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Manawatu-Whanganui TBS results

Palmerston North Girls’ High School Cantatrices scooped Supreme Award at Manawatu-Whanganui TBS on Thursday 13 June and also received the Judith & Guy Donaldson award for the best performance of a New Zealand work. Cantatrices, with their choir director Myra Smith, are excited to be off to The Big Sing Finale in Dunedin 29 – 31 August.  Another choir from the same school, the Pasifika Gospel Choir also did very well, receiving the Ministry of Youth Development, Spirit of the Festival Youth Ambassador’s Award for the choir that best represents leadership, community participation collaboration and innovation.   The Choir’s student director, Celestial Brown, received the Palmerston North Choral Society Award for outstanding student support to a choir participating in the Festival.

Twenty-four choirs gave of their best for adjudicator Robert Wiremu of Auckland at the day recital sessions and then each choir presented one item at the evening Gala Concert.  The list of participating choirs is set out with the full prize list for the Festival:

  • Palmerston North Boys’ High School, The OK Chorale, Son of a Pitch (SOAP), PMU.  
  • Palmerston North Girls’ High School, Cantatrices, Zing, Voices Rechoired, Pasifika Gospel Choir, No Fella A Cappella.
  • Freyberg High School, P.N. Freyberg Girls’ Choir, Bella and the Fellas
  • Feilding High School, Dolce Com, Not Your Forte
  • Longburn Adventist School, LAC Choir
  • St Matthew’s Collegiate, Masterton, St Matthew’s Junior Choir, Jabulani,Year 11 FunChoir.
  • Rathkeale College, Masterton, Rathkeale College Boys’ Choir,
  • Solway College, Masterton, Solway College Choir
  • Waiopehu College, Sine Nomine
  • Nga Tawa Diocesan School, NTJunior Choir, Singquisition
  • Whanganui Collegiate, Whanganui Collegiate Chapel Choir, Whanganui Collegiate All-Comers’ Choir 
  • Whanganui High School, AwaSide

This was the first Regional Big Sing for Masterton choir from Solway College and for Whanganui High School.    These choirs were warmly welcomed to the Manawatu-Whanganui TBS Festival.  It is hoped they will be back for the 2020 event.

A guest choir named Amici, comprising invited singers from six different Manawatu High Schools, presented a bracket at the end of the afternoon session while the adjudicator was working on notes for his final comments to the choirs.   This item was enthusiastically received by the audience and choirs.

The Adjudicator was Robert Wiremu from Auckland, one of four adjudicators travelling through New Zealand listening to over 10,000 singers in over 150 choirs.

The Manawatu-Wanganui Region Awards to recognise performance excellence in choirs not competing for selection to the National Finale:

Commended Certificates awarded to:

St Matthew’s Collegiate School Masterton, Junior Choir

       No Fella A cappella from Palmerston North Girls’ High School


Highly Commended Certificate awarded to:

Freyberg Girls’ Choir

Certificates to recognise performance excellence among choirs that are eligible for selection to the National Finale.


Bella and the Fellas from Freyberg High School
       The OK Chorale from Palmerston North Boys’ High School

Highly Commended:

Cantatrices from Palmerston North Girls’ High School

The Manawatu-Wanganui Big Sing Trophy for the best Junior Choir in the Festival:

St Matthew’s Collegiate Junior Choir

Judith & Guy Donaldson Trophy for the best performance of a New Zealand work:

Cantatrices from Palmerston North Girls’ High School

The Renaissance Singers’ Trophy for the best A Cappella (unaccompanied) performance in the Festival:

The Ok Chorale of Palmerston North Boys’ High School

The Palmerston North Choral Society Trophy is to recognise a student who has given outstanding support to their choir as a student conductor, instrumentalist or accompanist.

Celestial Brown from Palmerston North Girls’ High School Pasifika Gospel Choir                

The NZCF Manawatu-Wanganui Region Conductor’s Professional Development Award. This award is a grant of $350 towards the costs of a choral expert visiting the school to work with the conductor and their school choir.

Myra Smith, Musical Director, Cantatrices, PN Girls’ High School

The Ministry for Youth Development ‘Spirit of the Festival’ Award
The NZCF has a partnership with the Ministry of Youth Development the NZCF/Ministry of Youth Development ‘Spirit of the Festival’ Regional Award:

Palmerston North Girls’ High School Pasifika Gospel Choir

The Shona & Barry Old Award for the best overall performance in this Big Sing Festival:

Cantatrices from Palmerston North Girls’ High School

At the evening Gala Concert and Prize-giving each choir presented one item.

From Roy Tankersley, chairman of the Manawatu/Whanganui region of the New Zealand Choral Federation.