Students sing up a big storm

An all-out battle of the vocal chord

LUCY TOWNEND
Last updated 08:00 12/06/2014
Big sing
DAVID UNWIN/FAIRFAX NZ

ON NOTE: Palmerston North Boys' High group OK Chorale, including Conner McLaughlin, 16, and Adam Sowman, 17, compete at the Manawatu regional Big Sing competition held at The Regent on Broadway, Palmerston North.

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Manawatu's teen singing sensations took to the stage in an all-out battle of the vocal chords.

The annual Big Sing had about 600 secondary school students showcasing their tuneful talents in the Manawatu edition of the nationwide singing competition, held in Palmerston North yesterday.

Fifteen choirs from eight schools in the Manawatu, Wairarapa and Rangitikei descended on Palmerston North to take part.

The various ensembles - made up of six to 60 singers - each presented a 10-minute programme, with choral styles that ranged from barbershop classics, to Kiwi hits and Hollywood movie replicas.

Palmerston North Girls' High School fronted five choirs, all with a different musical focus, including first time Big Sing performers the United Sensation. The gospel choir was led by 16-year-old student Fononga Veikoso and formed by a group of mostly Pasifika students.

Palmerston North Boys' High School longstanding choir, The OK Chorale, celebrated its 21st anniversary by performing a piece written especially for them by Josie Burden in 2008 called Kei Whea Mai.

The school also registered two other choirs, including the Son of a Pitch ensemble which is an open-to-all student choir with 60 singers.

Also performing were Nga Tawa Diocesan, Freyberg High School, St Peter's College, Feilding High School, Wairarapa-based Rathkeale College, and St Matthew's Collegiate.

Results will be out once all competitions have been completed nationwide, and Manawatu school choirs will be waiting to hear who will sing at this year's nationals, which take place in Auckland from August 21 to 23.

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- Manawatu Standard

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