We are currently looking for some new players – particularly upper strings.  If you’d like to join the orchestra, please contact us to check availability of places – we’d love to hear from you.​


We are compiling a database of people interested in our future concerts, so please contact us if you'd like to have your name added.  

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About Us  

Resonance Ensemble was formed in February 2012 by players, and is now firmly established as an integral part of the musical landscape of Christchurch and beyond.  Recognised as a high-quality, innovative and flexible orchestral ensemble, Resonance provides opportunities for musicians and audiences to experience both popular and novel repertoire beyond the more standard fare offered by Christchurch’s only fully professional orchestra.  Programmes range from music for chamber orchestra, works for larger ensemble, and New Zealand compositions, including new commissions.

The orchestra rehearses weekly, presenting three or four concerts per year, and works primarily with Christchurch-based conductors and soloists.  Conductors have included Mark Hodgkinson, Tony Ryan, Helen Renaud and Anthony Ferner.

Our 2021 concert dates are 3pm Sunday 18 April at the Rangiora Town Hall, followed by 3 concerts at the Piano, Sundays at 3pm, on 4 July, 26 September, and 28 November. We look forward to presenting wonderful and innovative programmes for our growing and appreciative audience. 

Diary the dates now, and thanks for your support.

A Tuba at the Jockey Club

Conductor: Tony Ryan

Sunday 4 July, 3pm, The Piano

The Principal Tuba of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Thomas Allely, is our special trans-Tasman guest soloist in this racy programme of spectacular classics highlighting the influence of the Paris Jockey Club in the nineteenth century.

At that time Paris was one of the great musical capitals of Europe, with French opera at the forefront in terms of spectacle and grandeur, especially with its inclusion of elaborate dance interludes. The young, egocentric aristocrats of the Jockey Club insisted on the insertion of these extravaganzas in every new opera and would disrupt proceedings if they failed to get an opportunity to see their favourite ballerinas on the stage. Even Verdi and Wagner were forced to add lengthy dance spectacles to their operas for Parisian premières.

For this concert, Resonance Ensemble, along with soprano Helen Charlton, presents a programme of overtures, arias and ballet music inspired by the demands of the Paris Jockey Club, with music by Auber, Offenbach and Massenet, as well as the Tuba Concerto by our conductor Tony Ryan, newly revised especially for this performance.


Conductor: Tony Ryan

Tony Ryan is well-known to Christchurch audiences as a conductor, composer, educator, reviewer and adjudicator. As a teacher he led the performing arts at Linwood College for more than thirty years before spending several years working in Kenya and Singapore.

Since returning to New Zealand, Tony has worked as a regular conductor of Resonance Ensemble, conductor of the Christchurch School of Music Sinfonia and, from this year, conductor of the Christchurch Schools Music Festival Orchestra. In September he will conduct the massed forces of the Christchurch School of Music in a new commission by Gareth Farr.

Apart from the Tuba Concerto being performed in this concert, Tony’s most recent compositions were performed in 2019 and 2020 by Resonance Ensemble, the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, and orchestras from the Christchurch School of Music.

Thomas Allely: Tuba

Thomas grew up in Christchurch, and began learning tuba at Linwood High School before completing his undergraduate degree at Victoria University Wellington, and his postgraduate study in Australia with Steve Rosse of the Sydney Symphony, and also at DePaul University, Chicago, with Floyd Cooley of the San Francisco Symphony.

Having previously held positions with the Wellington Sinfonia, Central Band of the Royal New Zealand Airforce, and the DePaul Screamin’ Demons Pep Band, Thomas was appointed Section Principal Tuba of Queensland Symphony Orchestra in 2007. Thomas also teaches at the Queensland Conservatorium at Griffith University. 

In his spare time, Thomas enjoys going to the gym, reading obscure science fiction novels, and practising macrame. 

Helen Charlton: Soprano

Helen Charlton is an experienced Christchurch-based singer, performing regularly as a soloist and choral director. Born and raised in Christchurch, she attended Linwood High School for her senior years, graduated from Canterbury University with a music degree majoring in Performance Singing and Massey University with a Graduate Diploma in Secondary School Teaching. Helen has been involved with performing in opera, oratorio, chamber opera, solo recitals, musical theatre, television, and radio.


Her time is divided between teaching voice, conducting school choirs and barbershop, teaching in her private studio and directing The Canterbury Westland Branch Law Choir. She has a passion for education through singing and is on the Canterbury/West Coast Committee for the New Zealand Choral Federation as well as National Committee for the Association of Choral Directors. Helen is always delighted to be working with her former music teacher.