‘On Wings of Song’ tour
Wellington East Girls’ College premier choir Cantala will soon be stepping onto the global stage of Vienna’s Musikverein, as they prepare to compete at the Summa Cum Laude International Youth Music Festival in July 2012.
Following their successful audition in 2010, they will join some of the world’s most talented youth choirs, bands and orchestras at this prestigious event, held annually in Vienna’s two main classical concert venues, the Golden Hall of the Musikverein and the Konzerthaus.
Music lovers throughout the world know the Musikverein as the focus of the international concert circuit and as the Eldorado of classical music. The Konzerthaus is home to world-famous orchestras, virtuoso soloists, renowned conductors and legendary jazz musicians, and with its Great Hall accommodating an audience of 1,800 it offers the perfect venue for the Gala Concert in which Cantala will take part.
The girls are very excited at the prospect of meeting and competing with choirs from around the world, sharing the uniqueness of the New Zealand culture and the incandescent spirit of Wellington East Girls’ College. As well as benefiting from the opportunity to experience the many cultures surrounding them they will also have their musical knowledge enhanced by workshops offered at the University of Music in Vienna, one of the largest arts universities in the world.
Year 11 student Freya Milner says it is her dream to travel to the places that she has heard so much about, and even better to do this in the company of her school friends. “To sing together in the places you read about in the history books, or see only on TV, this will be truly inspirational.”
Rising to the challenge
Cantala perform at public events throughout the year, including state visits at Government House, but the scale of this Festival surpasses any of their musical experiences to date and is the first time in nearly 18 years that a group from the Music Department has travelled overseas.
Brent Stewart, appointed Head of Music at East in 2010, is thrilled to be extending Cantala’s repertoire for the international stage, “Although the choir has grown in numbers, it is still the gem of the College, ” Brent says. “I am immensely proud of the girls, who never fail to rise to the challenges I set them even when this means many practices a week, often before the school day starts.”
Brent believes the Festival is a great opportunity to enrich the girls’ experience of the world, offering them inspiration as an ensemble and as individuals. Cantala will also represent New Zealand in performances arranged in London and Paris, a factor that brings great excitement to this group of teenage girls, many of whom have not travelled to Europe before.
- Masterclass with Choral Director Phillip Lawson, London
- Recitals at Marlborough Primary School and St George’s Church, London
- Watch a West End show, London
- Recital at La Madeleine, Paris
- Watch an Opera, Paris
- Workshops and Recitals at Summa Cum Laude Festival, Vienna (7-10 July 2012)