Glennie Jamieson plans to continue her enjoyment of music,
after stepping down from City Choir Dunedin after 51 years
in the alto section. Photo by Brenda Harwood.
Life in Dunedin has been synonymous with a life in music
for Glennie Jamieson (80), who recently stepped down as a
member of City Choir Dunedin after 51 years.
Mrs Jamieson's long service was recently acknowledged with
the presentation of the choir's George R. West Award, which
she received alongside fellow choir stalwarts Wendy Coppin
(43 years) and Gillian Watson (43 years).
A member of the Sydney University Musical Society, as a
student of French and psychology in the 1950s, Mrs Jamieson
joined the then Schola Cantorum (now City Choir Dunedin) when
she moved to Dunedin in 1962.
''Another woman working in the university library, Pat
Buchan, was a choir member and she encouraged me to join,''
Mrs Jamieson said.
''I have loved it ever since. We have sung so many wonderful
works over the years.''
Throughout her adult life, Mrs Jamieson has been a stalwart
member of the choir, even performing Bach's Mass in B Minor
while eight months' pregnant.
''I was determined to be part of that concert and, even
though I was short of breath in the long phrases, it was
The longest period Mrs Jamieson had away from the choir was a
four-month hiatus in 1970, when her late husband Don, also a
university librarian, was on sabbatical.
Throughout her career as a university librarian, which
included working with rare books at Selwyn College and at
Knox College Library, Mrs Jamieson enjoyed the opportunity to
sing alongside university colleagues and others in the
choir's diverse membership.
''People come from all over the place to sing; it's amazing
to see,'' she said.
Mrs Jamieson recalls many musical highlights, including
touring Handel's Messiah and Mozart's Requiem to
Invercargill, a large and enthusiastic performance of Carmina
Burana, and more recently performances of Bach's Mass in B
Minor and Verdi's Requiem with the New Zealand Symphony
''There have been dozens of performances at Dunedin Town
Hall, which is a fantastic place to perform.''
In recent years, keeping up with the choir's often demanding
rehearsal schedule has become a challenge for the Dunedin
grandmother, leading to her reluctant withdrawal.
''I'm going to miss the choir terribly - it has been a huge
part of my life,'' she said.