The youthful exuberance of school choirs can be enjoyed and celebrated by the community.

Rotorua is hosting the first ever Cadenza for the upper North Island on August 25 to 26 at the Energy Events Centre.

It is a choral competition involving 13 secondary school choirs from the region and has grown out of the NZ Choral Federation's competition The Big Sing.

The Big Sing involves nearly 10,000 secondary school students from across 250 school choirs which compete against each other regionally each year.


The winning 24 choirs take part in Finale, a three-day choral competition held in a major centre, this year in Dunedin.

However, there are many other great choirs not able to take part in Finale, so the NZ Choral Federation has created Cadenza, a choral competition and collaboration.

There will be three Cadenzas around the country, in Rotorua, Whanganui and Timaru, involving 36 choirs from around the country.

They will compete against each other, as well as taking part in massed workshops with a choral conductor who will also perform the role of adjudicator.

In Rotorua this will be international conductor Tim Sharp, who is the executive director of the American Choral Directors' Association.

Rotorua's Host Committee is delighted Rotorua choirs are to be represented as Rotorua Boys' High School Raukura's Choir, under conductor Elisha Hulton, have been chosen to take part in Cadenza.

A trio from Raukura will also perform as part of the opening ceremony.

Elizabeth Pilaar, a Rotorua co-ordinator of the event, says it is a special opportunity for the Rotorua audience to hear some of the best secondary school choirs singing individually, as well as together in massed items.


"It's like having 13 concerts all rolled into one, but in a manageable time frame.

"Bringing together more than 400 voices into one choir will be exciting and I'm expecting it to be spine chilling - the power of the human voice together with others in harmony is unlike any other instrument and has the ability to reach us all."

Elizabeth says the standard of these choirs is superb and she thinks this will be a musical treat not to be missed.

"Every choir needs an audience and all of these deserve an audience."

There will be four adjudicated sessions the public are welcome to attend, for a gold coin donation, where each school presents two songs in two different sessions.

The culmination of performance will be the public Gala Concert on August 25 which will allow all the choirs to showcase an item from their Cadenza repertoire and to sing music together which has been rehearsed with Tim Sharp.

Tickets are available from Ticketmaster.

Public sessions
- Sunday August 25, 11am to12.30pm and 2pm to 3.30pm (six choirs)
- Monday August 26, 10am to 12pm (eight choirs) and 1pm to 2pm (four choirs)
- Public Gala concert, Monday August 26, 7pm to 9pm