Former student leads choir to glory
A former pupil of Murrays Bay Intermediate School has lead her alma mater to choral glory.
School choir the Notables won the premier award at The Kids Sing choir competition in Auckland last week.
The competition brings choirs from primary and intermediate schools across the Auckland region together to battle it out for the top award.
Choir master Vanessa Kay who has been directing the group for the last two years is an alumnus of the school.
In fact, she sang with the choir when she was at the intermediate, going on to sing with choirs at Westlake Girls High School and at university before joining the New Zealand Youth Choir.
The 37-year-old started the North Shore Children’s Choir in 2001.
She was drawn to choral singing because ‘‘it just makes you feel good’’.
‘‘I just think it’s a great way to sing together,’’ she said.
If you’re not really a solo singer, which I’m not really a solo singer, I loved that you can still sing and make beautiful music but not have to be by yourself on stage.’’
Many of the students that made up the Notables this year were new to singing in a choir, Kay said.
But with her years of experience as the director to draw from, she found a rhythm that brought out their best harmonies.
The 33-member strong choir sang three pieces at the competition, trying to best their silver award from last year.
They took out the top prize the first time a North Shore school has been awarded the honour - also receiving the award for best test piece and a Gold award.
‘‘Getting a gold was really exciting,’’ Kay said.
‘‘I personally haven’t received a gold award so that was nice! And the kids were really excited. Getting the other awards were just icing on the cake.’’
She said participating in group activities like a choir, an orchestra or a sports team instilled a sense of belonging and of teamwork in kids as they worked together to achieve a shared outcome.
‘‘Collectively you really have to make sure you’re going for that goal,’’ she said.
‘‘I know they will remember it for a long time,’’ Kay said.
Murrays Bay Intermediate’s award-winning choir, the Notables, with choir director Vanessa Kay.