"Excitement is building" as a record number of East Coast secondary school choirs rehearse for their moment in the spotlight.

The 32 choirs from 16 secondary schools within the East Coast region have converged at Waiapu Cathedral of St John the Evangelist in Napier as they prepare for the Big Sing 2016 Regional Festival. It begins at 10am tomorrow, with Gala Performances at 6pm tomorrow and Thursday.

NZCF East Coast The Big Sing co-ordinator 2016 Glenys Kempshall said the enjoyment of the students was obvious, and their excitement was building as the festival drew closer. The region had the third equal largest number of choirs this year, which Ms Kempshall said she thought was because of an increased interest in choral singing.

The festival offered a high quality of choral music, the support of a professional setting, and the opportunity for students to obtain excellence.

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The secondary school students are among 10,000 taking part in regional festivals nationwide, organised by the New Zealand Choral Federation.

During the festival each choir will sing a programme of three contrasting items for adjudicator and composer Dr Anthony Ritchie from Dunedin, repeating one item at a Gala Concert at 6pm each evening. The national finale will be held in the Dunedin Town Hall in August with 24 finalist choirs from the regional festivals.

- Don't miss the East Coast Big Sing Regional Festival at Waiapu Cathedral of St John the Evangelist in Napier. Public performances begin at 10am tomorrow and Thursday, with gala performances at 6pm tomorrow and Thursday.