Singing in a cappella harmony

ENDLESS HARMONY: In rehearsal for a concert at Tairawhiti Museum this Sunday is Gisborne a cappella group Savvy which is made up of Sue McVey (left), Sheridan Gundry, Molly Pardoe, Lynn Davies, Suzy Read, Anna McVey, Susan Akroyd, Toni Griffin, Mary Hope, Glenda King and Steph Temple. Absent are Rachel Parker, Robyn Hogan, Jane Luiten, Jenny Simson, Kay Twigley and Emma Pere. Picture by Rebecca Grunwell

SONGS by The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Princess Te Rangi Pai will resound in four-part harmony when Gisborne a cappella group Savvy performs at Tairawhiti Museum on Sunday.

Other songs include those made famous by Frank Sinatra, Gloria Gaynor and BJ Thomas.

Led by top New Zealand Sweet Adeline singer Toni Griffin, the 17-strong women’s group concert includes an interlude performance by a Wainui Beach School ukulele group.

The Wainui students are led by Savvy singer and school assistant principal Sue McVey.

Toni Griffin began Savvy with half a dozen women in 2011.

The group has since grown to 17 women divided into tenor, lead, baritone and bass parts. Savvy has performed annually at Carols in the Vines, the Farmers Market, community group Christmas parties and retirement homes.

Singer Sheridan Gundry says the group was most fortunate to be led by the immensely talented Toni Griffin, who teaches community choirs throughout New Zealand as well as performing in several nationally-awarded quartets herself.

She recently performed at the International Sweet Adelines competition in Las Vegas.

“Toni has a generous teaching style. She can hear a wrong note from 50 paces but with a smile works on us to get it right. We learn so much from her about how to improve our singing and we all gain so much enjoyment from singing well together.”

Savvy will perform at Tairawhiti Museum on Sunday at 2pm. Entry, $5 at the door.


SONGS by The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Princess Te Rangi Pai will resound in four-part harmony when Gisborne a cappella group Savvy performs at Tairawhiti Museum on Sunday.

Other songs include those made famous by Frank Sinatra, Gloria Gaynor and BJ Thomas.

Led by top New Zealand Sweet Adeline singer Toni Griffin, the 17-strong women’s group concert includes an interlude performance by a Wainui Beach School ukulele group.

The Wainui students are led by Savvy singer and school assistant principal Sue McVey.

Toni Griffin began Savvy with half a dozen women in 2011.

The group has since grown to 17 women divided into tenor, lead, baritone and bass parts. Savvy has performed annually at Carols in the Vines, the Farmers Market, community group Christmas parties and retirement homes.

Singer Sheridan Gundry says the group was most fortunate to be led by the immensely talented Toni Griffin, who teaches community choirs throughout New Zealand as well as performing in several nationally-awarded quartets herself.

She recently performed at the International Sweet Adelines competition in Las Vegas.

“Toni has a generous teaching style. She can hear a wrong note from 50 paces but with a smile works on us to get it right. We learn so much from her about how to improve our singing and we all gain so much enjoyment from singing well together.”

Savvy will perform at Tairawhiti Museum on Sunday at 2pm. Entry, $5 at the door.


Wainui Beach School ukulele group players are excited to be performing at a cappella group Savvy’s concert on Sunday. The audience will be encouraged to sing along to well-known favourites, says teacher Sue McVey.

Ukulele group teachers Sue McVey and Terri Hokianga have seen a huge influx of ukulele players this year.

“There are more than 40 players who have mastered several basic chords and they have a huge repertoire of songs they can play.”

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