The Queen Margaret Chorale had cause for celebration after being selected for the Big Sing National Finale for the first time in 12 years.
The choir performed at the Finale at the end of August and were awarded a silver medal for their efforts.
Chorale Musical Director Mark Stamper says he was so proud of the students’ efforts in the lead up to the Finale and at the performance.
“I think they absolutely knocked it out of the park, it was incredible to be part of. The girls were also very proud of themselves which was amazing to see.”
The Chorale performed at the regional competition in June and were awarded a prize for each number in their set: the Guy Jansen Cup for the “best performance of an art or classical song” for their rendition of the Czech folk song “Hoj! Hura Hoj!”, a certificate for “an excellent performance of a New Zealand Art Song” for their performance of “For Me to Dare” by David Childs and an adjudicator’s choice award for a “song in the Other Category” for “Ezekiel saw de Wheel”.
The Chorale performed the same set for their first set at Nationals and added “Si Verias” and “Joshua” to their second.
Year 11 Chorale member Ella Briggs says the event was “amazing”.
“This year, we felt more confident than previous years, however, we were all still really nervous as there are lots of phenomenal choirs in New Zealand, which was evident once we got to Finale.
“I felt relieved once we’d got into the Finale, as we all worked so hard this year, and we knew that we really deserved to be there.”
As part of the experience the Chorale had the opportunity to perform for and watch other school choirs from around New Zealand, as well as perform at a Gala Concert emceed by Old Girl Hilary Barry and attend a party hosted by Big Sing.
“A major highlight for me was spending time with Chorale,” Ella says.
“We got to share our nerves, excitement and feelings, and I feel like I’ve become a lot closer to all of the girls and learnt a lot about them.”
Finding out they had received a silver was another highlight for the group.
“I’ll never forget the screams of excitement when our name was announced for a silver award,” Ella says.
“Because we were already in the top 24 secondary schools’ choirs in New Zealand, receiving an award that acknowledged this and all of our hard work really cemented in our minds that we are a high-standard choir.”