New Zealand’s Three National Choirs Come Together
It’s been talked about for a long time and now finally, New Zealand’s three national choirs, Voices New Zealand, NZ Youth Choir and New Zealand Secondary Students Choir (NZSSC), are to merge under one governing body. NZSSC, the prestigious national choir for 14-18 year olds, is joining Choirs Aotearoa New Zealand, the arts trust that promotes vocal excellence and already governs the other two national choirs, Youth Choir (our finest singers 18-25) and Voices (the premier choir for adults). The three choirs will perform together at the New Zealand Choral Academy at Auckland Anniversary weekend, marking a new era for choral music in this country.
“This is great news for our singers and audiences,” says Choirs Aotearoa New Zealand Board Chair, Andrea Gray, “The merger will create a stronger, clearer pathway for New Zealand’s best singers, from teen to adulthood. We’ll be better serving our sector and communities—achieving excellence across all age groups.”
“NZSSC, in particular, will benefit from the merger by having access to the expertise and shared resources that Choirs Aotearoa already provides its other two national choirs,” says Linda Webb, former Chair of the NZSSC Board, which will now merge into the Choirs Aotearoa New Zealand Trust.
A unified organisation opens up new conversations with funders and sponsors. Outreach programmes will also be extended—incorporating schools across all levels. While the merger will see more collaboration and growth, each choir will still retain its own identity and artistic freedom.
The Choral Academy will offer aspiring singers from across the country the chance to work alongside the three choirs for a weekend of fun and inspiring workshops and performances. Participants will be separated into age groups that align with each choir, and get to sit-in or work alongside them. They’ll experience the highest level of tuition and gain an understanding of the journey of a choral singer in New Zealand. The Academy is open to singers across the country, anyone can join in. Register here.
Acclaimed conductor and composer Tecwyn Evans sang in both NZSSC and Youth Choir. Now based in Sweden with his wife, soprano Susanna Andersson, Tecwyn will be leading the group mirroring Voices. Robert Wiremu was in all three national choirs and is a former director of NZSSC. He’ll be involved with the NZSSC group. Youth Choir will be working with conductor Michael Stewart.