Skip to content

SOUNZ NZCF Composition Award 2014: closes 15 May

Rule & Musical Category Changes for 2014. . . . . . Regionals Details

The Biggest Big Sing Yet!

11 April, 2014

Once again, the numbers of choirs who have registered to be involved in The Big Sing has exceeded previous years. Here are this year’s numbers:

Schools Region Choirs
43 Auckland 74
20 Canterbury/West Coast 32
13 East Coast 27
7 Manawatu/Whanganui 16
5 Nelson/Marlborough 7
3 Northland 6
13 Otago/South Canterbury 20
4 Southland 5
3 Taranaki 3
15 Waikato/BOP 21
25 Wellington 46
TOTAL as at 11/4/14  
152   258

NEW & IMPROVED! Musical Categories

8 April, 2014

choices_JKRowlingAs you may already have seen from our earlier blog post the Musical Categories have had a mild overhaul for 2014.

Check out the amended list of Musical Categories.

Here are the changes, in a nutshell:

  • Category 1: no change
  • Category 2 (previously nicknamed “Art Music pre-1930″) has been extended to cover 20th Century and present-day classical music.
  • Category 3 has been reworded (see list below.)

The Big Sing is a secondary schools’ music festival celebrating choral music throughout Aotearoa — and your choir doesn’t need to compete for the National Finale to join in the festival.

Here’s the official statement regarding the change:

“Some adjustments to The Big Sing music categories were announced in September 2013, to apply from 2014. The main change places classical choral music – that is, all ‘art’ or sacred choral music originally written for choir or vocal ensemble – of all eras (Mediaeval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic and 20th/21st Century) into Category 2 to remove unhelpful date limits and overlaps. It also notes that reconfigurations of these works are acceptable (for instance to SSA or TTB if the original was for mixed choir), but that they should preserve the original work in all other respects.”



NewZealand Composition/Arrangement
- Maori
- Pasifika
- New Zealand Art Music (original composition, sacred or secular)
- New Zealand Folk Music (traditional lyrics and melody in a choral arrangement)
(Note that arrangements of popular music fall into Category 3.)

Classical Composition (non-New Zealand)
- Mediaeval to the present day (originally written for choir or vocal ensemble)
(Note that reconfigurations for eg SSA or TTB are permissible, but should otherwise preserve the original work in all other aspects.)

Other Styles
- Folk (traditional lyrics and melody in a choral arrangement)
- Spiritual (African-American music with religious inspiration)
- Gospel
- Musical theatre, opera, operetta
- Popular (eg jazz, swing, pop, rock, hip hop)
- World music (in the traditional style of a particular people)
(Note that Maori and Pasifika works fall into Category 1.)

NOTE: Choir directors who are unsure in which category a selected piece falls should contact John Rosser at or visit our FAQ page for clarification.


18 March, 2014

SOUNZ_logoThis competition, introduced by NZCF to mark the third millennium, with a trophy presented by NZCF Auckland Region, is run in conjunction with The Big Sing National Finale and SOUNZ Centre for New Zealand Music, and awards a prize for the best choral piece composed by a New Zealand secondary school student.

Entries close on 15 May 2014 so download the application form and get composing!

Adjudicator: David Griffiths

Adjudicator: David Griffiths

Looking for New Zealand repertoire?

SOUNZ is your best starting point. View SOUNZ’s suggestions for Big Sing repertoire now.

Online Registration Now Open

17 February, 2014

Christchurch. New Zealand, 2006REGISTER ONLINE for The Big Sing 2014. Registrations close 18 March with no entries accepted after 5 April.

Get more information on the Rules & Regulations and about your Regional Festival for 2014.

Big Changes for 2014

13 December, 2013

Photo by Stewart BairdThere have been some sweeping changes in the musical categories and how The Big Sing is run overall– and you are gonna love some of them. Here are the big 3 in a nutshell:

  • 24 choirs compete in the Finale (was 18)
  • NO Guest Choir programme in 2014
  • Only 2 items in Finale Recital 2 (still 3 items in Finale Recital 1)

Got it? Ok here are the details. Back in the day (when The Big Sing was starting out) only 60ish choirs participated in The Big Sing regional festivals, with between 18 and 20 choirs attending the National Finale.

Since then, the total number of participating choirs has increased to 265+ (2013 numbers) while the number of competing Finale choirs has remained at 18. Hmmm . . .

The guest choir programme is on hold for the year while the Auckland committee deals with the increased number of competing choirs.

The limit of two choirs per school remains. TBS committee ruled this to be fair: a limit of one is too strict and a lack of limit probably won’t give a fair national representation. (Feel free to discuss in comments below . . .)

And just in case you haven’t heard, the Musical Categories were overhauled for the 2014 and basically now are . . . logical. Have a look.

DOWNLOAD the pdf of the Announcement of 2014 changes to get the words straight from the committee’s keyboard.

TBS Regionals 2014

5 November, 2013
GET MORE INFO about the rules and regulations. DOWNLOAD this list as pdf

By Area, Date and Region Regional Coordinator
ADJUDICATOR: Mark Dorrell, Wellington
Waikato/B.O.P Jeremy Whimster
Bethlehem College PAC
Fri 6 Jun 2014
10.00am – 3.30pm

Northland Virginia Hill
Whangarei Forum North
Mon 9 June 2014
Concert 1.30pm

Auckland Shirley Harvey
Auckland Town Hall
Tues- Thurs 10–12 June 2014
9.00am – 5.00pm Tue – Thu
Concert Thu 6.30-9.30pm


ADJUDICATOR: Judy Bellingham, Dunedin
East Coast Glenys Kempshall
Waiapu Cathedral, Napier
Weds- Thurs 28-29 May 2014
10.00– 5.00
Gala Concerts 6.30pm both nights

Wellington Elizabeth Crayford
Michael Fowler Centre
Wed-Thu 4-5 June 2014
Sessions: 10.15am- 5.30pm
Gala Concerts both days: 7.00pm

Manawatu/Wanganui Stanley Barnes
Regent Theatre, Palmerston North
Wed 11 Jun 2014
Concert 7.00 – 8.30pm

Taranaki Paul Cooke
St Andrew’s Church
70 Liardet St, New Plymouth
Tues 17 Jun 2014
7.00 – 9.30pm

ADJUDICATOR: David Hamilton, Auckland
Canterbury/ West Coast Heather Mace
St Mark’s Presbyterian Church
Avonhead, Christchurch/ CBS Arena – Gala Concert
Thurs-Fri 5-6 June 2014
Gala Concert Fri 6, 7.00pm

Nelson/Marlborough Robin Randall
Church of the Nativity
Wed 11 Jun 2014
1.00 – 4.00pm, Concert 7.00pm

Otago/South Canterbury Rosemary Tarbotton/ Carole Randall
Dunedin Town Hall
Wed 18 Jun 2014
11.30 – 1pm; 1.45- 5.00pm
Festival Concert 7.00pm

Southland Di Lenihan
First Church, Tay St
Tues 19 Jun 2014

Auckland Town Hall
Thurs- Sat 21-23 August, 2014


TBS Finale 2013 on Radio NZ Sundays

4 November, 2013

RadioNZYOungNZRadio NZ Concert is running The Big Sing Finale 2013 recital sessions concluding with the Gala Concert on Sundays in Young New Zealand.

Broadcasts air at 8pm. The final broadcast is on 15 December.

You can also listen online through the Radio NZ website from anywhere on the planet.

Set your i-reminders and listen in!


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 52 other followers