The inaugural Choir Showcase in Hamilton on Sunday hit all the right notes as an afternoon of excellent singing, sharing and community spirit.
"The feedback has been very positive and those involved are looking forward to the next one," said event convener Tony Dixon.
It is planned that the event — which had seven choirs and choruses singing 40 songs — will become a regular part of the Waikato A&P Show at Claudelands events centre.
"The afternoon met the goals we were trying to achieve," said Tony. "The getting together of community choirs who hardly knew each other and were able to sing together for the first time, sent people away buzzing," he said.
"This was an amazing day of sharing, listening, performing and learning." The musical director of one choir said: "The venue, as expected, was of such a high level that I am sure it pushed us all to perform at our very best."
One highlight was the rendition of He Hōnore in te reo by the combined choirs including Te Roopu O Kihi, the kapa haka group from IDEA Services.
He Hōnore is a prayer for honour and peace to the land.
"The inclusion of the intellectually disabled group Te Roopu O Kihi conveyed the total enjoyment of singing," Tony said.
MC Bryan Bevege kept the mood humming along by getting the audience to take part in vocal warm-up exercises and songs between choirs.
Vocal coach Hannah Bryant boosted spirits (and voices) a little higher by teaching the audience how to sing a round — a song sung by two or more groups who start off at different times.
She used a waka paddling song — Dip, dip and swing — that she teaches her children's class and reckoned the Claudelands crowd was almost as good.
Apart from Te Roopu O Kihi, the other singing groups were Male Voices Waikato,Ōhinemuri Singers, Te Aroha Choir, Mosaic Choir, Waikato Rivertones and Mighty River Harmony.
Between them they performed songs in a wide range of styles from traditional folk songs and spirituals, to pop hits, rock classics, a cappella favourites and even a Zulu lullaby. An Irish Blessing sung by the massed choirs was a moving and memorable finale.
"We hope the choir festival will become an integral part of the A&P Show and an event where talent is recognised and excellent community singing becomes a tradition," Mr Dixon said.
Based on the inaugural event, send yourself a note to be there next year.