High school choir Choralation from Westlake Girls’ and Boys’ High Schools in Auckland sang “Dies Sanctificatus” at the Big Sing Finale in Wellington in August 2011. It formed part of a recital including Bogoroditse Dyevo by Pärt and Zigeunerleben by Schumann. They went on to win the Platinum award for the top choir of the twenty or so from all around the country who had won their place in the Wellington final after regional festivals earlier in the year.
The choir had been on tour to the UK in the northern winter of 2010, including a recital at Durham cathedral. Cheryl went along to this recital to hear the choir and see old friends who work with the choir, and was introduced to the choir’s director Rowan Johnston. Following this trip Cheryl sent a selection of scores to Rowan, and this performance of Dies Sanctificatus resulted from that initial contact.
Following the Big Sing Finale in 2011, the choir went on to record “Dies Sanctificatus” for TVNZ and the song has been broadcast on the “Praise Be” TV programme during 2012.
Another choir presenting music by Cheryl in the 2011 Big Sing Finale was the Otago Boys’ High School Choir who delivered a very sensitive and beautifully-blended performance of “In The Bleak Midwinter”. This TBB version of the song was originally created for this school way back in 1995, so it’s pleasing to note that they still include it in their repertoire!