Dilworth School choir impresses competition judges

By Tema Hemi

Fortissimo is the all-male choir group from Dilworth School in Auckland who received the Silver Award for their overall performance at the Big Sing competition held in Wellington over the weekend.

They also picked up the Auahi Kore Performance Award for the best total performance of a work using Māori text, for their rendition of 'E Te Atua'. 

Leader of Fortissimo and senior student Xavier Paul says, "It was a emotional ride for me, I had mixed emotions.  Obviously with our song 'E Te Atua', it's like praising the lord and it's our hononga ki te Atua, you know, it just drove most us in that piece and as you see in the video, some of us are really emotional."

Some of the boys never imagined themselves doing choir.

Co-leader of Fortissimo Israel Te Kahika says, "Definitely not, before I came to Dilworth I thought choir was just like singing in chapel choir, all real tidy and in robes but once I came to Dilworth it completely reformed my thoughts around choir and what you do."

And it was an original piece, composed by an ex-student, titled 'E Te Atua' that saw them win the Auahi Kore Award and really impressed judges.

Te Kahika says, "Its amazing, we- as Māori- we're able to portray and deliver our Māori side within a piece of choral music and its amazing the amount of pride you have performing a Māori piece in front of people who might not be familiar with Māori pieces and seeing how they connect with the music."

More than 250 choirs competed at regional competitions throughout the country this year but only 24 choirs made the finale of the Big Sing, with Tauhara College from Taupo winning first place.