Top National Awards for College Choirs

August 30, 2016 at 8:44 AM

The rise of the College's choral programme was substantiated once again by four outstanding recitals at the 2016 NZCF The Big Sing Finale in Dunedin. Culminating in a Bronze Award for the all-comers boys' choir, Menasing, and a Gold award for the premier mixed choir, Kentoris, the competition capped off an exceptional 24 months for the choral programme. 

Kentoris impressed the Big Sing adjudicators with stellar performances in the competition in both 2015 and 2016.  In 2015 at the Auckland regional competition - choosing to present a long work and not the three required to be eligible for Finale selection -  the choir won the award for the best performance of a single work. This year they enjoyed unprecedented success winning the award for best mixed choir beating perennial favourites, Choralation (Westlake Boys' and Girls' High Schools) and Fundamentals (Rangitoto College) and in doing so securing a place in the National Finale.  Kentoris presented five works in the Finale: 

I Sing of a Maiden – Richard Madden (NZ)
Orbits from 'Songs of the Questioner'– Thomas LaVoy
Ah! Si Mon Moine Voulait Danser - arr. Donald Patriquin
Pure Imagination - Bricusse/Newley arr. Nielsen
O Magnum Mysterium - David N. Childs (NZ)

Menasing won Gold at the Finale in 2015 with a small choir of only 16.  A rule change meant that the choir had to increase significantly in size so that both choirs could compete - resulting in it being changed to an all-comers choir. 

Despite the inclusion of less experienced and younger singers the choir was once again selected to compete at the Finale and performed exceptionally well.  Their programme was well received - the highlight undoubtedly "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park" by Tom Lehrer and arranged by the College's Director of Choirs, Lachlan Craig. 

Homeward Bound – Marta Keen arr. Althouse
Red Cross Nurse - Impett arr. Craig
The Sally Gardens - arr. Rutter
Poisoning Pigeons in the Park - Lehrer arr. Craig
Die Minnesanger - Robert Schumann

The success at the Big Sing Finale caps off an exceptional two weeks for the College Music programme with four of our top groups winning Gold Awards in their respective competitions: 

Kentoris - Gold
Menasing - Bronze
Concert Band - Gold
Symphony - Gold
Chamber Orchestra - Silver 
Big Band - Gold


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