- May 19 – Heaven Bent sang at the annual Donor’s Service at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Parnell.
- WE STILL WANT NEW BASSES
- April 3 - Heaven Bent is looking for some deep blokes to join our bass section (bass/baritone range). You will need to be able to sing in tune, enjoy singing in four-part harmony, have a good sense of rhythm and enjoy singing and performing gospel songs. This is an auditioned choir and we try and keep auditions informal and friendly.We are a long-established community choir with a focus on a cappella African-American gospel music along with some African, Maori and Pacific sacred songs. We are a secular group with our connection to each other being our shared joy in singing this inspirational style of music. We rehearse weekly on Tuesday nights in Ponsonby from 7.30 – 9.30pm with our musical director Phil May who also arranges some of our material. We doing around 6-8 gigs each year so a strong commitment to coming to practice is essential.As well as your singing voice, we also look for people with the ability to fit into our ‘style’ and to be part of a largish sometimes unruly group and willing to help out with some of the tasks which inevitably arise when running a choir.
- If you would like to know more or think this is YOU and would like to audition for Heaven Bent please contact Katherine:firstname.lastname@example.org or cell/text 027 2229049.
March 24 – A packed Clevedon Cafe enjoyed three sets of the choir’s best offerings on a balmy Sunday evening. Patrons enjoyed a progressive night of tapas and gospel. The evening was also a fundraiser for Oxfam. (more photos in Photo Album page).
Event organiser Jill Haywood (right) introduces the quartet at Clevedon Cafe
January 28 – Anniversary Day at the Viaduct Centre saw the choir perform at the Blessing of the Fleet ceremony. The National Anthem – in both official languages – was followed by Fa’afetai.
- December 12 – The choir ended the year on a festive note at choir member Bryan’s new home in Titirangi. There was lots of singing, plenty of food and drink and our voices rang through the still night air. It was also the final “Tuesday night practice” for long-time member and former Treasurer Adrian Field and a fitting farewell and thankyou to him for his contributions to the choir over the years.
Tenors and basses together. More photos on Photo Album page
- October 27: Country singer Donna Dean and Heaven Bent shared the billing at a sold-out concert at The Playhouse Theatre, Glen Eden. The choir benefitted from new sound equipment – mics and mixing desk – thanks largely to a grant from the Lion Foundation. An appreciative house enjoyed the mixed bill of gospel and country with both elements combined in a moving rendition of Donna’s soulful “Pray”.
Donna Dean brings country and gospel together
October 25: Heaven Bent sang two songs on TV1′s Good Morning. Want to see and hear the choir in action? Go to http://tvnz.co.nz/good-morning/extra-251012-heaven-video-5160450
August 11: Foul weather was not enough to stop Heaven Bent and three other vocal groups filling All Saints Anglican Church to farewell choir mentor, arranger and performer Tony Backhouse who is returning to Australia. Next Offramp, VoxPop and Tony’s own group Nets of Mercy thrilled the capacity audience with songs both gospel and secular. The evening netted $2300 for Auckland City Mission.
The Glorious Mudsingers delighted a packed house
July 14: Noted Australian choir the Glorious Mudsingers, Heaven Bent and OneVoice joined forces for a triple treat a cappella event. It was also a fine send-off to the “Muddies” who flew back home the following day after a ten-gig tour around the North Island.
The Australians sang with the two Auckland choirs in a charity concert to raise money for Christchurch. Nearly $3000 was donated by a capacity audience at All Saints Anglican Church, Ponsonby. The Muddies added all the takings from their tour gigs to the total, swelling it to over $4,000.
It was a rousing evening of Gospel and World Music, ranging from Russian, American, Pacifica songs. The night ended with all three choirs singing four songs together to the delight of the audience.
Oh Happy Day – the closing number for Heaven Bent’s end-of-year concert at Devonport last year – with lead vocals by choir mentor Tony Backhouse.
What began at a Tony Backhouse workshop 15 years ago in Auckland became Heaven Bent Gospel Choir. Last November, Tony returned to sing lead vocals at the choir’s end of year concert at Devonport. In the photo above Tony cuts a cake made specially for the occasion and featuring the choir’s new logo.