In 2016, Chris was delighted to be invited by the Auckland Symphony Orchestra and their director Peter Thomas to compose a new work for choir, organ and orchestra. He had been thinking of writing a Missa Brevis (literally a ‘short mass’) and this proved to be the perfect opportunity.
This work is in five movements, Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, Benedictus and Agnus Dei. Whilst he had written many short choral works with either organ or orchestra accompaniment, this was Chris' first large scale work for these forces.
Missa Brevis Akarana reflects his interest in both traditional classical repertoire and jazz music. The work received a standing ovation when it was premiered by The Graduate Choir New Zealand, Holy Trinity Cathedral Choir, Auckland Symphony Orchestra and Cathedral Organist Philip Smith, directed by Peter Thomas at Holy Trinity Cathedral Parnell in March 2018.
In August 2018, the work received another very enthusiastic reception when performed to a full house at Auckland Town Hall.
King’s College combined choirs and orchestra have also performed two of the movements – Kyrie and Benedictus.
In January 2020, top UK conductor, Ben Parry (Director of the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain) will be directing a performance of this work in Nelson, NZ.
More information and a link to the recording of the premiere performance can be found at Missa Brevis Akarana