Choir singers plan to be wizards of Oz

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Ashburton College choir singers are priming their voices ahead of attendance at a big performing arts competition in Australia.
Phoenix Chorus members will compete collectively, in a small group, and also as soloists at the Gold Coast event which is set to attract 2500 participants.
To enter the competition initially, the choir submitted video recordings to a panel of judges in Australia.
After making the final cut, a second set of recordings was later requested and secured the singers a slot in the finals.
As well as qualification in the main choir section, the choir will be represented by the Phoenix Ladies (Lucy Clough, Gabrielle Stringer, Libby Clark-Higson and Annelise Diamond), aquartet of Year 13 students, who will perform the theme song from Home Fires.
Soloists Samantha McArthur, Lucy Clough, Libby Clark-Higson and Annelise Diamond will also showcase their singing talents in the finals, respectively performing ‘‘As Long as He Needs Me’’, ‘‘Popular’’ (from Wicked), ‘‘Hold Me In Your Heart’’ and ‘‘You’re My World’’.
Phoenix Chorus is led by musical director Jo Castelow and managed by Carolyn Clough.
Twenty five chorus members would make the exciting ‘‘whirlwind’’ trip to Australia, Mrs Clough said.
‘‘We were ‘stoked’ to receive news of the qualification and we’ll be leaving early on August 4 and returning in the early hours of August 8.’’
The choir had been practising and fundraising since hearing the news, she said.
Mrs Clough said the Phoenix Chorus would perform ‘‘For the Glory’’ from the Civil War as it’s ‘‘down tempo’’ piece and ‘‘Just Haven’t Met You Yet’’ for its ‘‘up tempo’’ entry.
Points would be deducted if either performance exceeded five minutes, she said.
A fundraising quiz will be held at Collegiate Rugby Club tomorrow night, but the main fundraiser is a special Off To Oz concert scheduled for the Event Centre on July 29.
The 8pm concert would feature songs that appealed to everyone and would include five guest performers – Luke Glendining, Tom Kitchen, Jack Hanrahan, Olivia Brown and Zara Ballara – all former choir members, said Carolyn Clough.
Photo: Phoenix Chorus members work on their routine in a recent rehearsal.