Voces Luce Shines on International Stage

Excitement was palpable among the students, who were thrilled about the opportunity to perform and immerse themselves in a different culture. During the festival, they visited a number of local schools to perform concerts, interact, and showcase a 40-minute musical programme, including songs from our recent production, ‘Mamma Mia!’. Voces Luce represented New Zealand with 'For Me to Dare,' a song written for them and gifted to the college for QMC’s centenary in 2019. The text is a celebration of women, their strength, and ongoing contribution to the success of our world, inspired by Robin Hyde, a Wellingtonian poet, and students from QMC and composed by New Zealand composer, David Childs. The second piece, 'Bogoroditse Devo', is composed by Rachmaninov and was performed in Russian. The choir worked closely with the Director of Music at St Mark's School, Anya Nazaruk, to master pronunciation of the language. The third piece, 'Ain't No Grave can Hold My Body Down,' is a high energy piece of music and partly performed in with sign language.

The judges would pick a winner for each category and the winner of each category would then proceed to the Grand Prix concert. In recognition of their outstanding performance Voces Luce were announced as one of only five choirs and given the opportunity to perform two more pieces, alongside university-age choirs from Indonesia and the Philippines. Their first Grand Prix piece was 'Hoj! Hura Hoj!', composed by Otmar Matcha and sung in Czech. The choir was coached in Czech by Lenka Kubikova and Martin Fukac, parents from QMC. The Grand Prix set was concluded with ‘Tika Tonu’, our new school waiata, written by Paris Lokotui and Rosie Campbell in 2019. The choir performed the piece in the indigenous language of Aotearoa, Te Reo

Māori. Mark Stamper and Kiriwera Su'a, QMC’s Te Reo Māori kaiako, collaborated in the arrangement and Voces Luce worked with Kade Read, a Y13 student and co-leader of Te Whānau, to learn the haka actions. The choir was honoured to be performing new waiata to people from across the world. The choir's ultimate goal was to win their category, and they were determined to make New Zealand proud. As it happens, the choir exceeded their own goals as they not only won their category, but went on to receive a Category 2 Gold Award, with a score of 85%. This is an outstanding achievement with very close scoring as the winning choir scored in the 87-88% range.

Voces Luce returned on Thursday 6 July after a successful trip, having made a mark as the first New Zealand choir to compete at the Orientale Concentus. The choir members are grateful for the experience and look forward to future opportunities to showcase their talent on an international platform.

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