Trio thrilled with spots in national choir

New Zealand Secondary Schools Choir members Teddy Finney Waters (14), Elizabeth Purvis (16) and...
New Zealand Secondary Schools Choir members Teddy Finney Waters (14), Elizabeth Purvis (16) and Nicholas Finnie (17) prepare for their first rehearsals with the national choir. PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON
Mention Handel’s Messiah, Howell’s Requiem and Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, and Teddy Finney-Waters nods his head and says he has either sung in the choral works, or would like to.

On the other hand, fellow Otago Boys’ High School pupil Nicholas Finnie and Otago Girls’ High School’s Elizabeth Purvis shake their heads in amazement and say, "Teddy’s the expert. We’re professionals — we just sing what they tell us to".

The trio have been selected to sing in the New Zealand Secondary Schools Choir, which contains 60 of the country’s top choral singers.

They will be joined by Bayfield High School pupil Jesse Hanan (15), Kavanagh College pupil Ewen Clarke-Wallace (17) and Columba College pupil Rosie Auchinvole (17).

Nicholas said at the start of the year, he would never have entertained the idea of singing in a national choir.

"I always thought of myself as just some extra, singing in the school choir.

"But our choir director came to me and offered to be my singing teacher.

"From then, we’ve all been in singing competitions and we auditioned for this and got in."

For the next two years, they will give up many of their school holidays and dedicate a lot of time to learning and rehearsing choral music with other members of the choir.

The time with the NZSSC usually involves quite a bit of travelling and performing, previous choirs having toured countries such as Hong Kong, Canada, Argentina and Brazil.

The singers said they hoped the Covid-19 pandemic would be resolved so they too could perform overseas, but they were not holding their breath.

Whether they performed together overseas or at home, the singers were pleased just to be named in the choir.

"This is absolutely exciting. It’ll be a great time," Teddy said.

john.lewis@odt.co.nz

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