The New Zealand Secondary Students Choir’s Haka is apparently an experience to not miss. The choir will perform in Campbell River on July 10.

Campbell River chosen to host world-renowned choir

“Pure energy and pure joy.”

This is a phrase that describes the New Zealand Secondary Students Choir, who will be performing in Campbell River on Sunday, July 10.

Hosted by Island Voices, the concert is part of the Kathaumixw Tours program, in which International Choirs share their amazing music around the province. Visits to Campbell River have happened every second year since the late ‘80’s, largely due to a connection between Island Voices’ late conductor Frances Keen and the International Choral Kathaumixw Festival in Powell River. Campbell River music lovers have been thrilled time and again, and several times have hosted the Choir of the World, top prize for the toughly competitive festival.

The New Zealand Secondary Students’ Choir is the national choir for secondary school students, aged 13 to 18 years. The choir has approximately 60 members, auditioned every second year. The choir gathers each school holiday for a week of rehearsals and concerts throughout the country. Every second year the choir tours to an international choir festival or competition, and has traveled to Singapore and Malaysia, South Africa, South America and Hong Kong.  This choir last attended Kathaumixw in 2010, when they won first place in the Mixed Voice category and won the first-ever People’s Choice Award. In its first Kathaumixw appearance in 2004, the choir won first place awards for three categories – mixed voice youth choir, youth choir and folk and cultural traditions, more than any other choir in the history of the competition. It’s a distinction that still stands.

This year the New Zealand Secondary Choir is Guest Choir at the Festival, not competing, but demonstrating what can be achieved, and conductor Andrew Withington is one of the Festival judges. The choir is well known for its exciting performances, combining beautiful singing with Maori dancing and drumming. Experiencing their Haka is an event not to be missed.

Because the concert was so popular when the choir last visited in 2010, organizers have moved the concert to a much larger venue, the Baptist Church on Dogwood St. No longer crowded into a small area, the choir will be able to perform more of the energetic pieces for which is so well known, but will also be sure to touch our hearts with love songs and songs of peace.

Music lovers are encouraged to come experience this fine New Zealand choir. The concert takes place at 8 p.m. on Sunday, July 10. Tickets are available at Coho Books and will also be available at the door. For further info, contact: jo-anne.preston@shaw.ca