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.
Follow us on Facebook
Resonance Ensemble was formed in February 2012, 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. Recent conductors have included Tony Ryan, Helen Renaud and Anthony Ferner.
The 2020 concert programme has been disrupted (as have performances worldwide) by the covid-19 pandemic.
Despite that, two successful concerts have already been given, with the next scheduled for 29 November.
Join us for our next concert: Heroes and Anti-Heroes
Christchurch’s superb specialist orchestra, Resonance Ensemble, conducted by Tony Ryan, is currently preparing another exciting programme of works from less often encountered corners of the repertoire.
Beethoven’s Egmont Overture is one of his best-known orchestral works, but few will know the other moving and dramatic music that the composer wrote for Goethe’s play. Composed towards the end of Beethoven’s extraordinarily productive middle period, the Incidental Music to Egmont is among his finest creations. Resonance Ensemble’s performance of the complete Egmont music will include soprano Helen Charlton in its two vocal movements, and Christchurch actor and singer Ben Freeth who will provide a linking narration to bring the dramatic context to life.
Two short vocal pieces by this concert’s conductor Tony Ryan will again feature the singing talents of Helen Charlton and Ben Freeth. Helen performs Ryan’s orchestral song Don Quixote, and she will be joined by Ben for It’s Christmas Here As Well which was premiered at last year’s Christchurch Symphony Orchestra Christmas Concert.
Khachaturian’s colourful and spectacular Violin Concerto may not often appear in concert programmes, but this wonderfully appealing and dramatic work, full of the composer’s familiar melodic and rhythmic genius is the major work in this programme. Featuring talented nineteen-year-old Christchurch violinist, Thomas Bedggood, this will be a performance not to be missed.
The orchestra will end with two further works by Khachaturian, his very popular Adagio from Spartacus and the swirling Waltz from Masquerade.
Conductor: Tony Ryan
Tony is well-known to Christchurch audiences for his work with various professional organisations, but also particularly for his leadership of performing arts at Linwood College for more than 30 years, including as conductor of the Linwood College Orchestra culminating in an exhilarating European tour in 2011.
Now returned after five years living and working in Kenya and Singapore, Tony is again fully involved in the Christchurch music scene, composing , conducting and reviewing. As well as Resonance, he conducts the CSM Sinfonia and regularly contributes reviews of concerts, opera and music theatre to The Press, RNZ Concert and Theatreview. Tony’s most recent compositions were performed in 2019 and 2020 by Resonance Ensemble, the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, the CSM Sinfonia and the CSM Intermediate Orchestra. November’s Resonance concert will also feature two of his shorter vocal works: Don Quixote and It's Christmas Here as Well.
Tony is greatly enjoying music-making of the highest level with this outstanding ensemble.
Violin Soloist: Thomas Bedggood
Thomas Bedggood is a 19-year-old performance and composition student at the University of Canterbury. Beginning as a junior scholar at the age of 16, Thomas has now completed his third year and is planning to continue with Honours next year in both performance and composition.
Over the past three years Thomas has received awards from the Lilburn Trust and the Dame Malvina Major Foundation, and in 2019 he was invited to compose for and attend the Bendigo International Festival of Experimental Music. In both 2019 and 2020 he was the recipient of the UC Blues Awards for Music and Outstanding Achievement in the Arts. Thomas is also currently participating in the Latin America CAPE musicality programme for which four young New Zealand composers collaborate and compose a 15-minute piece to be performed by members of the NZSO and NYO.
Another achievement in 2020 is having a full orchestral work selected to be part of the Todd Corporation Young Composers' Awards; Thomas's work, Smoking Mirror, will be performed and recorded by the NZSO in late November. Thomas has a deep appreciation of diverse genres of music, in particular works that have deep cultural roots and he is one of the founding members of The Dirt Road Ensemble which now plays throughout Canterbury, exploring eclectic music from classical through to gypsy jazz. Over the last few years Thomas has enjoyed playing with Resonance Ensemble and is very appreciative of having the chance to perform the Khatchaturian Violin Concerto with them.
Soprano Soloist: Helen Charlton
Narrator and Singer: Ben Freeth
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.
Although always busy with a multitude of projects, Helen will always make time to work with her former music teacher!
Since graduating from the National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Art (NASDA) with a Bachelor of Performing Arts Ben has immersed himself in theatre.
His previous acting credits include roles in Romeo and Juliet; Mary Poppins; Cops and Robbers; Legally Blonde the Musical; The Ugly Duckling; Chicago; Titus Andronicus; Jesus Christ Superstar; The Wind in the Willows; Les Liaisons Dangereuses (The Court Theatre), in which he also worked as intern director; Once on Chunuk Bair (Imagine Charitable Trust); RAP-unzel; Botfarm 2014 (New Zealand Playhouse); Mamma Mia; Wicked and Les Misérables (Showbiz Christchurch).
Ben’s stage management credits include Catch Me If You Can; Severely Queer (Blackboard Theatre Collective); Sweet Charity; Ragtime (NASDA); Songs for a New World (So Keen Productions); The Father (The Court Theatre).
His directing credits include Time Machine; Crash Bash: Reaction; Crash Bash: What's the Rush? (The Court Theatre) and The Isolation Mixtape (Blackboard Theatre Collective).
Ben and a number of his talented colleagues founded the Christchurch-based theatre company, Blackboard Theatre Collective.