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The Big Sing festivals 2016 about to start

This year’s NZ Choral Federation’s Regional Festivals, The Big Sing 2016, are about to start. In some ways they are even more interesting than the National Finale held each August, since they involve such a huge number of secondary school students around the country and school groups that travel for hours to get to the regional centre for their festival.

THE NUMBERS, NATION-WIDE
Across New Zealand 255 choirs registered this year, around 9,500 registered singers from 153 schools in the ten NZCF Big Sing regions. This is one of the largest NZ-wide events in the school calendar and NZCF understands it is the only nation-wide event of its kind in the world.

 


REGIONAL ADJUDICATORS

The three adjudicators are: Northern Area: Rachael Griffiths Hughes, Hamilton; Central Area: Anthony Ritchie, Dunedin; Southern Area: David Griffiths, Hamilton

WEEKS ONE & TWO – NAPIER AND WELLINGTON
The first festival starts before Queen’s Birthday in the East Coast region on 1 – 2 June, in Napier’s Waiapu Cathedral – since the Hastings Opera House is still closed for earthquake strengthening. The following week Wellington’s festival will be held on 8 – 9 June – again in the Michael Fowler Centre, for similar reasons.

WEEK THREE – AUCKLAND, PALMERSTON NORTH, DUNEDIN, INVERCARGILL
Auckland’s Festival runs for three days, from 14 – 16 June with THREE Gala Concerts this year – one each night. In the same week are Manawatu/Whanganui (Palmerston North, 15 June), Otago/South Canterbury (Dunedin, 15 June) and Southland (Invercargill, 16 June).

WEEK FOUR – NEW PLYMOUTH, TAURANGA, BLENHEIM, CHRISTCHURCH
This year the festivals finish with Taranaki (New Plymouth, 17 June), Waikato/Bay of Plenty (Tauranga, 21 June), and Nelson/Marlborough (Blenheim, 22 June – in their brand-spanking new performing arts centre – ASB Centre Marlborough) and Canterbury/West Coast (Christchurch, 23 – 24 June). Hats off again to the Christchurch team and the Canterbury schools, for their efforts in continuing post-earthquake circumstances. Their two–day festival daytime sessions will be in Knox Church – a much smaller venue that the Town Hall for their 32 choirs, and their two Gala Concerts in St Mary’s Pro–Cathedral at 7.00pm each night, to accommodate all the choirs and supporters.

Download regional venues and coordinators

See our regional pages for timetables, tickets etc

REGIONAL AWARDS AND FINALE SELECTION
To celebrate an impressive range of musical excellence and exciting performances many different regional awards will be presented at the festivals. After the festivals, the adjudicating team will select 24 Finale choirs – to be announced on the NZCF website at 3.00pm on Friday 1 July. These 24 competing choirs will be invited to participate in the National Finale – being held in Dunedin from 25 – 27 August, 2016. A separate adjudication panel will officiate at this event: Peter Watts, Auckland; Debra Shearer Dirie, Brisbane; and Michael Leighton Jones, Melbourne.

For more information contact Elizabeth Crayford on 021 523 015 or elizabeth.crayford@nzcf.org.nz.

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