On 27 July 2015, our mixed chamber choir, The Fundamentals, departed Auckland for a three week international tour of Germany. The schedule was jam packed with performances, sightseeing and unique collaborations over eleven different cities!
The trip had multiple intentions: 1) to collaborate with German secondary schools in the context of Global Connections; 2) to participate in the European Choir Games Competition; 3) to experience life in a German family as part of being billeted; 4) to experience a historic event (the holocaust) through first-hand experience via visiting the Memorial To The Murdered Jews Of Europe in Berlin as well as the Memorial to the Dachau Concentration Camp; 5) to meet up with ex-Rangi student Graham Candy for a recording session in Berlin; 6) to see important sights in Germany’s cities such as Cologne, Bonn, Hamburg, Berlin, Schwerin, Magdeburg, Munich, Salzburg, Heidelberg and Rothenburg.
The European Choir Games in Magdeburg was the perfect opportunity for our students to compare themselves against choirs from 30 countries from around the world. The Fundamentals competed in two categories, YOUTH CHOIRS and FOLKLORE. The second category included Kapa-Haka elements as well as music from New Zealand and Samoa. Despite the busy schedule, the choir had many rehearsals and concerts along the way, and our students performed at their highest level in the European Choir Games with the results exceeding all our expectations. Not only were The Fundamentals presented with Gold Diplomas in each of the categories, their scores were high enough to qualify for the Grand Prix of Nations, a second choral competition which was held there at a higher level, comprising adult choirs as well as choirs from various Music Conservatories and Universities (Houston Texas, San Antonio, Oslo, South Africa, Russia, The Danish Youth Choir etc.). Against competition far more experienced and further ahead in their training, the Fundamentals stepped it up again and increased their scores in both their recitals and as a result they won two Gold medals, one in each category.