Silver Award for Girls' School at Kids Sing

August 11, 2015 at 12:04 PM

For the third year running, the Girls’ School Performers Choir has earned a silver award at the New Zealand Choral Federation’s Kids Sing music festival. The Girls’ School Performers Choir was in its third year competing in the Primary/Intermediate category, having also been awarded silver medals in its first two outings. The choir is an auditioned group drawn from Year 5 to 8, which meets weekly during lunchtime to rehearse.

The requirements for their competition stated that each choir must sing the same test piece as well as two other songs, one of which must be written by a New Zealand composer. The test piece this year was ‘O Wind’, the lyrics of which come from Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘The Wind’ and the music is by Mary Lightfoot. The girls also performed ‘The Angels Song’ by Chris Artley, who was the last music director of Corran School, as their NZ entry and Benjamin Britten’s ‘This Little Babe’. They were conducted by music teacher Nicola Brown and accompanied by Dr Michael Jenkins on piano. Following their performance on Monday afternoon, they returned that night to sing at the Gala Concert, where they were awarded the silver prize.

The College also had its Year 7 Choir sing at the festival, using the event to gain experience performing in front of a large audience and in the opulent Town Hall setting with its impressive organ. The College entered in the non-competitive section to provide an opportunity to get every one of its 120 Year 7 students onto the stage. The group is overseen by Head of Choirs, Mr Lachlan Craig and was conducted by Year 13 students, Annelise Katz, Caitlin Houghton and Lili Taylor.

Each of the student conductors picked a song they wanted to teach the group and the weekly rehearsal time was split between practising music and learning the basics of conducting and running a rehearsal. Annelise led the young choristers through the famous English hymn ‘I Vow to Thee My Country’ which takes its tune from Gustav Holst’s ‘Jupiter’. Caitlin conducted ‘God Help the Outcasts’ by Menken and from the Disney movie ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ while Lili was out front for ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’, the hit song from ‘Mary Poppins’ written by the Sherman brothers.

Two of the songs featured soloist roles, with Charlotte Parke, Anna Liu, Cameron Evans, Giles Willis, Darcy Woolford and Abby Maddren admirably performing their parts. The singers were accompanied by Year 11 student Luke Iso on drums, Tom Chatterton on organ, Gracie Francis on piano and Mr Craig on bass guitar. Mr Craig received plenty of positive feedback regarding having every student from the year group involved as well as the use of student conductors.

All of the choirs receive constructive feedback from well-known choral conductor and composer David Hamilton. The singers are critiqued on intonation, tone and blend, staging and presentation, vocal technique, diction and interpretation.

Congratulations to both groups for their performances, and to the Girls’ School choir in particular.

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