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Hilary Barry to compère The Big Sing Finale

We’re very excited to announce that Hilary Barry will be the compère for the Gala Concert at this year’s The Big Sing Finale in Dunedin. Hilary was a member of the New Zealand Youth Choir from 1986-1993 and writes:

I first auditioned for the NZ National Youth Choir when I was in 6th form (Year 12) in 1986 and to my surprise (since I thought I’d done a very ordinary audition) I got in. 

As a 16 year old I remember being absolutely terrified of being late to rehearsal. Anyone who sang under the wonderful “Prof” will remember his punishment for those who were tardy to practice. It always entailed a rather humiliating solo performed in front of the entire ensemble. 

It dawned on me years later, when I realised what a wicked sense of humour he had, that he probably only conducted the “late” punishment for his own entertainment.

I cannot understate how much I loved my Youth Choir experience; both the music and the friendship.  To see former choir-mates like Tecwyn Evans and Simon O’Neill doing so well on the world stage makes me feel really proud too.

Musically, I learnt an incredible amount under the tutelage of Peter Godfrey and later Karen Grylls. 

On a performance level,  I think the Youth Choir gave me confidence to use my voice, which has been handy given my chosen career!

The Big Sing Finale Gala Concert, Saturday 31 August, 6.30pm, Dunedin Town Hall