Pitch Perfect musical director sings praises of Vocal Collective
A group of Christchurch singers are preparing to take the stage at one of the world’s most prestigious music halls.
Vocal Collective, formerly the Christchurch Pops Choir, have been invited to perform at New York’s Carnegie Hall in March 2019 as part of a global choir.
The invitation marks a highpoint for the group, who began singing together after the 2010 and 2011 Canterbury earthquakes under founder and artistic director Luke Di Somma.
They perform regularly, and have started taking festival and corporate gigs, including February’s Nostalgia Festival with Australian act Mama Kin Spender.
Vocal Collective will join singers from the United States, Croatia, Ireland and Hong Kong on the Carnegie Hall stage, as part of TotalVocal, an annual showcase of a cappella-style singing. The concert is led by Deke Sharon, the musical director behind the Pitch Perfect movies and various singingrelated television shows.
Current artistic director Matt Everingham said the Carnegie Hall invitation came ‘‘out of the blue’’.
‘‘The organisers scouted us out online and offered us a place in that concert, which was really exciting,’’ Everingham said. ‘‘We are taking a group of more than 40, and there are about 200 singers in total in the concert, so we make up a good chunk.’’
Everingham said the name change to Vocal Collective was to break away from the traditional connotations of a ‘‘choir’’ and emphasise their contemporary flavour.
‘‘The group has always had a focus on pop, so modern contemporary genres in a chorus setting rather than a traditional choir model,’’ he said.
Sharon said he visited Christchurch a few years ago and ‘‘fell in love’’.
‘‘In many ways it reminded me of my home, San Francisco – diverse, cosmopolitan lifestyle, stunning natural beauty nearby, and warm people.’’
He said it would be ‘‘an honour’’ to share the stage with Vocal Collective at his ‘‘annual celebration of the human voice’’.
‘‘[They] are a dynamic group of varied voices who make fantastic music.’’
Vocal Collective will perform a public gig at Christchurch International Airport before ticketed gigs at The Piano in the lead-up to their New York trip in March.