Events / Choir

You’ll find information about our events on this page and on our Facebook page.

July 2019

Choir Rehearsal

                Singers wanted!

Our next singing together is on Sunday, 7th July, from 2.30 – 5.30pm
If you can’t manage that, come to the next one, a few weeks later. We meet about once a month in various venues.
Enjoy singing German, Austrian and Swiss music together and using (or improving) your German at the same time!
Deutsche Gemütlichkeit inbegriffen.
This is in no way “in competition with normal choirs”. The concept is different and it is not a regular weekly commitment.

 Music this year includes Beethoven, Schubert and Haydn, a Bach cantata, and folk song settings.
For DETAILS and new registrations:

Please let me know if you are interested; if you are coming on 7th July. It helps to have an idea of numbers!


Filmabend: Kaminski and I

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Victoria University of Wellington, 28 Kelburn Parade
Wellington, 6012 New Zealand
All details to be confirmed!


Past Events

June 2019

“How to Read a Trakl Poem”: Lecture by Dr Richard Millington

Wednesday, 12 June 2019 at 7.30 pm
Victoria University of Wellington, MYLT 101, Murphy Building, Kelburn Parade

We are pleased to tell you that the next item in our lecture series for 2019 will be a lecture by Dr Richard Millington, who will be known to many of you already as Senior Lecturer in German at Victoria University (and Director of European and Latin American Languages and Cultures in its School of Languages and Culture). He is also a member of the Goethe Society committee, providing valuable liaison with the university.

Dr Millington (PhD on German Expressionist poetry) says he has been “reading, admiring and pondering Trakl’s poetry” for most of his life, so his lecture on the topic “How to Read a Trakl Poem” promises a highly interesting evening, especially as he has a new book on Trakl due for publication next year.

All welcome.  Refreshments will be provided


May 2019

Emotional Rhetoric and Sexualized Livelihood:
Marriage and Transatlantic Migration in Postwar Germany

Professor Alexander Freund (University of Winnipeg)
Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 7.30 pm
Victoria University of Wellington, MYLT 101, Murphy Building, Kelburn Parade
After the devastations of the Second World War, millions of Europeans wished to emigrate overseas to start a new life. Among them were thousands of German women, whose emigration plans and life strategies were restricted by gendered migration policies and ongoing sexualizing discourses about their bodies and minds.
These discourses were interlaced with emotional rhetoric—an emotional rhetoric that state and church agencies mobilized to control women, and an emotional rhetoric that women employed to fight for autonomy. In particular, state and church authorities sought to link public fears about national overeignty and demands for political security to private fears about female autonomy, morality, and sexuality. Women responded in new and creative ways to the continued sexualization of their agency.
The presentation is based on documents of German government agencies and church organizations in the British and U.S. zones of occupation that dealt with so-called scam agencies (Schwindelfirmen). These suspected Schwindelfirmen, alleged state and church officials, used advertising to con German women (and men) who wished to emigrate in the immediate postwar period. It also draws on oral history interviews with postwar German immigrants in the United States and Canada.


Diplomacy on 7 overseas postings – for Germany and with Goethe

An Ambassador’s Retrospective

Monday, 6 May 2019 from 6:30 pm
Residence of the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, Lower Hutt
We are delighted to announce that the first event in our lecture series for 2019 will take the form of a talk by the German Ambassador, His Excellency Gerhard Thiedemann, which he will give in the course of an evening he and his wife have kindly offered to host at their official Residence.  
Ambassador Thiedemann will speak about his experiences in a long and varied diplomatic career:  “Diplomacy on 7 overseas postings – for Germany and with Goethe – an Ambassador’s retrospective”(“Diplomatie auf 7 Auslandsposten – für Deutschland und mit Goethe – Rückblicke eines Botschafters”). The talk will be predominantly in English.  The invitation includes a light supper and drinks in the charming setting of the Residence.  Herr Thiedemann is a witty speaker and this promises to be a very interesting and memorable evening.
Registrations for this event have now closed.

October 2018

Filmabend: Gespenster / Ghosts

Wednesday, 31 October 2018 at 4:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Victoria University of Wellington, 28 Kelburn Parade
Wellington, 6012 New Zealand
+ Google Map

      Our next Filmabend just in time for Halloween!   Details   A man travels from Paris to Berlin in search of his wife. He finds her in a psychiatric hospital in Spandau and takes her back to Paris. Every year, the wife makes the journey to Berlin, desperately searching for her daughter who was abducted in 1989 at the age of three. She was never found. The wife meets a young vagabond named Nina. A drifter who…

Find out more »

GSW Choir debuts in a concert of organ and choral music 

Sunday, 28 October 2018 at 3 pm
St James Church, 71 Woburn Road, Lower Hutt


Reflections on the centenary of the end of that “War to End All Wars” – Nationalism; the sober reality; heroism; “Peace in Our Time”…

Organ Music includes Edward Elgar’s Imperial March (composed 1897 for the Silver Jubilee of Queen Victoria, grandmother of Kaiser Wilhelm II), Max Reger’s Lament for the Fallen (on all sides) 1914-1915 and César Franck’s Pièce Heroïque. 

Short choir pieces by Bach, Schütz, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms, Reger and Distler. Several of these are settings of texts by Goethe.

