20 Jul 2010
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An award-winning choir from Auckland's Diocesan School for Girls has been chosen to compete in the 10th International China Chorus Festival this month - the only New Zealand choir to be selected for the elite competition which promotes world peace.
Conducted by Shona McIntyre-Bull, the Virtuoso Voce choir of Year 7 and Year 8 students from the all-girls, Anglican independent school will compete against choirs from China, Malaysia, Singapore, Israel, Poland and Finland at the festival which is being held in Beijing from July 28 to August 2.
The China International Chorus Festival (CICF) has been held in Beijing every two years since 1992 to help promote peace and friendship as well as cultural exchanges between China and other countries.
Open to both amateur and professional choirs from China and overseas, it is the largest and highest-level international competition held in the country of more than 1.3 billion people.
More than 500 choirs - almost half of them from overseas - take part in the five-day event in the Chinese capital and competition standards among the highest in the world.
The festival is supported by The International Federation of Choral Music. Its theme this year is "Forever Friends" and its aim is "to build a harmonious world together for the future through peace and friendship".
The 40-member Virtuoso Voce choir will perform a 15-minute programme of three works in the Children's Choir section of the festival's competition, including a song in Maori, Tihori Mai.
Competitive performances are judged according to four categories: intonation, music quality, faithfulness to scores and overall "artistic impression".
Diocesan School's Director of Performing Arts, David Gordon, says the School decided to put Virtuoso Voce forward for the festival because it has competed so well against other choirs over the past two years.
"For the past two years Virtuoso Voce has achieved top results in Auckland by winning the KIDS SING competition in 2008 and 2009," said Mr Gordon
"With these credentials, we thought the choir should have the opportunity to take part in an international competition of this calibre."
More than 60 students, teachers and parents will fly to Beijing for the 10th International China Chorus Festival. The group will then travel by train to Shanghai to visit the World Expo before returning to Auckland on August 7.