The Dunstanza senior girls choir reached a crescendo recently, taking home a special award at the Big Sing competition in Auckland despite being up against much larger schools.
The choir was the only one from Otago to attend and one of only five South Island choirs.
A total of 217 schools and more than 10,000 pupils were involved in the whole competition, and the performances in Auckland were live streamed around the world.
An outstanding performance by the group brought it a silver award, along with the coveted Auahi Kore Award for their performance of the Maori hymn Wairua Tapu.
The choir comprises 29 girls from years 11 to 13.
Conductor John Buchanan said the group qualified for the Big Sing competition following a successful trip to Dunedin for the regional competition in June.
Mr Buchanan said every member was dedicated to the choir. Some pupils took time off work and juggled practice between other activities.
Even when pupils were ill, they still came to practice to watch from the sidelines and offer support, he said.
He said choir practice would now be scaled back so pupils could focus on their exams, but the choir members were already looking towards bigger and better things next year.
“They’ve had a taste now and they’re committed.”
Aspiring year 10 pupils were already talking about joining the choir next year, he said.
New Zealand Choral Federation Otago chairwoman Carole Randall said unofficial feedback from spectators and judges was very positive.