Choral Showcase 2019

June 10, 2019 at 4:25 PM

With the regional round of the Big Sing coming up next week, the Choral Showcase on Saturday night provided our Premier and Massed Choirs with the opportunity to sing their competition repertoire to an audience, prior to performing for an adjudicator in the Town Hall this week. 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.

The choral programme at the College has continued to be a place of excellent singing and musicianship. The first half of 2019 has been busy for those involved, beginning the year with a change in leadership and format. 

Former Head of Performing Arts, Ms Jane Horder, has returned to mentor a new Year 7-8 Junior Choir, who will be taking part in Kids Sing later in the year, while Arthur Adams-Close and Dr Jared Corbett have joined the College to direct the Massed Choir and our Premier Choir, Kentoris respectively. With new staff at the helm, the choirs have been working hard in the first part of the year to develop their new sounds and identities. 

Our newly formed Junior Choir opened the Showcase with their first public performance singing ‘The Moon’ by Andy Beck. Talented Year 13 musician, Catherine Chang accompanied them. Our youngest choristers are working towards their first competition in August. 

The Massed Choir brings singers of all age groups together and a highlight of their performance was hearing Craig Courtney’s ‘Festival Gloria,’ including accompaniment from members of the College Orchestra. Kentoris has performed exceptionally well in recent years and gave every indication they are continuing their fine form with ‘En la Macarenita’ making an impression. This included shaker and woodblock solos from Catherine Chang and Elsdon Yong. 

The audience also heard solo items from three finalists of the voice section of the Solo Music Competition: Amelia Elliott, Venice Qin, and Alicia Lynn, alongside Old Collegian, Sid Chand. Sid is in his second year of a music degree at The University of Auckland, majoring in Voice. It was inspiring for our students to see and hear Sid perform, and the Music Department hopes to continue the tradition of Old Collegian performances at future music events. 

Earlier in the term, Kentoris was incredibly fortunate to have Elise Bradley MNZM, director of the Toronto Children’s Chorus and ex-director of the New Zealand Secondary Students’ Choir, join them for two rehearsals. She spent time working with both the students and Dr Corbett on their Big Sing repertoire, helping to improve their performance immeasurably. Elise has invited Kentoris to join her in a combined performance of Vaughan Williams' ‘Five Mystical Songs’ and Chilcott's ‘’Canticles of Light at Carnegie Hall in April 2020; plans for a proposed tour to North America are currently under discussion. 

In closing the evening, Senior College Principal, Mrs Suzanne Winthop thanked the music staff and, in particular, the new Head of Music, Miss Mary Lin for the fantastic work they are doing with our musicians. She told the students that their performances had been truly moving, so much so she said it brought a ‘tear to her eye.’ 

Well done to our all our choristers for a wonderful evening of song. We wish Kentoris and the Massed Choir all the best for Big Sing this week.



Our two senior choirs will be competing at The Big Sing this coming Wednesday, 12 June at the Auckland Town Hall (see times below); day sessions and the Evening Gala are open to the public, so please come and support the students and directors, who would love to see some familiar faces!


  • Massed Choir - 9.15am; morning session begins at 8.50am, entry $2 pp
  • Kentoris - 3pm; afternoon session begins at 1.20pm, entry $2 pp
  • Evening Gala - 7pm (all choirs of the day perform); tickets from


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