The Sound of Dilworth

Date: 24 Jun 2024

The sound of Dilworth was stunning last week as our choirs, Fortissimo, Dilworth Foundation Singers, and Mezzo Forte (Year 10 Choir), took part in the Big Sing Auckland Festival at Auckland’s Town Hall. They sang like never before and came away with a raft of awards for their outstanding efforts.

Dilworth’s premier choir, Fortissimo, won the Best Lower Voice (Male) Choir title for the Festival. This is a significant award for Dilworth who beat last year’s winners and one of the strongest choirs in the county, Westlake Boys. They also won the Leo Pasifika Award for Best Performance of a Pasifika work for “Pese O Le Tatau”. The song recounts the origin of Samoan tattooing, emphasising values like respect, adaptability, and endurance.

Fortissimo - Big Sing 2024 - Pese O Le Tatau

Fortissimo also came runner-up for the Best Performance of a Single Work for a German piece, Widmung, showing the choir’s versatility. Dilworth’s Head Prefect, the multi-talented Joshua Futi, is the Head Chorister for Fortissimo.

But it wasn’t just our elite choir, Fortissimo, that was recognised at the Big Sing Auckland. Mezzo Forte sang brilliantly and was awarded for their stunning Waiata Nei Rā Te Kaupapa. This result is even more outstanding considering that every Year 10 student participates in Mezzo Forte as their compulsory music curriculum rather than being selected for choral ability. It speaks to the depth of musical talent coming through the school and is exciting for the future and the present.

Mezzo Forte - Big Sing 2024 - Nei Rā Te Kaupapa

Music has always been an essential part of Dilworth, part of the school's very fabric, but the tempo definitely went up over the last few weeks! The school was filled with music at every available moment, and it was wonderful to hear students singing as they moved between classes or practising together in the hall or music centre (DBC). Guests coming into the school commented on this beautiful quality, which really has been the ‘sound of Dilworth’ this term.

After the Big Sing Regional Festivals, there is a nail-biting few days wait for the top 24 choirs from around the country to be selected. Out of 200 choirs in the Big Sing Regionals, only 24 go through to the National Finale. Today, the news we had all been waiting for came out. Fortissimo made the finals! These will be held in Wellington in August.
The news came as music to the ears of our Choral Director Jacob Moore, under the direction of David Stent, Head of Learning Area for Performing Arts. Since his appointment in late 2022, Mr Moore has worked to drive Dilworth’s Choral Programme. His passion is infectious, and his talent has paid dividends - he clearly loves his job.

“My role is about unlocking potential and opening up new worlds through the rich history of music and the vast possibilities for our students”.

So it is onto the finals of the Big Sing in Wellington, but there is so much more to look forward to for our choristers. Fortissimo has been invited to take part in the World Choir Games –Dilworth and Westlake the only school choirs invited to take part. Mr Moore equates this event to ‘the Olympics for Choirs’ and says having it here in Aotearoa, New Zealand, is pretty exciting.
Fortissimo is also about to take to the world as they go on Dilworth’s tour to Austria, England and Northern Ireland at the end of Term Three. Highlights for our students in Austria will be singing with the Vienna Boys’ Choir and having the chance to perform in historic cathedrals. Then, it is on to London, where they will have a workshop with Welsh composer Paul Mealor, who composed the music for the Coronation of King Charles. They will also experience an Evensong at St Paul’s Cathedral, and then the final stop is Dungannon, Ireland, where they will meet the rest of the Dilworth World Tour students at the Royal School.

What a trip! So well deserved by our talented choristers.

Photo Credit - Brooks Productions