In words from the glorious hymn, Thine be the Glory ..."scatters fear and gloom; let the church with gladness, hymns of triumph sing," ...the New Zealand Opera School students did exactly that.

In the Collegiate School chapel yesterday the 21 students were gladness personified and sang with all their hearts.

Their voices lifted mightily in the service titled "In Praise of Music"' which included hymns and excerpts from GF Handel's Oratorio Judas Maccabaeus an inspired choice to listen to in the wondrous old chapel.

The lilting soprano of Anna Mahon singing "Come ever smiling Liberty'' was both powerful and very pretty like a summer garden in full bloom.


Tongan tenor Manase Latu delivered the powerful "Sound an Alarm'' with skill and ease.
And a virtuoso trio Luca Manghi (flute), Annie Hunt (cello) and David Kelly (harpsichord) lulled the capacity congregation with the fine and beautiful Adagio from Sonata in B minor.

A heavenly duet "O lovely peace'' sung by Pasquale Orchard and Cecily Shaw was exquisite.

Their voices blending into one and skimming seemingly with ease through this finely wrought piece of unforgettable melody.

And what a superb choice of hymn for the congregation "For all the Saints''. This was sung lustily with a huge energy.

No doubt residents throughout the area around the chapel stopped any Sunday morning tasks to listen with awe.

And how wonderful it was to have renowned international tutor Della Jones sing the Welsh National anthem Mae Hen Wlad fy nhadiaau followed by the congregation singing the New Zealand National anthem first in te reo then in English ensuring a rousing finale to this beautiful Sunday worship.

Seeing the 21 students walking with pride down the aisle at the close was testament to once again an incredible opera school, this its 25th year.

Bravo Donald Trott founder and chairman.