Big Sing Regionals 2021

Posted on July 02, 2021

On Tuesday 22 June, the Macleans College choirs Macleans College Chorale, Aria, and Men of Macleans travelled to the Auckland Town Hall to compete in the Annual Big Sing Regional Competition, hosted by the New Zealand Choral Federation.

The competition allows youth in secondary schools to come together in a celebration of music and community.

After the cancellation of last year’s regional competition due to COVID-19 the choirs were ready to present their hard work to a new audience. The Macleans College choirs performed in a range of styles and a variety of languages from Te Reo and Samoan to English and Latin.

Aria, the Macleans College allcomers girls’ choir directed by Mrs Swasbrook, performed first with a unique set ranging from light, fun songs to a more traditional choral sound. In particular, the audience enjoyed the excitement of Hot Chocolate, which intertwined hissing sounds and whispers within the fabric of the text.

Macleans College Chorale, the Macleans College Premier Mixed Choir directed by Mrs McNabb, performed next with a set expanding across a range of tones, styles, and languages. They sang a beautiful traditional Samoan song, Musu e, as well as the haunting and intense Daemon Irrepit in German Latin. They also delivered a lilting musical interpretation of the picture book ‘Goodnight Moon’ originally written by Margaret Wise Brown, filled with glorious harmonies and warm imagery. The audience was enraptured and astonished by the choir’s stunning performance recital, with the choir receiving a standing ovation at the Gala Concert later in the evening.

Men of Macleans, Macleans College’s allcomers boys’ choir directed also by Mrs McNabb, were last to perform. The boys performed a range of languages, extending from the traditional Māori waiata Ngā Iwi E to the Irish hymn Be Thou My Vision. Their unique blend of voices created a wonderful choral set, enjoyed immensely by the audience.

On Thursday 24 June at the Regional Awards Ceremony for the Auckland region, Macleans College Chorale was acknowledged for two awards.

Runner up for the Leo Pasifika Award

    Many thanks to Tina Fata (Kupe House) for leading the incredible performance of Musu e, a piece that will remain special to the choir for many years to come.

    Runner up for the Best Festival Recital Programme By a Mixed Choir

      This is considered an enormous achievement for Macleans College Chorale, as this award has not been won since 2017. Out of 22 mixed choirs, Macleans College Chorale placed within the top two; and out of 60 choirs, Macleans College Chorale placed in the top six.

      Furthermore, the Macleans College Chorale have also been chosen to represent Macleans College at the Big Sing Finale National Competition held in Christchurch, where the best secondary school choirs from across all of New Zealand will compete.

      Special thanks to the choir directors, Mrs McNabb and Mrs Swasbrook, who have respectively sacrificed much time and effort to ensure the choirs receive the attention and care they need to flourish. Special thanks also to Dr Miles, Miss Xie, Ms Williams, Mr Muckerdhooj and Ms Harrison for their support of the choirs during this event and over the course of the year.