Young singers to take centre stage at prestigious Chinese choral event

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Young singers to take centre stage at prestigious Chinese choral event

Monday the 24th of June, 2019

The 26-strong Chapel Choir from Auckland Girls Diocesan School will sing 10 songs during a 60-minute performance at the Chengdu International Children’s Chorus Week in August.

A talented group of young Kiwi singers have been invited back to perform at a glamorous, world-class cultural event in August – and are the only choir from New Zealand to receive that honour.

The 26-strong Chapel Choir from Auckland Girls Diocesan School will sing 10 songs during a 60-minute performance at the Chengdu International Children’s Chorus Week in August. The choir is one of only six international children’s choirs to be invited.

It will be an intense but enjoyable adventure for the students who are all in Year 6, and aged nine and 10 years old.

To be invited back is a great honour, says Mehernaz Pardiwalla, the Diocesan Junior School Performing Arts Coordinator, who will be accompanying the girls on the trip.    

“I think the organisers in Chengdu were very impressed with the high standard of our singing last year and the lively and friendly personalities of our Diocesan girls,”  says Mehernaz. “They were also particularly intrigued by some of the waiata and the Maori culture we also shared with them.” 

The organisers have also allowed Diocesan to include two more members to the choir than last year.  
The Chapel Choir members underwent a rigorous audition at the start of the year to be selected. 

Membership is competitive, says Ms Pardiwalla, and girls in Years 5 and 6 strive to get into it every year. 

The Chapel Choir girls lead the school at their Junior School Chapel services each week. Diocesan also has an all-comers choir called Bella Voce for Years 4, 5 and 6, and membership currently stands at 90 girls.

“There are very few girls in our school who don’t sing in tune and don’t enjoy singing.”

The students are working hard to perfect their 60-minute performance, with a repertoire that includes a mixture of songs in Te Reo Maori, as well as international and well loved children’s songs. All the choirs will also learn and rehearse two other songs to be presented at the highlight of the week, the International Children’s Chorus Music Fair.  

The week-long event is also an opportunity for students to gain a mutual understanding of different countries and cultural backgrounds with workshops being held by each country’s choral conductor.  

The trip is not just an experience to sing in an international event, but also to experience Chinese traditional culture with a variety of trips and excursions planned including a visit to the world-famous Chengdu Research base of the Giant Panda, the most authoritative panda research and protection organisation in the world.  

The event has been held every year since 2004 and is hosted by the Chengdu municipal committee and the Chinese Chorus Association.

The other countries involved in this year’s Chengdu International Chorus Week are Russia, Sweden, Malaysia, Korea and Estonia.

The choir leaves for Chengdu on 8 August and returns 17 August, 2019,

Below is the repertoire the choir is preparing for the trip:
 
1. Māhuhu-ki-te-rangi                 Diocesan School for Girls waiata
2. Dio Haka
3. E rere taku po                        (poi dance)
4. Hine e Hine                            Fannie Rose Howie (Princess Te Rangi Pai) Arr. David Hamilton
5. Pokare Kare Ana                   Traditional NZ Maori Song
6. Wonderful Me                        music by Philip Norman & words by Margaret Mahy
7. Zi Zhu Diao (Bamboo Flute)  Chinese Folk Tune arranged by Mark Weston
8. Cantamos! (We Sing!)           James M. DesJardins
9. Lovely Evening                      Traditional German Canon Arr. Ruth Morris Gray
10. Singin’ in the Rain                Nacio Herb Brown Arr. Mac Huff