KidsSing Festival October 22
Stan Barnes NZCF Manawatū-Whanganui
It was a festival to remember.
Nearly 300 primary and intermediate school students came together and sang their hearts out at the The Kids Sing (TKS) in the Te Tihi Performing Arts Centre at Palmerston North Intermediate Normal School.
There were seven choirs from six schools - Huntly, Shannon, Turitea, Monrad Intermediate, Palmerston North Intermediate Normal and Linton Camp Schools and a good attendance of parent and family supporters throughout the day.
This was a non-competitive festival promoted by the New Zealand Choral Federation (NZCF) – a celebration of singing aimed at developing singing and performance skills in young singers.
Each choir sang a bracket of songs of their own choosing and a varied and interesting programme resulted.
NZCF chief executive and choral expert Christine Argyle took two half-hour sessions with the massed choirs and taught them to sing the new song We Are One.
Sophie Brown, a Year 12 student at Epsom Girls' Grammar School, composed and wrote the music to the song.
Sophie already has multiple songwriting successes to her credit.
Her composition was the winning entry in the 2020 Hook, Line and Sing-A-Long Competition run by the New Zealand Music Commission in partnership with MENZA.
The massed festival choir of nearly 300 voices was quick to pick up the catchy tune under Argyle's tuition and were soon singing along and putting in the rhythmic clapping patterns that feature in the song.
This is the first time that a Kids Sing Festival has attempted such an item.
The festival was staged by NZCF Manawatu- Wanganui, one of 11regions of the national body.
Organisers were happy that the event was able to be held under Level 1 of the Government Covid-19 regulations.
It was the first TKS festival to be held by a region in 2020 with several having to cancel their scheduled festivals, or defer them to a later date.
Argyle, who was also acting as commentator/conductor, offered choir directors constructive criticism and comment on their choir's performances through a written report.
The federation's national events manager Emma Billings also attended the festival.
The NZCF in partnership with MENZA (Music Education New Zealand Aotearoa) are involved in an exciting new virtual choir project, Kids Online Singalong.
The project is open to all New Zealand primary and intermediate school choirs and requires each group learning the same piece, videoing it and sending it to the NZCF.
Their recording engineers will create one massed virtual choir from all the videos submitted, and when completed, the video will be shared on the NZCF YouTube channel.
Parents and friends of the students who were able to attend the day festival were treated to enthusiastic and joyous singing, which was a true celebration that will be long remembered.