Local pupils join Big Sing

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Mountain voices will be part of the Otago regional ‘‘Big Sing’’ in Dunedin for the first time this year.
Competing in the group­singing competition for secondary schools will be 45 pupils from Mount Aspiring College in Wanaka.
Choir director Joanne Waide said the pupils had been planning for over two years to enter the competition.
‘‘It takes a while to build up a repertoire and confidence and level of ability that can compete at a regional level.’’
But the pupils this year felt they were ready to go ‘‘so it is good for us’’, Mrs Waide said.
Pupils in the choir ranged from years 7 to 13.
Singing in the Dunedin Town Hall on June 12 would be a ‘‘wonderful experience’’ for the pupils, especially coming from a rural area, Mrs Waide said.
‘‘I’m really excited, not just about the outcome but really about the growth in our students.’’
Twenty-five choirs would be taking part in the regional competition, performing in three categories.
For the first category — New Zealand composition — the choir would perform Minoi Minoi, a traditional Samoan folk song, arranged by Christopher Marshall.
For the second category — choral art music — the choir had chosen a sacred choral piece called Kyrie, arranged by Jay Rouse.
It was ‘‘quite a whimsical and reflective piece’’ that was ‘‘vocally engaging with an incredible arrangement of parts’’.
For the third open category they had chosen This is Me from the musical film, arranged by Mac Huff.
This song would feature soloist Matilda Metcalfe (13).
‘‘She is a very confident singer’’.
The choir would be accompanied by pianist Abby Peterson, who was ‘‘just exceptional’’.
The Big Sing was also an opportunity for pupil Ollie Blyth (15).
He had been learning to conduct during rehearsals and aimed to lead the choir in Dunedin.
The culture of the choir was all about being a ‘‘big family’’.
Young people had ‘‘found their connection’’ by being part of a family of singers, Mrs Waide said.
‘‘We train any student that wants to join’’.
Mrs Waide said the school had an ‘‘exceptional’’ music department run by head of music Mat Doyle .
‘‘He is one of the most exceptional music teachers I have worked with’’.
— The New Zealand Choral Federation Big Sing Otago­South Canterbury regional festival will take place at the Dunedin Town Hall on Wednesday, June 12.
Dunedin will also host the national final from August 29 to 31.