Eleanor sings all the way to Asia

21:18, Jun 12 2014
timaru eleanor mcgechie
HIGH NOTE: Craighead student Eleanor McGechie is going on tour to Singapore and Malaysia as a member of the New Zealand Secondary Students Choir.

Timaru teen Eleanor McGechie's voice will be heard around the world.

The year 13 Craighead Diocesan student is preparing to tour Malaysia and Singapore as part of the New Zealand Secondary Students Choir.

Eleanor, 17, is the only South Canterbury student in the 58-member choir made up of secondary school students from across the country.

After watching the choir perform at the Big Sing - the national schools' choir competition - she said she knew it was something she wanted to be a part of.

She then worked with her music teacher Vicki McLeod to prepare an audition and has now been with the choir for 18 months.

This will be her first time on an international tour, which takes place in the July holidays.


The tour involves performing at the Singaporean embassy, schools, and the Orientale Concentus Festival, a festival of 50 youth choirs from throughout Asia and beyond.

She said she is looking forward to the cultural experience the tour will bring and learning how to look after vocals while travelling.

One of her favourite aspects of being in the choir is getting to meet like-minded young people.

"I've made some amazing friendships with people from all around New Zealand. We have something in common no matter what they are like."

She also enjoys learning from knowledgeable choir leaders including musical director Andrew Withington.

"He is so full of energy, and positive during long days of rehearsals. They have an indescribable amount of knowledge, we're always learning and [he is] taking us forward."

There will be a week of rehearsals in Christchurch, then a farewell concert in Auckland before the choir heads to Singapore.

The Timaru Herald