Directed and played by Bruce Cash (as part of the series run by St. James Church Lower Hutt and the Wellington Organists’ Association).

Entry by Koha


My life in the DDR: Personality, ideology & the normality of anomalies

Wednesday, 3 October 2018 at 7.30 pm
Victoria University of Wellington, MYLT 101, Murphy Building, Kelburn Parade
How did an East German end up teaching physics in the South Pacific? The speaker will use his own personal experience as a starting point for generalising about some of the life-shaping contradictions encountered by those who grew up in the Deutsche Demokratische Republik (DDR) and came of age at the time of German reunification.

Uli Zuelicke had just turned 21 when the Berlin Wall fell. He continued his physics studies in Leipzig, graduating with a Diplomphysiker degree in 1993, and spent the next five years in the USA. After obtaining his PhD in Physics from Indiana University, Uli returned to Germany to undertake a postdoc at the University of Karlsruhe. In 2003, he and his American wife, Kris, came to New Zealand where he started his academic career at Massey University in Palmerston North. Since 2011, he has been a Professor of Physics at Victoria University of Wellington. Find out more »

September 2018

Philosopher, Polemicist, Prophet: Marx in his Time and Ours

Wednesday, 12 September 2018 at 7 pm
Victoria University of Wellington, MYLT 101, Murphy Building, Kelburn Parade

Marx was a complicated thinker. German philosopher, Victorian polemicist, Prophet of the coming Communist revolution, he was not a systematic writer, and his ideas remain difficult to reconstruct, despite the immense body of “Marxist” work that claims him as a key inspiration and source. He was a man of his time whose views were developed through now-obscure quarrels with long forgotten figures, but whose insights about the nature of modern social and economic life still remain useful and relevant today.
In this lecture, Simon Keller and Xavier Marquez present Marx as a distinctly German philosopher whose disparate and conflicting ideas made him both an inspiring figure for socialist movements since the 19th century and an acute analyst of contemporary capitalism. Find out more »

August 2018

Thomas Gaynor Organ Recital & Pre-Concert Talk at St. Mary of the Angels

Saturday, 25 August 2018 from 6:45 pm, Concert begins at 7.30 pm

Prizewinning organist Thomas Gaynor will be back in his home town to play in recital on the Maxwell Fernie Organ in St Mary’s, with a programme including works by Bach and Mendelssohn, as well as Widor’s Sixth Organ Symphony.  

In 2017, Thomas was the first organist since Gillian Weir to win first and audience prizes in the St Albans International Organ Competition.  He is also a laureate of the Tokyo-Musashino Organ competition, the Bach-Liszt Organ Competition in Erfurt/Weimar, and the Sydney International Organ Competition. 

Thomas recently became the first organist in thirty years to be awarded the coveted Artist’s Certificate at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where he is studying. 

The concert begins at 7.30pm.  Please note that Thomas will also be giving a pre-concert talk at 6.45pm about his experiences competing in Germany on Bach’s organs and other historic instruments of the time.

This fundraising concert is to assist Thomas to complete the final year of his doctorate in Organ Performance and Literature at Eastman.  Entry is by koha at the door ($20 suggested). Find out more »

June 2018

Filmabend #3: Der geteilte Himmel – The Divided Heaven

Wednesday, 20 June 2018 at 5.30pm in VZ 606, Von Zedlitz Building, Victoria University of Wellington (Kelburn Parade).

Regie/Director: Konrad Wolf (1963/64)

1961 in der DDR, kurz vor dem Bau der Mauer. Rita Seidel ist nach ihrem Zusammenbruch aus der Stadt Halle in ihr Dorf zurückgekehrt, um Ruhe zu finden. Sie erinnert sich an die vergangenen Jahre, an ihre Liebe zum Chemiker Manfred Herrfurth, an ihre Arbeit in einer Waggonfabrik und an ihr Studium fürs Lehramt. In der Fabrik und an der Uni gab es Probleme mit politischen Opportunisten und ideologischen Hardlinern; Ritas Liebesbeziehung fand ein Ende, nachdem Manfred, verbittert über die Betonköpfe, die sein neues chemisches Verfahren abgelehnt hatten, nach Westberlin gegangen war und Rita nicht mitkommen wollte. Der geteilte Himmel, entstanden nur wenige Jahre nach dem Mauerbau, ist einer der mutigsten Spielfilme, die je in der DDR gedreht wurden, nicht nur wegen seiner ungewöhnlichen Dramaturgie, sondern weil er die Verantwortung für die Konflikte im eigenen Land und nicht beim „Klassenfeind“ sucht. 

East Germany in 1961, just before the construction of the Berlin Wall. After suffering a nervous breakdown, Rita Seidel returns to her village from the city of Halle to find peace and quiet. She recalls the past years, her love for chemist Manfred Herrfurth, her work in a railway car factory and her studies to become a teacher. There were problems with political opportunists and ideological hardliners in the factory and at university. Rita’s love affair came to an end after Manfred, bitter that uncompromising supervisors had rejected his new chemical process, fled the city for West Berlin without Rita, who chose not to join him. The Divided Heaven, created just a few years after the Wall was constructed, is one of the bravest movies ever to be made in the GDR – not only because of its unusual dramaturgy, but also because it seeks responsibility for conflicts in one’s own country and not with the “class enemy”. Find out more »