Upskilling for school choir leaders, young composer comps

Choral directors and leaders of student singing groups can now hone their skills from the comfort of their own home in Zoom sessions.

New Zealand Choral Federation has announced online workshops for directors of secondary school choirs and conductors and a new competition for young composers.

The workshops are tailored to the needs of those taking part and consist of two 1-hour Zoom sessions. In the first session, the presenter works with a maximum of five choir leaders on a range of topics such as score preparation, rehearsal management, voice matching, blend etc. The second 1-hour Zoom is a personalised 1:1 session in which the participant can work on their gesture and/or other aspects of rehearsal technique.

Online Singing Matters workshops will also be run for conductors working in primary and intermediate schools.

Dates and times of these online workshops will be arranged according to the availability of the registrants and will most likely take place over two evenings (a week or two apart) or at weekends. Those taking part will be offered a menu of topics and will be asked to choose the areas they would most like to work on. For the second session, participants will have the opportunity to submit a video of their conducting in advance, or to conduct ‘live’ in the Zoom session so that they can receive feedback on their gesture – though this aspect is by no means compulsory (participants may choose to address other areas of choral direction in their personalised one-to-one session).

Last year’s participants gave these workshops a big thumbs up, with comments such as: “I appreciate the breadth of insight offered on all aspects – posture, positioning of arms, ways to prepare the score, physical placement of vocal sections.”

I got a clearer understanding of the children’s chorus teaching methods and the difference with the adult vocal teaching, as well as the importance of fun and joy to children’s choir rehearsals, which are very helpful for me.”

Meanwhile, young composers have a chance to shine with the NZCF-SOUNZ Choral Composition Competition, run in conjunction with SOUNZ Centre for New Zealand Music, it awards a prize for the best choral piece composed by a New Zealand secondary school student.

The adjudicator in 2022 will be Anthony Ritchie.

Click here to download more information and an entry form for the NZCF-SOUNZ Choral Composition Competition.

SOUNZ-NZCF Te Reo Māori Choral Composition Award
This award, initiated by SOUNZ Centre for New Zealand Music, was introducted in 2021 and aims to encourage young composers to write choral settings of texts in te reo Māori. The winning composer will receive a cash prize and a taonga, kindly donated by SOUNZ, in the form of a beautiful pūtōrino Te Pūoho Ki Te Rangi carved by taonga puoro player/composer and maker Tāmihana Kātene. 

The adjudicator in 2022 will be Reuben Rameka.

Click here to download more information and an entry form for the SOUNZ-NZCF Te Reo Māori Choral Composition Award.

Read more about Te Pūoho Ki Te Rangi 

Contact NZCF Events Manager Emma Billings [email protected] to register your interest for the online workshops.

Heather Barker Vermeer

Heather has worked as a journalist, writer and editor in England and Aotearoa New Zealand for over 20 years. She fell in love with words when she received a 'Speak & Spell' tech toy for Christmas in 1984.
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