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Events for 2010

The Palms Flash Mob



Thursday 23 December 2010 6pm
Flash mob made up of our chorus and members of the Canterbury Plainsmen, Cantabile Choir and
Voiceworks from CPIT.

We even made the TV3 news: TV3 news item


Sing'Spiration does us proud in Seattle

I was fortunate enough to be off work and managed to watch the whole of the International Quartet semi-finals competition from Seattle. Wow! what a contest it was and didn't our girls do us proud?! Singspiration was contestant number 42 and we watched with baited breath as they took to the stage. They rocked! There was not a sign of any nerves as they looked gorgeous and sounded fabulous! It was impossible to tell that this was a novice quartet that has only been singing barbershop for a short time, let alone singing as a top ranked quartet. At the end of the day, they were placed 40th in the world which is fantastic (putting it into perspective, Even Time who have been together for years, got 40th at their last International competition - and the standard has risen considerably since then).

There was an award given for the best novice quartet which was given to Bling! who came 8th overall, and they announced that there were 13 quartets eligible for this novice award. This is not the same as the Regional novice award - this is novice in the sense that the quartet has never performed at International before. I doubt very much if there were any other true novice quartets in the competition!

Even Time from Wellington who were our Regional champions this year, did a fantastic job and came 12th in the whole competition. They managed to climb from 40th up to 12th - an amazing achievement. Unfortunately, the webcast sound crashed just as Even Time were announced so none of us were actually able to hear their performance - guess it must have been pretty good!!

The overall winners MaXX Factor, sounded amazing in the semi-finals - unfortunately I was unable to see the finals, but I did predict them as winners based on their semi-finals perfomance!

All in all a huge congratulations to Singspiration - Leanne, Leigh. Raewyn and Virginia - and thanks so much for doing us proud.

        Hazel   October 201




FASE 2010

The adage ‘the show must go on’ has surely never been more appropriate than for the second FASE event in Christchurch this September.

F for Fashion, A for Art, S for singing and E for Eating.

Planning for the Christchurch City Chorus fundraiser had been underway all year; the artist Gussie Fenton had completed her fabulous paintings of women, the calendars featuring the paintings were set to be printed, Penny Wenlock had bought the ingredients for the wonderful nibbles she and her team were to provide, and the models for the parade of Miriam Eisenhart’s fashions had been fitted with their garments. What could possibly go wrong?

Not in our widest dreams would any of the organising team think they had to work around the aftermath of a 7.1 earthquake. As I type this the anxious feeling that we all experience every time we feel an aftershock returns. For most people there was little damage, but it was only as the first days after the quake passed that the enormity of the damage to people’s homes and businesses, roads, workplaces and schools became evident.

Nobody thought much about FASE for a few days, it was to held on the 15th, more than a week away. We were convinced that normal life would be resumed by then. But we needed to make sure everything was still in place.

Penny’s cooks were still available to concoct her delicious recipes, some of which were to be featured on the calendars. The team checked out that the venue was still in one piece; many venues were damaged, but the Horticultural Hall was untouched. Were glasses still available for hire; crockery and glassware were major casualties in the long 40 second shake, and glass had to be transported from elsewhere as none was left in Christchurch. The girl at Party Warehouse reported that most damage had been to crockery; the noise of sweeping up the smashed plates could be heard in the background, and that she should be able to find 500 glasses. The relief in her voice was evident to hear that we were going ahead as so many events on their books were cancelling.

One of our team was trying to contact Miriam to make sure she was OK but for the first few days the phone lines were often overloaded, or power was still off for some people and their landline unless an old one would not work, or they couldn’t recharge their batteries. The days went by and still no contact. The traffic was freeing up in the city and a drive out to Miriam’s shop in Opawa revealed that a red sticker had been placed on the building. Poor Miriam, she was devastated at losing her business and her premises. And we had no clothes for the fashion parade.

With one of the team away in Auckland for the weekend to see the new grandson, a meeting was arranged for her return at Christchurch Airport at 9.30pm Sunday night. It was a case of ‘Do we still go ahead?’ and if so, ‘What would we do for fashion? How could we have FASE without the F for fashion?’.

