Photo credit: Andrew Mackay, Kea Photos (Dunedin)
Five NZCF regions have held SingFests during September and October, attracting a range of singers from children's choirs through to seniors, with a wide variety of musical styles for audiences to enjoy.
New Plymouth, 10 September
Eight choirs took part in NZCF Taranaki's SingFest on 10 September in St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, New Plymouth: Ars Nova Choir, Living Harmony, Stratford Singers, Taranaki Harmony Chorus, Ombre, Virtue, Taranaki Singing Venture, and City Sounds. As well as sharing the joy of singing, the organisers called for donations of canned items for the New Plymouth Food Bank. Thanks go to NZCF Taranaki Chair Christopher Luke and his regional committee.
Dunedin, 21 September
A successful SingFest at Dunedin’s Knox Church on 21 September featured performances by seven choirs – Ōpoho School Singing Group, Dunedin Children’s Choir, Knox Church Junior Choir, Flagstaff Community Choir, Logan Park High School Choir, East Taieri School Choir and the Dunedin Star Singers. The choirs sang 2-3 songs each to a full audience, and the evening concluded with Rosemary Tarbotton conducting Ka Waiata by Richard Puanaki and NZCF Otago Chair Carole Randall conducting The Riversong by Andy Beck. Carole said there were “many positive comments from the choir directors and teachers saying how much they had enjoyed singing together and listening to a variety of genres.” Read more about the Dunedin SingFest in this article in the Otago Daily Times.
Christchurch, 23 September
A number of venues around the Christchurch CBD were filled with song on Saturday 23 September, with twelve choirs and two Sweet Adeline quartets taking part in the NZCF Canterbury SingFest. The event concluded with a group singalong at Fat Eddies bar, where attendees joined in singing popular songs. Despite the impact of a spring storm, and an unforeseen clash with a protest impacting venue spaces, the event was very much enjoyed by all. Thanks to NZCF Canterbury Chair Helen Charlton and her regional committee.
Hastings, 14 October
Four choirs took part in the NZCF East Coast SingFest at Hastings Baptist Church: the Choralairs, the Central Hawke’s Bay Concert Choir, the Hawke’s Bay Community Choir, and the Hastings Choral Society. Stephen Lange was the commentator and massed choir conductor. NZCF East Coast Chair Alison Thomson reported that “it was a lovely atmosphere and they all seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves. Stephen Lange did a great warm up session and he rehearsed Hine e Hine, which was the combined offering to the audience at the end of the session.” Thanks go to SingFest Coordinators Rae Towers and Pam Kesby, and festival volunteers Andrea Wilson and Georgie Cole.
Invercargill, 15 October
The Southland SingFest hosted seven choirs at First Church in Invercargill: A Capella Singers, The Ensemble, Foveaux Harmony, The Southland Gospel Singers, South City Community Choir, Uniquely Us and Southern Sou’NZ. Christine McLeod, Chair of NZCF Southland, said “the music ranged from madrigals through to gospel, barbershop and ABBA. Some singers performed in more than one choir because they love singing so much. There was a good-sized audience who thoroughly enjoyed the variety of music. Afterwards, the choirs had afternoon tea together and it was lovely to hear the supportive comments between choirs.” Congratulations to all involved in making this event happen.