna Methodist Church, 427 Lake Road, Takapuna


Auckland Youth Choir, under the direction of Lachlan Craig, are pleased to present this joint concert with Allegheny College Chamber choir as part of their New Zealand tour. Allegheny College Chamber choir are directed by James D. Niblock


Allegheny College is a residential, liberal-arts college in western Pennsylvania that promotes and celebrates the “unusual combinations” of skills and interests among its 2000 students.  Founded in 1815, Allegheny has been home and inspiration to the likes of journalist Ida Tarbell, lawyer and civil rights advocate Clarence Darrow, and the 25th President of the United States, William McKinley.   Today, Allegheny offers major and minor programs of study in over 50 disciplines, and the College is consistently ranked among the best American Colleges on the basis of rigor, value, influence, service, and contribution to the public good.  

The Allegheny Choirs owe much of their present-day form and culture to the founding of the Allegheny Singers in 1930 by Morten J. Luvaas.  A graduate of St. Olaf College, Luvaas formed Allegheny’s first coed choir, arranged and composed extensively for the ensemble, and propelled them to an ambitious touring schedule, which included performances in the leading venues of the Eastern United States.  Under the leadership of four subsequent directors, Allegheny’s singers have travelled widely in North America and Europe, exercised their talents under renowned composers, and collaborated with leading professional musicians.  The College’s program of choral and vocal music has grown to include a town-gown community chorus, men’s and women’s ensembles, and a select subset of the flagship College Choir – the Allegheny Chamber Choir.  Members of the Chamber Choir are highly invested singers who are typically enrolled in voice lessons, perform with multiple ensembles, and engage in vocal chamber music concerts as well as solo recitals.  Most members of the group elect majors in disciplines other than music, bringing diverse skills and perspectives to the collective pursuit of technical and artistic achievement in singing.  This is the Chamber Choir’s first international tour, and the first tour to the Pacific for an Allegheny ensemble.


James D. Niblock is Associate Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Allegheny College.  He leads Allegheny’s five choral ensembles and provides instruction and support to the area of applied vocal studies.  Additionally, he teaches music courses in theory and appreciation, an interdisciplinary science course about the human voice, and a first-year writing and speaking seminar titled Music & Comedy.  Prior to his appointment at Allegheny, Dr. Niblock had served on the faculties of Colgate University, the University of Connecticut, University School (Ohio), Eastern US Music Camp, and the World Scholar-Athlete Games.  He has prepared ensembles for performances on public television, for collaborations with professional ensembles (The Western Wind, San Antonio Vocal Arts Ensemble, musica intima, Alexander String Quartet), and for performance at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall.  As a choirmaster, he has served several church denominations, and more still as a singer.  His credits as a chorister include the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus, the Philharmonia Chorus, and the Norfolk Chamber Choir.  He has presented work at conferences of the American Choral Directors Association and the National Collegiate Choral Organization.  Dr. Niblock holds degrees from the University of Connecticut, Binghamton University, and Allegheny College.  An active professional on several fronts, he has been engaged as a singer, clinician, and conductor throughout the US as well as in Russia, New Zealand, England, and Spain.  He lives in Cochranton, Pennsylvania, with his wife Carol and their children Benjamin, Peter, and Madeleine.