Twenty six choirs from 12 schools involving 940 singers will be singing on Thursday in the Manawatū-Whanganui Region Big Sing Secondary Schools Choirs Festival at the Regent on Broadway.

The New Zealand Choral Federation holds 11 Big Sing events throughout New Zealand in June.

The regional festival has been staged at the Regent for 18 years and continues to be well supported by schools in the Manawatū, Whanganui, Rangitikei, Wairarapa and Horowhenua.

The morning session starts at 10am, the afternoon session at 2.15pm, and there will be an evening Gala Concert showcasing each of the secondary school choirs at which each choir will present one item.


The evening Gala starts at 7pm and will finish around 9pm.

The choirs range in size from 20 singers up to 104.

At the morning and afternoon recital sessions each choir presents a bracket of two or three pieces.

Each choir is encouraged to present one piece by a New Zealand composer or arranger.

The festival provides a wide ranging programme of choral pieces that will captivate and entertain.

The adjudicator this year is Robert Wiremu who will also be adjudicating choirs on the East Coast and in Wellington.

He is an experienced adjudicator having judged at many festivals including The Big Sing.

Wiremu has performed as a solo singer, accompanist and conductor including the NZ Singing School (Te Toi Waiata Aotearoa), and Opera in the Pā.

The NZ Youth Choir's performance of Wiremu's Waerenga a Hika by Tuirina Wehi was viewed more than 106,000 times with 1000 shares in the weeks following the Christchurch tragedy.

His teachings on vowel tuning, the Wiremu Vowel Clock, is used by teachers and conductors in NZ, Australia, and Canada and has been presented in conferences in NZ and Canada.


Wiremu is one of three choral experts travelling the country from Whangārei to Invercargill who will select the best 24 choirs to compete at the Big Sing National Final in the Dunedin Town Hall from August 29 to 31.

Twelve choirs from the lower half of the North Island will compete in Cadenza in Whanganui August 19 to 20.

+Admission morning and afternoon sessions: adults $5, Gala Concert $20. School students free to all sessions. Tickets from Regent ticket office or usual TicketDirect outlets