And then we discovered that the printers had also been disrupted by the earthquake. It would take longer to complete the order. Would we have enough to sell on the night?

Many events were cancelled during this period. People were involved in rescue and relief work, clearing up damaged workplaces or looking after children with schools closed. Should we cancel too! Would it just be too much for everyone? Would we get enough people turning up?

We decided at the airport to carry on and on Monday found another clothes shop, Made in the Shade, who were willing to join us although fewer models were needed. As all the models were also chorus members we knew what a disappointment it was that they would not have the opportunity to strut their stuff, as they had done so well at the rehearsal the week before. Fittings took place again with less than one day to go.

A brilliant last minute wine deal was secured from a first class Marlborough winery and was on its way arriving on the Monday. The bad news for transporting the wine came when we heard trucks were being diverted through the Lewis Pass and deliveries could be delayed. The wine would not arrive until early on Wednesday morning. That night the weather turned; a southerly was to bring snow to the Lewis Pass! 

The wine got through, the fashion parade was a success, we had a smaller number of calendars but took orders too, the singing was great, Penny’s food of course was delicious, Gussie’s paintings sold well and the rest of the FASE evening was a thoroughly enjoyable time for all, allowing a respite from the traumatic events in post earthquake Christchurch. What a relief!

                                                                                                                                                     

Christchurch Earthquake Saturday 4 Sept 2010

You probably know, on 4 September 2010, a major 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch at 4.35am, causing an estimated total cost NZ$6 billion in damage.

Fortunately there was no loss of life in the city and environs of 380,000 people. In some parts of Christchurch, there was serious damage to homes and buildings, land, sewerage systems, drainage, water supply and roads. Other parts of the city were hardly affected.

The continuing aftershocks, in excess of 1800 tremors, are now reducing in intensity, but are causing anxiety and sleep deprivation for many people.                       Christchurch Quake Map

The Christchurch City Chorus of 142 members has experienced the full range of effects; some losing homes, some awaiting assessment of the damage to their homes and may be without water and sewerage facilities for months; some have experienced loss of income. Others have had few direct effects, and are doing their best to assist those friends who have been seriously affected.

To all our friends around the world, thanks for your messages of support and checking up on us.

We are grateful for your thoughts and kind words.


Sing'Spiration are off to Seattle!

Sing'Spiration quartet, a brand new Christchurch City Chorus quartet, gained second place at the NZ Sweet Adeline Convention in May this year. Not only did they win second place medals, they were awarded the Novice Cup. As three of the quartet, Leanne Paerata (tenor), Leigh Brown (lead) and Raewyn Tidey (baritone), have been members of the Chorus for less than 12 months this is an outstanding result. Virginia Humphrey-Taylor (bass), Master Musical Director of the chorus, is the fourth member.

The four each love music and singing, which keeps them motivated through the hours of practice necessary to achieve these results. They have found the greatest challenge is coordinating singing practices around dairy farmers Leigh & Raewyn, nursing shift work for Leanne, and Virginia’s national and international barbershop coaching.

Their points gained in the NZ Sweet Adeline Convention, have earned them the opportunity to compete as a wildcard, in the Sweet Adelines 2010 International Competition in SeattleUSA in October.

Currently Sing'Spiration is busy rehearsing and fundraising so as to step out onto the stage in Seattle and achieve a dream come true.    

                                                                                                                                                        July 2010


Christchurch City Chorus Wins Big

Christchurch City Chorus came out on top at the Women’s Barbershop Competitions in Wellington on Saturday 1 May 2010. They sang and danced their way to top honours in the regional competition, and their score of 677 (out of a possible 800 points)  ranks them among the world’s top Sweet Adeline's International choruses. Wellington City Chorus placed second with 639 points.

Under the direction of Musical Director Virginia Humphrey-Taylor, the 145-strong chorus impressed the four visiting American judges, who scored the 11 competing choruses in Music, Expression, Showmanship, and Sound categories.

Joan Levitton, the chair of the Judging Panel, noted that the chorus’s ‘vocal gymnastics and entertaining performance’ put Christchurch at the top level of barbershop singing internationally.  The chorus will represent New Zealand in the Sweet Adeline's International barbershop competition to be held in Houston, Texas October 2011.

                                                                                                                                        May 2010