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A song for 100 years

The Queen Margaret Chorale performs at the Gala Dinner.
The Queen Margaret Chorale performs at the Gala Dinner.

The Queen Margaret Chorale had the privilege of presenting the College with a treasured gift for our Centenary: a composition written for the school.

“For Me to Dare,” composed by David Childs, has been commissioned for the Chorale. It premiered at the Centenary Weekend Gala Dinner on Saturday 8 June.

Chorale Director Mark Stamper says he and the group are very excited to be premiering the composition at such an important event for the College.

He says the idea for a centenary composition came up last year as a way for the Chorale to be involved in the celebrations.

“Both Jayne-Ann Young and I independently wanted a song for the centenary,” Mark says.

“We also wanted a song about women and, in particular, about the strength of women. We wanted it to be a piece about all women’s roles in society, and not just applicable to QMC.”

Mark says it was important the piece was composed by a New Zealander and was thrilled when David Childs agreed to come on board.

As part of the process, members of the QMC community were invited to contribute lyrics or ideas for the song last year.

“We pitched the song to Old Girls and students and got a few submissions. We gave David artistic licence to use what he wanted, so he took a few key words and ideas away. His final piece was based on a poem called ‘Joan of Arc’ by Wellington poet Robin Hyde. The poem was about herself and her own strength.”

The composition starts with everyone singing in unison and then grows into four parts. Each vocal section of the choir has its own melody, and the piece eventually becomes four “songs” in one before ending in unison.

Although the piece has been commissioned for Queen Margaret College, it will be available for any choir to use in the future.

Mark says the Chorale love the challenge of rehearsing the piece.

“They love that it’s theirs and that the song will always carry the name Queen Margaret College with it, even when sung by future choirs.

“There is a lyric in the song that says ‘I will be heard, I have much to say’. I think this is so important for our young women, who have a lot to say and have the strength to make their voices heard.”