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Choirs hit high notes in comps

Viva Camerata took home three awards at the competition. PHOTOS/SUPPLIED

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Wairarapa choirs have taken out multiple awards at the Big Sing regional competitions in Wellington and Palmerston North, with St Matthew’s and Rathkeale colleges’ combined choir, Viva Camerata, making into the Cadenza festival.

Results for the national Finale competition and second-tier Cadenza competitions were announced on Monday.

Viva Camerata made it into the Cadenza competition for the lower North Island and are reserves for the Finale event.

Cantate were a singing success at the Wellington Big Sing festival.

Wairarapa College’s Cantate made it on to the reserve list for the lower North Island Cadenza competition.

Viva Camerata conductor Kiewiet van Deventer said the results were great and the choir was looking forward to the Cadenza competition.

“For each of our pieces there is something to improve,” she said.

Four pieces are needed for the Cadenza competition. It was another challenge they looked forward too.

“[The workshops] that makes it all really worthwhile.”

St Matthew’s pupil Alexandra Buchanan won highly-commended for the SOUNZ-NZCF composition competition, for the best choral piece composed by a secondary school pupil.

Buchanan is also a member of the NZ secondary schools’ choir.

The Cadenza competition is a new addition this year for 36 pupils ranked immediately below the Finale, with the added dimension of workshops.

In  the Wellington regional festival, Cantate won the adjudicators’ choice on day one, and Viva Camerata took home three awards on day two.

The choirs were taking on 38 other choirs from around the region and came away feeling proud of their performances.

Choirs compete in three categories – a New Zealand composition or arrangement, a non-New Zealand choral work, and an open style including the likes of folk, pop and musical theatre.

Cantate won the adjudicators’ award for consistent performance across all three categories.

Viva Camerata won the VUW Cup [as category one winner], category two adjudicators’ choice and category three certificate.

Van Deventer described the results as “quite a surprise”.

“It was the first time ever getting recognition for every piece.”

Another Waicol choir, Pogonologists, performed only two songs, so were not in contention for awards but that didn’t stop them putting on a great show.

Pupil Jackson Burling, a member of both Waicol choirs, was thrilled – “it was amazing”.

“There were people just as passionate about singing as you, the atmosphere was just great.”

Pogonologists’ motto is ‘competing and awards are good, but having fun is better’.

The choir’s performance of Jessie J’s Price Tag was a huge hit, with a standing ovation from the crowd and one of the biggest cheers at the event.

Burling said it was great to see the response from the audience as he saw the influence on the newer pupils who wanted to continue next year and hopefully brought their friends along.

Greg Maxted from Big Sing said the event went great and everyone looked like they were having an amazing time.

“It always looks like the students get just as much enjoyment from supporting the other choirs as they do from performing themselves”.

Burling agreed, saying, “Just watching was amazing”.

Over at the Manawatu-Whanganui festival, Wairarapa choirs also found success.

St Matthew’s Collegiate’s junior choir won a commended certificate and the Manawatu-Whanganui Big Sing trophy for the best junior choir in the festival.

Head of music Rosemary Taylor said the trip went well.

They were very happy with the win as they had won the trophy multiple times over the past years.

The lower North Island Cadenza will be held at Whanganui Opera house, August 19-20.

The Finale will be held in the Dunedin town hall, August 29-31.

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