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Big Sing Otago host co-ordinator Carole Randall said the event in the Dunedin Town Hall on Saturday night was nothing like a traditional concert.
"They'd just break out into song and all this harmony just happens all around the hall.
"It was amazing.
"A lot of the choirs went out into the streets and did pop-up choirs - like little flash mobs - and of course, with their phones they could record themselves, and they were able to bring them back to the hall, where they were put up on the big screen.
"That really added to the atmosphere. The kids just loved seeing themselves."
She said the event almost filled the 2200-seat town hall to capacity and compere, television host and former New Zealand National Youth Choir member Hilary Barry was "the icing on the cake".
"Some who have been to two or three finales were telling us it was the best one they'd ever been to, so we're really pleased."
This year's event was adjudicated by American Choral Directors' Association executive director Tim Sharp; Associate Prof James Tibbles, of the University of Auckland School of Music; United Kingdom-based New Zealand opera singer Madeleine Pierard; and Kotahi Mano Kaika Te Reo culture and identity strategy project leader Paulette Tamati-Elliffe.
Gold awards: Blue Notes (Tawa College), Cantare (Westlake Girls' High School), Choralation (Westlake Girls' and Boys' High Schools), Saints Alive (St Cuthbert's College), Voicemale (Westlake Boys' High School).
Silver awards: All The King's Men (King's College), Cantatrices (Palmerston North Girls' High School), Con Brio (Villa Maria College), Euphony (Kristin School), Fortissimo (Dilworth School), Kentoris (St Kentigern College), Leonessa (Takapuna Grammar School), Chorale (Queen Margaret College), Resolutions (Rangi Ruru Girls' School), St Cecilia Singers (Diocesan School for Girls), Chorale (Takapuna Grammar School), Chorale (Wellington College).
Bronze awards: Cantrices (Christchurch Girls' High School), Craighead Chorale (Craighead Diocesan School), Femme (Southland Girls' High School), Chorale (Macleans College), Schola (Baradene College of the Sacred Heart), Serenata (Rangitoto College), Teal Voices (Wellington Girls' College).
Sounz-NZCF Choral Composition Award, Wei Qi Lim (Westlake Girls' High School); The Hutt City Trophy, Voicemale (Westlake Boys' High School); Auahi Kore Award, Chorale (Macleans College); Big Sing Tour Time Award, Blue Notes (Tawa College); Big Sing Youth Ambassadors Award, Euphony (Kristin School).