City Sings 2018 Report
Atrium, ANZ Centre, Christchurch
On Friday 16 March NZCF CWC held an open social event for all choir directors in the Canterbury region.
The opportunity was facilitated by the retail manager for the ANZ building, Kerrie Bloomfield, who kindly arranged for our event to be held in the lovely new atrium at the ANZ Centre, and the magnificent team at Arbo Café who served us complimentary food and drinks for the time we were there. We do acknowledge these folk for their tremendous generosity allowing us the privilege to interface with the business arm of the CBD in this way.
The event, attended by around thirty choral directors, was a time to share our enthusiasm for all things choral and do some essential networking. It was also an opportunity for all to share thoughts and present plans we may have already, or may be dreaming of, for contributing to the musical life of our new city.
Our reasons for congregating in this beautiful building were many: a desire to work with our hard-working developers, retailers, and business owners to bring life into their beautiful spaces, to bring joy back into the CBD, to offer life to the visitors who frequent our city, and to share some world class choral work with our local and international community.
We want to be the singing city!
Launch of SingFest18
Over the past few months we had been talking to our people in the CBD, the business sector & the ChCh City Council, and we had listened to some amazing, often world class, choral performances which never reach beyond the walls of churches and indoor venues. We felt it was time to bring it to the people.
And so to that end, we launched SingFest18, a short, weekend festival of singing to be held in outdoor spaces where possible, in the CBD, from 24-26 August this year. It is hoped that this will become an annual feature on our calendar &, who knows?…it may turn into a week-long celebration in the future!
Some choirs already have some pretty exciting events on that weekend and are prepared to open them up for people to come, see & listen.
This event will be shaped by the contributions of our singing community and represent a wide range of ensembles. We circulated a form on which choirs could feed back availability and preferences for venues. The NZCF would negotiate the performance spaces, while the choirs themselves would initiate the content.
Further, this event has the enthusiastic support of the ChCh City Council events team which has offered financial sponsorship, if needed, as well as advertising.
The timing of the event has been carefully considered so that groups are all at their performance peaks, yet we don’t clash with anything important. e.g. CSO performances (28Jul & 18 Aug), Chamber Music Comp(first week in Aug), Jazz Quest (5 & 6 Aug), Southern Jam (8-11 Aug), and Voices Festival (13-18 Aug).
It also falls nicely after The Big Sing Secondary Choirs Regional Contest in June & the Finale (30 Aug-1 Sept).
Launch of Website for Canterbury Choral
To help facilitate communication between choral groups and better support one another’s endeavours, Georgina Rees-Stevenson presented her work on a Canterbury Choral website which, it is hoped, will be available for everyone to use soon. This would also have links to other significant sites such as NZCF, Civic Music Council, RSCM, and The Big Sing. Choirs will be able to post information about their groups and their activities/concerts. This would also assist new people to our region who are searching for a choir to join.
Regional Big Sing 7-8 June
Mention was made of the upcoming regional Big Sing competition for secondary school choirs. Daytime sessions to be held in The Piano in Armagh St, entry $5 for public entry. Anyone is welcome to come and enjoy these performances which will run from 9am -2pm on both days. Gala Concerts will be held in the evening of both days at 7pm in the Pro-Cathedral in Manchester St. Tickets and further details will be available through Court Theatre booking office.
Giving Directions Workshop Sat 22 Sept for community choirs
Rowan Johnson will be spending a day with us to give encouragement and direction to any local conductors who may be just beginning their journey of choral directorship, or those who may just feel a need to re-energise, or others who may be trying to upskill from where they are. More details will be available closer to the time.
Rosemary Fisher, NZCF CWC Chair