About the MSA Men’s Choir
Hatched in 2012 over a glass of red wine, Angie Cresswell and Jim Lischner had the notion of starting a men’s singing group in Ashburton. Both of them were ex National Male Choir of New Zealand members, Jim the President and Angie the Musical Director. If they could get just 12 guys – a bit of a challenge in rural Mid Canterbury – they could have a sing.
Here we are in 2018 with Simon O’Neill as our patron, over 30 dedicated singers – having a ball – and more guys threatening to join!
We have a series of memorable concerts under our belt. Have performed with Simon on a number of occasions and are currently working to produce our biggest show ever. 'For the Fallen' in celebration of 100 years since Armistice Day. We will perform in the Ashburton Trust Event Centre with the Garden City Big Band and other guests. A special performance on the very day - 11th November Sunday.
After the arrival of Brian O’Neill into the choir, it was not long before the world famous tenor Simon O’Neill,(you can work out the connection I’m sure), arrived one night at our practice. The boys, as you can imagine were really excited that he would grace us with his presence. In true Simon style, he soon had them at ease and even joined in for a sing. He sang an impromptu duet with our accompanist, Olivia Pike, and between them brought the choir to tears.
A few days later, Simon made contact with Angie Cresswell the Musical Director and between them they made a plan for a concert in Ashburton, to be held at the MSA, where else? Since then Angie and her lads have performed with Simon another three times, with plans underway for more.
To find out what Simon is up to and more about his tour dates, click here
Angie has always had a passion for music, especially making it accessible to as many people as possible. She strives tirelessly to break down the perceived social barriers to music and has little time for “precious” musicians. Music is for all, and that has always been her belief.
As a singer, a performer, pianist, flautist and conductor, she brings a wealth of talent and skills to this community based choir. She weaves elements of these talents expertly into every musical experience she presents to ‘her boys’ and the appreciation, respect and love that they have for her can be easily measured by their loyalty and dedication and the smiles that they readily display, whether performing or rehearsing.
Prior to forming the choir with Jim Lischner, she has over the years been involved with music groups and choirs that have enjoyed huge success, both in the UK and Europe. She was an itinerant teacher for many years, serving the youngsters of Mid Canterbury and is currently part of the Music Team at Ashburton College. There, she teaches classroom music to all ages, runs the junior chorus and is inloved in musicals and other events put on by the College.
Upon taking up residency in New Zealand she was approached by the National Male Choir of New Zealand to be the assistant Musical Director. After two years, she moved to Musical Director taking the choir on an international tour of England, Ireland and Wales. The two highlights of the tour were undoubtedly singing in York Minster and a placing in the competition at the International Eisteddfod in Llangollen – the home of Male Voice Choirs