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Music to our ears!

News Release: Tuesday 23 August, 2011

Music to our ears!

Queen Margaret College Sweet Margaritas prove that hard work and persistence pays off. After coming fourth at the Wellington Regional Barbershop Competition, the group came back to be named runners up at the Barbershop National finals (on the night were placed first equal but on a count back runners up).

The 44 strong group initially failed to claim a place in the final at the Regional Competition, but did not give up hope as they eagerly looked to the wild card spot for a second chance. To the girl’s relief they were given the Golden Ticket to attend the Barbershop National Finals with Colleges from around New Zealand!

After nearly missing out on attending the Finals the girls and the Director of Music Tim Jenkin were determined to come back with a vengeance and climb to the top ranks. Jenkin explains, “When we started rehearsing again, we really worked on our ‘sound’, which is very particular in the Barbershop style. By the time the Nationals came we sounded like a different group, and this was the key to our success.”

This is not the only success the Music Department has seen this year as the Queen Margaret Chorale prepare to perform at the Big Sing Gala this month. The girls have gained this honorable opportunity through Year 12 student Simone Chivers, who won the SOUNZ - NZCF Composition Competition, for her piece Freedom; originally performed at the Regional Big Sing in Wellington

The piece Freedom was created in response to an assignment given as part of the NZ School of Music Young Musicians Programme she attends at Victoria University and inspired by a poem I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou.

Extract from the poem,

but a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

Simone explains, “I had to create a choral piece based on someone else’s text and I found Maya Angelou’s words quite inspiring. The poem was about African American slavery; how they were caged but could still sing of hope. The melody and notes came from there.”

The Queen Margaret Chorale will now perform Simone Chivers’ piece at on August 24 at the Wellington Town Hall. Simone says it is “very exciting and a great opportunity not only for me, but the other girls as well who get to sing with the premier choirs of New Zealand”.


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