Boys in fine voice – ‘dresses’ and all

Central Leader - - NEWS - By ROSE CAWLEY

Eight years ago the boys at Dilworth were ter­ri­fied of be­ing in a choir – now they are singing sen­sa­tions.

Dilworth di­rec­tor of cho­ral mu­sic Claire Cald­well says find­ing enough boys to get the choir up and run­ning was not easy.

‘‘Singing had a stigma at­tached to it which meant that most boys didn’t want to sing, but it was the prin­ci­pal’s pas­sion so he de­cided to em­ploy some­one to get singing hap­pen­ing.’’

The boys were happy to sing so long as Cald­well didn’t re­fer to it as a choir – or make them wear ‘‘those dresses’’.

Once the group of young men known as the Dilworth Foun­da­tion Singers started prac­tis­ing, ev­ery­thing started to fall into place, she says.

‘‘Then we had a huge ser­vice of Thanks­giv­ing at Holy Trin­ity Cathe­dral and guess what they had to do – wear the robes. I didn’t know how to break it to them.’’

But she says it ended up be­ing a defin­ing mo­ment for the group.

‘‘From then on they were proud of what they were do­ing and there was no kind of so­cial stigma at­tached to it.’’

Last year for the first time Dilworth made it to the na­tional sec­tion of The Big Sing com­pe­ti­tion and picked up three awards.

‘‘Once you have had that kind of high level suc­cess it sort of just rolls be­cause the boys want to do it again and again. It self per­pet­u­ates,’’ she says.

This year the boys are aim­ing high again and will be com­pet- ing at the Auck­land re­gional sec­tion of The Big Sing com­pe­ti­tion from June 10 to 12.

She says a lot of hard work has gone into be­ing ready for the high­light event which in­volves 70 choirs from 42 Auck­land sec­ondary schools.

‘‘Most of what we do here at school is all about The Big Sing,’’ Cald­well says. ‘‘The jour­ney to The Big Sing is the fo­cus of the first five or so months at school.’’

Also in­volved in are Ep­som Girls Gram­mar, Dioce­san School for Girls, One Tree Hill Col­lege and Mt Al­bert Gram­mar.

There will be a Gala Con­cert at the Auck­land Town Hall at 6.30pm on June 12.

Photo: ROSE CAWLEY

Mu­si­cal suc­cess: Dilworth di­rec­tor of cho­ral mu­sic Claire Cald­well started the school’s choir and now has a strong group.

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