Choral Showcase 2021

June 14, 2021 at 1:34 PM

With the regional round of the Big Sing only a week away, the Choral Showcase on Friday night provided our Premier Choirs with the opportunity to sing their competition repertoire to an audience, prior to performing for an adjudicator in their upcoming competition.

After the chaos of 2020, firstly with lockdown and then the imposed Covid-19 restrictions on large group gatherings, our choirs were delighted to be able to sing to a live audience this year. Last year, a number of them had a chance to share their singing collaboratively online, but the intended showcase repertoire for Kentoris was sung only to a video camera!

MC for the evening, Year 12 student, Tague Bradley, kept the evening rolling with plenty of information about choral pieces. The Junior Choir, comprising students from Years 7-10, opened the Showcase with their first public performance, singing ‘Clare Benediction’ by John Rutter and ‘Orange Tree’ by Paul Jarman & Bonnie Nilsson. Our youngest choristers clearly relished the opportunity to sing to an audience!

Since the last Showcase in 2019, a new choir has been added to the mix for those who love contemporary music and a bit of fun with their singing. The Music Theatre/Pop Choir sang two pieces from musical stage shows – ‘You Will Be Found’ from the show, ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ and highlights from ‘Hamilton.’

It’s always a pleasure to welcome back Old Collegians who have followed their passion for music, first ignited during their College years. This year we welcomed Sam Downes, who graduated in 2014. A baritone, Sam was a member of both Menasing and Kentoris whilst at the College. He has a Bachelor of Music with Honours and currently performs with NZ Opera, having been named as a 2021 Dame Malvina Major Foundation NZ Opera Studio Artist. Sam sang an engaging operatic repertoire from Puccini, Verdi and Quilter – and certainly provided inspiration for our own emerging choristers!

Our auditioned Premier Choir, Kentoris, were the last to perform with a programme of five, very diverse pieces from well-known waiata,  ‘Pokarekare Ana’ and ‘Ka Waiata’ to  ‘Sonnet of the Moon,’ a 17th century romantic poem set to the music by David Childs, the nonsense rhyme, ‘The Panther’ from Eric Whitacre’s Animal Crackers and a lively piece from Southern India, ‘Balleilakka,’ by A R Rahman arr. Ethan Sperry. The students worked hard to perfect their Tamil language skills to present this piece.

The Big Sing competition requires each competing choir to prepare a recital of three pieces; one work by a NZ composer; one ‘classical’ piece of music; and ‘another piece’ of music from an all-encompassing ‘other styles’ category which could include folksong, world music, jazz or theatre. Kentoris will present: ‘The Panther,’ ‘Sonnet to the Moon’ and ‘Balleilakka.’

The choral programme at the College has continued to offer excellence in singing and musicianship. Our thanks to Choral Director, Mr Josh Clark who is new to the College this year and brings so much passion, energy and experience to the programme. Our grateful thanks also to accompanist, Juan Kim and vocal coach, Ms Kate Webber for the work they undertake with our students.  

Well done to our all our choristers for a wonderful evening of song and we wish Kentoris all the best for this year’s Big Sing!

Kentoris will be singing Thursday 24th June in the 3pm session, as well as singing at the Gala Evening.

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