School choirs – what it is all about!

If you have not previously been responsible for a choir in the Christchurch Schools’ Music Festival, it can be a little confusing. So here, in a few words, is what happens…and you can find out all the details from the menu links on the right!

  • Each year early in Term 1, schools apply to be part of the Festival. Applications are lodged online by completing a simple form. You need to provide contact details, know approximately the number of pupils who will be in your choir, and also make some simple commitments regarding your school’s participation..
  • Your school will be assigned one night of the festival in which your choir will perform along with about 1000 other pupils.
  • Early in Term 2, choir teachers attend the Choir Teachers’ Demonstration Meeting. At this meeting you receive a copy of the festival songbook for each member of your choir, a CD of accompaniments and teaching notes and other information. More importantly, the conductors of the festival will take the attendees through all the songs that the choirs will sing, focussing on areas that may create teaching issues. They will also give you teaching strategies for each song.
  • You then set about teaching your choir the festival songs during your regular choir sessions at your school.
  • In the middle of Term 3, your choir will attend a rehearsal along with a number of other schools. At this rehearsal, the conductors will go through all songs, assessing strengths and weaknesses and guiding the pupils as to how to improve their production qualities.
  • Early in Term 4, on the morning of your choir’s performance night, your choir and you attend a rehearsal at the festival venue. There your pupils will be allocated seats (you, and other supervisors from your school, will be able to sit with them) and the conductors will rehearse that evening’s performance.
  • You and your choir attend the evening performance, and feel really good about being part of such a huge enterprise.
  • There are also opportunities for talented singers and instrumentalists from your school to audition to be a member of one of the festival Representative Groups – Junior (Year 5 & 6) Choir, Senior (Year 7 & 8) Choir, Concert Band and Orchestra. These groups perform items at the festival each night, sometimes in conjunction with the massed choirs.

It couldn’t be simpler…so read on in the menu at the right, and we hope to see you at the Christchurch Schools’ Music Festival