Villa’s Con Brio scoops silver at The Big Sing

Villa Maria College’s choir, Con Brio, has taken out a coveted Silver Award at The Big Sing Finale in Wellington.

The Big Sing is the largest annual event of the New Zealand Choral Federation, and sees choirs from all over New Zealand compete for positions in the competition’s grand finale, held in Wellington this year.

“It was a real privilege to compete in the national finale. It is a dream for so many choirs, and we felt very fortunate to be able to take part,” said Mrs Naomi Hnat, Villa’s Choir Director.

“The girls were nervous and excited to perform on stage, but as a choir we always make sure that we do not focus on awards or scores, but rather how much we can grow from an experience and how much we can move an audience through a performance. The event was buzzing with energy and this year there was a great sense of camaraderie between the different schools.”

Con Brio performed five pieces for the competition, and one of these was selected for performance at the gala evening on the final night (Saturday 1 September). The piece was Will the Circle Be Unbroken, which is a traditional American song arranged by David J. Moore.

“The girls performed very well, with a real passion for what they were singing and with a great sense of expression in terms of the five very different texts that we conveyed,” said Mrs Hnat.

“Last year we also achieved a Silver award, so we were very happy that we were able to keep up a high standard of performance.”

Ella Berry, a Year 13 student at Villa Maria College and member of Con Brio, said she thoroughly enjoyed being a part of The Big Sing, and performing with her fellow choir singers.

“I think Con Brio performed honestly and strongly. Every member gave everything they had and put their heart and soul into communicating the essence of each piece. We all really wanted to make Naomi proud and perform to the best of our ability, and our hard work during rehearsals payed off for this,” said Ella.

“I think Con Brio can all agree that we were blown away by all of the recitals over the duration of the competition. Watching so many people who are passionate about singing and choral music be so in touch with the text and the emotions of each piece was definitely a highlight. However, our favourite part of the whole trip was simply us all being together, growing closer as a group and developing greater appreciation and respect for each individual member of the choir. We are such a close group of girls, and as many people noted at the Gala Concert our love and support for each other did not go unnoticed.”