New choir fes­ti­val hits the right notes

Hamilton News - - ENTERTAINMENT - Peter Tiffany

The in­au­gu­ral Choir Show­case in Hamil­ton on Sun­day hit all the right notes as an af­ter­noon of ex­cel­lent singing, shar­ing and com­mu­nity spirit.

“The feed­back has been very pos­i­tive and those in­volved are look­ing for­ward to the next one,” said event con­vener Tony Dixon.

It is planned that the event — which had seven choirs and cho­ruses singing 40 songs — will be­come a reg­u­lar part of the Waikato A&P Show at Claude­lands events cen­tre.

“The af­ter­noon met the goals we were try­ing to achieve,” said Tony. “The get­ting to­gether of com­mu­nity choirs who hardly knew each other and were able to sing to­gether for the first time, sent peo­ple away buzzing,” he said.

“This was an amaz­ing day of shar­ing, lis­ten­ing, per­form­ing and learn­ing.” The mu­si­cal di­rec­tor of one choir said: “The venue, as ex­pected, was of such a high level that I am sure it pushed us all to per­form at our very best.”

One high­light was the ren­di­tion of He Ho¯ nore in te reo by the com­bined choirs in­clud­ing Te Roopu O Kihi, the kapa haka group from IDEA Ser­vices.

He Ho¯ nore is a prayer for hon­our and peace to the land.

“The in­clu­sion of the in­tel­lec­tu­ally dis­abled group Te Roopu O Kihi con­veyed the to­tal en­joy­ment of singing,” Tony said.

MC Bryan Bevege kept the mood hum­ming along by get­ting the au­di­ence to take part in vo­cal warm-up ex­er­cises and songs be­tween choirs.

Vo­cal coach Han­nah Bryant boosted spir­its (and voices) a lit­tle higher by teach­ing the au­di­ence how to sing a round — a song sung by two or more groups who start off at dif­fer­ent times.

She used a waka pad­dling song — Dip, dip and swing — that she teaches her chil­dren’s class and reck­oned the Claude­lands crowd was al­most as good.

Apart from Te Roopu O Kihi, the other singing¯groups were Male Voices Waikato,ohine­muri Singers, Te Aroha Choir, Mo­saic Choir, Waikato River­tones and Mighty River Har­mony.

Be­tween them they per­formed songs in a wide range of styles from tra­di­tional folk songs and spir­i­tu­als, to pop hits, rock clas­sics, a cap­pella favourites and even a Zulu lul­laby. An Ir­ish

Bless­ing sung by the massed choirs was a mov­ing and mem­o­rable fi­nale.

“We hope the choir fes­ti­val will be­come an in­te­gral part of the A&P Show and an event where tal­ent is recog­nised and ex­cel­lent com­mu­nity singing be­comes a tra­di­tion,” Mr Dixon said. Based on the in­au­gu­ral event, send your­self a note to be there next year.

Photo / Peter Tiffany

The massed choirs at the in­au­gu­ral Choir Show­case at the Waikato A&P Show on Sun­day.

Photo / Peter Tiffany

Mighty River Har­mony on stage at Claude­lands with their bar­ber shop quar­tet front and cen­tre. The quar­tet drew cheers and ap­plause with its ren­di­tion of Hello, Mary Lou.

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