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Held every two years at the Bruce Mason Centre, the Mid Bays Schools' Music Festival involves students from all schools in the Mid Bays: Browns Bay, Campbells Bay, Mairangi Bay, Murrays Bay, Murrays Bay Intermediate, Pinehill, Pinehurst, St John’s.

Bruce Mason Centre, Auckland

From the Promo:

With approximately 500 students in the massed choir and many more participating in the individual school items, the festival provides a wonderful show case for the talents and enthusiasms of students from the Mid Bays schools.

Musical Director / Conductor: Megan Flint

Festival Directors: John McGowan and Bruce Warren

Master of Ceremonies: Bruce Warren

Pianist: Sheryl Clarke

Drummer: Jason Orme

Choir Directors: Karen Warren (Browns Bay School), Sharon Knight (Campbells Bay School), Clare McCromack (Mairangi Bay School), Janelle Underwood (Murrays Bay School), Olive Leddy (Murrays Bay Intermediate), Stephanie Dickinson-Cole (Pinehill School), Gillian Golding and Sheryl Davies (Pinehurst School), and Cara Mountjoy (St John's School).

Franciska's Review:

This year's theme was "Earth, Sea, and Sky" delivering a delightful blend of well-known tunes (by my generation!) such as: "The Rainbow Connection" from the Muppet Movie, "Yellow Submarine" by the Beatles, "Colours of the Wind" from Disney's 'Pocahontas', and "The Drunken Sailor" a sea chantey which we sung when I was in primary school! 

The program also paid homage to New Zealand's diverse ethnicity including: "Banyan Tree" a Jamaican folk song, "Mamaliye" a traditional South African folk song, "Shining Moon (Ngam Sang Duan) a traditional Thai folk song, "I'se the B'y" a Newfoundland folk song, and "Uti'uti Remu" a traditional Cook Islands Maori song.

The last time I was at the Bruce Mason Centre was for my graduation in April so I was feeling nostalgic even before the concert began.  Of course, there wasn't a gown, hood, or trencher in sight and the opulent chairs had been replaced with this industrial contraption:

Which was filled with a colourful sea of singers:

Including a very special girl:

Almost two hours in length, the concert provided plenty of variety of choral music, string ensemble, and dancing.  Bravo to the organisers, musical director, and choreographers for their vision and dedication in putting such a colourful concert together; the choir directors for their time and expertise in training the performers; and of course the children who put in countless hours learning and practicing their own individual parts which culminated in beautiful harmonies as a massed choir.

Here's a snippet to give you an idea of the beauty of 500-odd voices ~ "The Rainbow Connection" ~ a song from my own childhood: