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New Zealand Youth Choir bringing harmony to US

Nov 20th, 2013 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

650IT’S INTENSIVE and a huge commitment, but a year of singing has paid off for the New Zealand Youth Choir which leaves on an international tour next week.

Olivia Sheat of Blenheim is an example of the 60 singers between the ages of 18 and 25 who have devoted the year preparing for the tour of the US and Canada.

She became a member of the choir early this year while studying voice at the New Zealand School of Music in Wellington.

“Being at uni and studying voice is intensive. It’s a huge commitment,” said Olivia, whose dream is to become a professional soprano opera singer.

She said she had gained a lot of musical experience this year, but decided not to audition for the next cycle.

After the North American tour a new cycle of members will come into the choir.

Members of the choir come from all around the country and meet during their semester breaks from study.

Olivia said they had a huge repertoire and range of styles of music to learn but finds time to learn them before each course of study.

The youth choir last came together in Rotorua on Labour Weekend, for the choral festival Sing Aoteoroa.

Olivia enjoys seeing the choir members after a long time apart.

“It makes it very exciting, everyone’s so passionate, and they’re all very easy to get along with,” she said.

Since the organisation began in 1979, the choir has been on nine international tours to represent New Zealand, its youth and music.

The choir will leave on Tuesday for their three week tour.

Olivia is looking forward to her first experience of the US and Canada.

The youth choir members will begin their tour with an Auckland farewell concert.

They then fly to Los Angeles to perform on Wednesday at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

The choir will spend a week in Canada, performing at the Church of the Redeemer in Toronto, and then at churches in Ottawa and Montreal.

On December 2, they fly to Boston, New York and Washington DC to perform.

One of the last performances will be at the New Zealand Embassy in Washington DC, which is a private performance by invitation only.

The Cultural Diplomacy International Programme of New Zealand is a main sponsor of the 2013 tour.

The programme exists to represent and fund the publicity of New Zealand’s culture overseas.

Peter Diessl, who chairs the New Zealand String Quartet Trust with wife Carolyn, has sponsored the city tour of Montreal.

“We are very interested in musical things. It’s just a lovely thing for children to do. Singing is lovely. We like to support young people doing worthwhile things,” Carolyn said.

Operations manager for Choirs Aoteoroa, Emma Dowdle, has organised the choir’s travel, accommodation, venues and promotion.

She said the team would be feeling national pride as they sing to an international audience.

Image(s): Matt Grace, Choirs NZ

Caption for top pic: CHORAL STATUES: The New Zealand Youth Choir 2013 singing in Parliament early this year.

Below is a map which shows the travel route for the tour the New Zealand Youth choir will be following from next week.

To see the choirs three week itinerary, please click here.

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is a student journalist studying at Whitireia in Welington. She is keen on keeping up with the news and writing stories that will have impact in the community. She is currently reporting stories within the Brooklyn area. She is interested in using multi-media in the news room.
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  1. We enjoyed the New Zealand Youth Choir immensely during their stay in the Boston area. They participated in a joint concert with the Boston City Singers chorus and shared wonderful music. Here are three video clips that I made during their concert.–BvTkkys

  2. Awesome version of Te Iwi e

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