Four Otago secondary school choristers have been humming
happy tunes more than usual after being selected for the New
Zealand Secondary Schools Choir to tour South America.
For Dunstan High School soprano Lauren Ross (18), Waitaki
Girls' High School alto Madeline Blackler (18) and Otago
Boys' High School tenor Marco Taiaroa (17) and bass Zachary
Seales (18), it was the first time they had been selected for
The 60-member choir will travel next year to Brazil and
Argentina, where they will take part in the World Music
Conference in Buenos Aires.
Madeline said it would be a ''once in a lifetime''
He said it had been difficult to hide his enthusiasm after
his selection, and he had been humming away quietly when he
thought no-one was listening.
''It's going to be great to share music with like-minded
''I'm looking forward to the trip. It's going to be a great
learning curve, watching other musical ensembles from
different cultural groups performing at the conference.''
Lauren said her selection was the high note of her music
career so far.
She auditioned two years ago but did not make the cut, so to
make it this time was especially rewarding.
Zachary said that he had been singing only for the past three
years, and this year had been a roller-coaster ride.
He had been a cast member of several Otago Boys' High School
productions and was recently in the cast of Musical Theatre
Dunedin's latest production, Hairspray.
His selection for the choir was the icing on the cake, he
The quartet were among about 300 singers from around the
country who auditioned in March this year, and they have
already performed with the choir in recital rehearsals and
concerts in Auckland, Tauranga and Wellington.
Their tenure with the national choir lasts until the end of