On August 1 and 2 the 2016 Auckland Region Kids Sing Primary and Intermediate Schools Choir Festival was held at the Auckland Town Hall. It was an exciting two days. Not only did the girls get the opportunity to sing on the stage of the Auckland Town Hall and experience the beautiful acoustic of this building, but they also were able to listen to other school choirs – a valuable way to develop further understandings. Voichestra, the College Year 3 – 6 all comers choir, certainly made good use of this aspect of the competition experience as they also attended with Junior Black Watch Singers as a supportive audience.
Both College choirs sang programmes with repertoire that displayed wonderful musicality and commitment to musical detail. It was particularly special for Junior Black Watch Singers to perform In Gallipoli from Andrew Baldwin’s work April Shadows commissioned by the College as part of the Centenary Celebrations in 2015. They were accompanied by a string quartet of senior students – Sandy Niu (violin), Anna Elisara (viola) and Elizabeth Kim (cello), who joined the choir’s outstanding piano accompanist Serena Li and Francesca Qu (who swapped to play violin for this piece).
The results announced after the competition were fantastic. Junior Back Watch Singers attained the standard required for a Gold Award and were also the winners of the Lawson Award for Best Performance of a New Zealand Composition, the Award for Best Performance of the Competition Test Piece and the Award for Best Primary School Choir. Song Squad was awarded one of only three Gold Awards given to intermediate school choirs.
Thank you to the choir directors Ms Megan Flint and Miss Amelia Giles, Mrs Sally Tibbles and the music team, our College itinerant voice teacher Jennifer Maybee for her vocal tutoring of Junior Black Watch Singers and Junior and Middle School SMT, the choir girls and their parents for their support. Extra special thanks must go to the choirs’ student accompanists Francesca Qu, Serena Li and Jia Jia Che – who are such amazing role models and without whom our choirs could not reach the level of musical excellence they do.