Over 260 singers from eight choirs (including two from Wellington region) took part in the Manawatu-Whanganui branch’s SingFest held in St Peter’s Church, Palmerston North on Saturday 7 April 2018. Members of the public observed during the day. Each choir presented their own items, within a 12-minute time frame. Participating choirs were Renaissance Singers (PN), Wanganui Community Choir, All Saints Choir (PN), Lyric Singers (Whanganui), Palmerston North Choral Society, Schola Sacra (Whanganui), Take Note Singers (Wellington) & Festival Singers (Wellington). Malcolm Hopwood did an excellent job of compering the festival. The Renaissance Singers were the host choir for the day, ensuring that the festival ran smoothly.
Joe Christensen was the commentator for the day, providing detailed reports for all choirs. He also conducted the vocal warm-up, honing in on the importance of vocal resonance. During the day, Joe conducted massed singing rehearsals of Jeremy Rawson’s arrangement of ‘Shenandoah’. Joe is a freelance musician, teaching singing and performing solo as well as conducting community based choirs, high school choirs, Musical Theatre productions and the New Zealand Male Choir. His expertise and advice was appreciated by all singers and conductors who took part in the festival.
Joanna Love, Manawatu-Whanganui Secretary
Photo credit: Kat Love