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.

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