Voci Celesti, the thirty-three strong Aquinas College Mixed voice choir, recently attended the World Projects South Pacific Australian International Music Festival, in Sydney, from 3 – 10 July.
The International festival of 950 participants, from Australia, New Zealand, China and the USA, included dance, bands and orchestras plus two Australian and five New Zealand choirs.
Aquinas College Head of Music, Lynda Cooney (nee Wing), was full of praise for the tour management. “We travelled with Tour Time coordinating our plans and found that the support we received from them was fantastic. Their flexibility and ability to respond to our needs was exceptional. I would thoroughly recommend them as a great company to work with and would definitely use them again.”
Prior to the tour, as preparation, students were fortunate to workshop their material with David Squire (Conductor of the National Youth Choir of NZ), Rowan Johnstone (Conductor of “Choralation” Westlake) and were also involved in being a guest choir for a conducting workshop, held in Tauranga, with Dr Karen Grylls.
A highlight for the choir was achieving a Bronze award where the choir were assessed on an adjudicated recital of five pieces. Choirs are not compared against each other and are assessed to criteria which meet a standard. “We were extremely proud of the students’ efforts and performance. It is a chance to both perform and to learn. Performances are adjudicated by a panel of three judges from different countries who are experts in their fields,” says Lynda Cooney.
“Our choir was put together in November 2015 so has only had six months in its current formation. Adjudicators comments were extremely complimentary regarding the beautiful tone produced by our students,” she said.
“Musically, this trip has been a wonderful experience for all involved and has provided gold memories for our students. They have now performed internationally in superb venues, including the Sydney Town Hall and Sydney Opera House, taken part in workshops, massed choir rehearsals and learned new skills.”