by NZ CATHOLIC staff
AUCKLAND — Two sisters were winners in the finals of the fourth Voice for Life National Pro-Life Songwriting Contest on December 3.
Rachel Schryvers, Auckland, was first in the Open category and her sister, Maria, from Kaitaia, won the College/Tertiary category.
Organiser Don Brebner said the 50 original entries — including one from Australia — were a record. They were reduced down to 12 for the finals at the Auckland Greenlane Christian Centre.
Second in the Open category was Philip van der Wel, Hamilton, and third, Ivonga Green, Auckland.
In the College/Tertiary category, Naomi Ludlow, Tauranga, was second and Eliza Benge, Lower Hutt, third.
The judges, Susan Elliott, Louise Lumsden and Robert Loretz, admitted to finding it difficult to rank the winners and placegetters.
Mr Brebner said that given that song themes have to in some way reflect respect for life, “this contest is neither a straight singing competition nor a talent quest”.
“The judges must look for that unique combination of meaningful message and original melody that can inspire an audience,” he said.
Mr Brebner said the winners, Rachel and Maria, came from a family where each of nine siblings learned various musical instruments. However, the wins were their first in a national competition.

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