The New Zealand Choral Federation (NZCF) is a non-profit, incorporated organisation whose central purpose is to promote the performance, creation and enjoyment of choral music in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Formed in 1985, the Federation now represents the interests of over 20,000 members drawn from individual memberships and more than 300 chamber, community, church, school and special interest choirs. Membership of NZCF is grouped within nine regions that cover the whole country and includes almost all of New Zealand’s choirs and choral practitioners. Run by a Governance Board and a full-time CEO who manages a small group of contracted and volunteer staff, NZCF enjoys three-yearly recurrent funding from the NZ Government’s arts council, Creative New Zealand.
The NZCF is a member of the International Federation of Choral Music. Its leaders regularly attend IFCM world events and it is a member of the Asia-Pacific Forum.
The NZCF organises a suite of national, regional and local events in New Zealand. These include the annual Kids Sing festivals for primary and intermediate schools, ‘SingFests’ for community and chamber choirs, the National Workshop Series for singers and conductors, and its two flagship events – The Big Sing and Sing Aotearoa.
The Big Sing is the country’s national secondary schools’ choral festival and competition, with around 10,000 singers now taking part in eleven centres each year. This phenomenally successful event culminates in an August national finale in one of the main cities, where 24 of the original 260 choirs perform for three days in front of an international judging panel.
Sing Aotearoa (Te Puna o te Wairua) is NZCF’s triennial choral festival, first held in 1990 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. It brings together singers, conductors, writers and composers from all over New Zealand for an intensive weekend of performances, plenary sings, workshops, forums and cultural exchange. The last three festivals have been held in Rotorua and attracted around 500 participants.