The Macleans College Choir arrived at the Town Hall on Tuesday the 9th of June, simultaneously exhilarated and daunted by the prospect of finally performing at the Big Sing Regional Competition. This event was the culmination of months of hard work, weekend rehearsals, and post-practice pineapple lumps. The competition was a festival of sound and a celebration of choral music; it highlighted the joys of making seriously awesome noises with seriously awesome people.
After going through the time-tested pre-performance routine (pineapple, menthol spray, lip trills and “touching the blue light”), choristers stepped into the spotlight and began their final recital of the day. The songs “Great Trees”, “Te Mea Nui” and “Rosas Pandan” comprised the set. The pieces had widely varying tones ranging from dark and wondrous to bright and youthful. Even our chosen languages had a wide range, from English to Maori to a Filipino dialect called “Visayan”.
Nothing can quite compare to the mixture of emotions that confronts the performers when they are about to come into the piece (Will I be on time? Will I be loud enough? Will my voice crack like a prepubescent boy’s, again? Will I even find the right note to sing amongst all the competing chords?). All they can really do is push the anxiety away, attempt to remember why they love music so much, and enjoy every moment – particularly when the verses that have been practiced for months go perfectly.
Afterwards, the relief was almost as satisfying as the actual performance: dissecting your performance with your friends, congratulating other schools, hugging old choristers who came to watch you… The Big Sing is certainly a unique and uplifting experience, regardless of the result. Personally, it marks an annual highlight despite all the stress of forgotten bus bookings and being told to “STEAM!!! AND NASAL FLUSH!!!!!!”
There really is nothing quite like it.
This year, the Macleans College Choir gained both the “Highly Commended” award at the Auckland Regionals and the award for “Best Acapella Piece”. It was also awarded “Commended” for the best recital programme for a mixed choir, coming second in the mixed category.
Written by Saffron Huang. Edited by Zhong Huang.