Bowing out on a high note

SIENA YATES
Last updated 05:00 19/12/2012
Barbara Smith
MARK TAYLOR/Fairfax NZ
Curtain call: Barbara Smith, front, gives a final show before stepping down as the Waikato Rivertones Chorus musical director after 20 years and numerous successes with the chorus.

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After 20 years in the chorus and 16 years at its head, Waikato Rivertones director Barbara Smith is bowing out and going in search of the quiet life.

The chorus gave its final performance of the year on Monday night and, for Mrs Smith, it was her last with the group.

"There were a lot of tears, but people know it's a good chorus and that I've made this decision because it's right for me and my family. There's got to come a time and there's never a good one," she said.

However, on the back of the chorus' fourth international competition, holding the title of second highest scoring chorus in New Zealand, and a membership very near 100, she is definitely "going out on a high note".

Mrs Smith simply said it was time for her and her husband to have some time to themselves.

"Colin is my rock. He's been our manager the whole time we've been running the chorus. We just want to free ourselves up to do some other things, but I still intend to continue with music, and coaching. It's not the end of the end. I'm not just going to sit in my rocking chair and get old," she laughed.

The chorus will be passed on to Lynn Jamieson and Kate Sinclair, who will co-direct until a permanent replacement is found either in New Zealand or from abroad.

Until then, Mrs Smith is just proud the chorus has reached 20 years at such a high level of talent and with the highest membership they have ever had.

"It's fantastic and I want them to celebrate it, because it's not all about me. It's about the teams over the years who are fabulous, wonderful women. I hope they keep up this fabulous culture we have, and I wish them all the best in the future."

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- Waikato Times

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