The Big Sing got even bigger this year with the addition of three highly successful Cadenza festivals in the South Island (Timaru), Lower North Island (Whanganui) and Upper North Island (Rotorua). A total of 35 choirs (those ‘next off the blocks’ after the 24 selected for Finale) performed two recitals over two days and joined together at the gala concert to sing a selection of massed items they had whipped up in three short rehearsals with the adjudicator.
Australian conductor Christie Anderson, who was the adjudicator for the Timaru and Whanganui Cadenzas, summed up her experience of the festivals saying:
Cadenza is a significant opportunity for emerging and developing choirs to meet like-minded groups, perform to the best of their ability and develop areas of approach and technique over the course of the two-day festival. Hearing the diversity of sound, repertoire was a thrilling experience – audience members and participating groups got to hear the character and personality of each choir, and to witness their support of one another, creating such a strong and life-changing connection through song. Cadenza is collaborative and inspiring, giving room for both excellence and growth. It was a privilege to be the inaugural adjudicator.
Tim Sharp, who adjudicated at the Rotorua Cadenza as well as at The Big Sing Finale, gave some insight into what the judges were looking for in this interview on RNZ Concert.
Local Rotorua reviewer Hanno Fairburn described the Upper North Island Cadenza gala concert as “a feast of fine choral music” and said these inaugural 2019 Cadenza festivals were “a splendid start to The Big Sing Cadenzas, helped by efficient organisation at the local and national levels”. You can read Hanno Fairburn’s full review here.
And as for the results, we think the choirs and directors rightly felt they were all winners but nonetheless Merit, Distinction and Excellence awards (with Excellence being the highest) were awarded at each Cadenza festival. Those results are below.