About The Big Sing
The Big Sing (TBS) is a dynamic, national group-singing competition for secondary school students. Secondary Schools' Choral Festivals began in 1988 as a development of the vocal section of the Westpac Schools' Chamber Music Contest. From being a very small part of that contest, The Big Sing has grown into a major highlight of the secondary school music calendar each year. This year, more than 10,000 young people from over 250 schools are taking part in regional festivals nationwide, and the number continues to grow. This makes TBS one of the largest competitive events in the country.
The goals of TBS are:
• to provide opportunities for school choirs to sing in a professional but supportive setting at regional and national levels
• to encourage enjoyment in singing
• to foster excellence in performance and repertoire
How it all works
Festivals are held in June of each year in eleven New Zealand regions. Three nationally-appointed area adjudicators travel to the regional festivals, commenting on the overall performances and providing each participating choir with a written report. At the conclusion of the regional festivals, 24 choirs are selected to participate in TBS National Finale and compete bronze, silver, gold and platinum awards.
Tens of thousands of audience members, including choristers and directors from secondary schools, as well as members of the public, parents and supporters, attend the festivals throughout the country. Each year the Finale is held in a different centre and this year it will be held in the Dunedin Town Hall
As part of the festival, NZCF and SOUNZ (the Centre for New Zealand Music) also run a choral composition competition.
The NZCF Association of Choral Directors (ACD) have a professional development programme, Fine Tuning, for conductors and choirs entering The Big Sing. More details here.