Register 2021

CULTURE Choral Music

In a normal year, some 88 boys regularly attend rehearsals, lead both the weekly College services and Congers sessions, as well as presenting several concerts throughout the year. This makes for a demanding schedule for many who are also leading academics and top competitive sportsmen. With a period in lockdown, our regular ‘norm’ was broken, and routines suddenly changed. Despite the challenges of Covid-19, there were several highs for both the Chapel Choir and Schola Cantorum in 2021. Both competed exceptionally well in the regional competition of the New Zealand Choral Federation Big Sing contest, with the Chapel Choir winning the award for the best performance of work from the Classical repertoire, and the best Mixed Choir Award, while Schola Cantorum was awarded the Best Male Choir. Adjudicator Peter Watts, from Auckland, praised both choirs for their excellent choice of repertoire and attention to the presentation of

text and on all musical matters. The Chapel Choir presented Mozart’s stunning Veni Sancte Spiritus and Auckland composer Chris Artley’s evocative setting of Nunc Dimittis . To conclude its programme, the choir excelled in bringing a waiata the choir commissioned from the Puanaki Whaˉnau Whakamanawa ki te atua . The singing of this waiata was greatly enhanced by composer Te Huaki adding appropriate actions to lift the engagement of the choir. While some members found this a challenge, the effect on the large stage of the Christchurch Town Hall was very impressive. Schola Cantorum’s programme was both musically demanding and challenging and required real intensity to bring off successfully. American contemporary composer Randall Stroope’s Tarantella with String Quartet accompaniment was stunningly presented and was a clear match to the ethereal work from New Zealand composer David Child’s Prayer of St Francis of Assisi . A moving spiritual, Didn’t my Lord

deliver Daniel , concluded the programme. The Chapel Choir was selected as a first reserve finalist for the National Finale that was to be held in Christchurch, but sadly was cancelled because of the lockdown. Both choirs were nominated to attend the Cadenza Festival in Timaru, which was also cancelled. Honours Ties are a means of acknowledging those senior students who, over the past five years, have given exceptional commitment, service and skill to the choral programmes within College. All awardees were members of the Chapel Choir and, in several cases, members of Schola Cantorum and had been involved in the Combined Choir with St Margaret’s College. Their leadership and musical ability have contributed to the work of the choir over the years as they have led services, with many touring internationally with the choir several times and competing in several Big Sing finales at a national level. The recipients were Ollie Jones,


Christ’s College Canterbury

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