Tuesday, August 23, 2011

More progress on The Silver Sing

I was in Wellington for the New Zealand Chorale Federation executive meeting. I attended Wellington Anglican Cathedral in the morning, and who should be leading the intercessory prayer, but John Collyns, the CEO of the Retirement Villages Association. Calling him was on my plan for the beginning of this week, but this meeting was indeed fortuitous as we discussed the concept which I was developing for bringing together senior choirs in a festival. John and his team had discussed this some time ago, and were waiting for a catalyst to get it going. I am the catalyst. (This is my summary of the discussion :-))

I was able to take this concept to the NZCF meeting. The reason for naming it the Silver Sing is that the New Zealand Chorale Federation run an annual: Kid's Sing, (for primary and intermediate school children), the Big Sing (for secondary school choirs) the Classic Sing (for community choirs) and the Silver Sing fits that well-accepted set of festivals.

The plan is to formulate the festival through this year, including :
  • supporting existing choirs, and starting new ones, in villages.
  • getting information out to community choirs who have a preponderance of retired people as members.
  • working out the relationships between the RVA, NZCF, and Harmonic Health.
  • Deciding the parameters of the choir membership that will qualify them to sing in the Silver Sing (age range, average age, minimum/maximum number of singers, etc)
The current plan is for the festival to happen in Spring 2013

It is going to be an exciting time, which will naturally enhance my opportunity to see my passion come to fruition: to see more and more high quality outcome choirs established in villages throughout New Zealand, and then further abroad!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

8 - 80 Concert is on for 2012!!

It is now a fixture for the Hamilton Gardens Summer Arts festival. For the third year in a row, the 8 - 80 choirs will be performing. I have just sent a proposal to the Rotokauri School. Given my new status as self-employed, costs will need to be covered, so it will be interesting to see how they respond.

I intend to audition singers, and give them CDs and music to learn songs independently, before rehearsing every two weeks during the 4th term for 1 hr after school.

The Hilda Ross Glee Club are not yet aware of the approval for the concert, I will talk with them about that this coming week.

It is very exciting and also quite daunting as it involves a lot of work, but it is what I love doing, and showcases the amazing outcomes that are possible for both the children and the seniors

Wonderful Concerts

August 6th and 7th were the latest concert series for the Hamilton Chorale, of whom I am the musical director and conductor. Once again the choir rose to the occasion. Great tone, variety of styles, animated faces, clear words, very entertaining. Our guests were the Mighty River Harmony, the barbershop chorus who are going to compete in Brisbane in September. On Saturday we had the whole chorus, on Sunday what they call a 'large quintet' being 15 singers on the four parts. Entertaining indeed, with an age range of 69 years. However I was able to report that we had an age range of 74 years. Young Sam, who is 10 yrs old had been attending rehearsal with his mother, and when invited to sing along he readily said yes, and was singing the second soprano part with his mother. Ken, one of our Tenors turned '21 for the fourth time' earlier this year, and there are at least four other octogenarians in the choir. I cannot be sure, as singing helps to keep people alert and there may be some who are chronologically older than I think.

For an un-auditioned choir they are exceptional; they work hard, they are very responsive and willing to learn. They bring much pleasure: to each other, to the audiences and to me.