Mount Gambier Eisteddfod: Final call for entries

A reminder that entries for the 2018 Choral and Vocal division of the Mount Gambier Eisteddfod close on 16th June 2018, don’t miss out on this great vocal performance opportunity! **NO LATE ENTRIES WILL BE ACCEPTED**

We are proud to welcome back the internationally acclaimed Will Conyers as adjudicator this year.

We have made some great improvements to sections available – introducing this year ‘Song and Dance’ Categories for soloists!  Check out the full schedule as attached, or at

Choral and Vocal Division – Backstage Incorporated

Mt Gambier Eisteddfod Choral competition is modern and traditional work for large and small choirs, including special sections for school choirs.

Remember, we no longer require sheet music for the majority of sections (see C&V rules for specifics).  All singers still have to register at the desk for each session or you will be considered withdrawn.

This year we will run from Friday to Tuesday (depending on entries) 27th – 31st of July at Wehl St Theatre.

See for schedule and entry details.

Have you ever thought about sponsoring a section with a prize or trophy?!

We are looking for sponsorship (no matter how small or large!) Please contact me if you are interested or know someone who may be!

Hannah Morrison

Director, Choral & Vocal Division of the Mount Gambier Eisteddfod


Geelong Harmony Chorus croons into fourth place in national titles

Geelong Harmony comes fourth in national competition

Geelong Harmony has returned home from the Sweet Adelines Australia national a cappella competition in Hobart on 19 May with medals for fourth place in a field of 23, and third place in the medium chorus division of 13.

The chorus received a total score of 592 points from four International judges in categories of sound, expression, music, and showmanship.

‘We are excited and proud to have received our highest score ever, and to make an improvement of 39 points on our score at last year’s competition’ said Musical Director Alex Morris.

‘Our 35 singers gave heartfelt, energetic and entertaining performances of our two contest songs, winning us a well-deserved spot among Australia’s top five choruses for 2018.  This is an amazing feat for us, placing us well ahead of several larger choruses.’

The top five place getters performed in a special showcase on Saturday night at Wrest Point, with Geelong Harmony singing Alex Morris’ four-part arrangement of ‘Constant Craving’ by K. D. Lang.

You can catch Geelong Harmony perform their contest package on17 June as part of the Western District Choral Festival at the SPACE, Geelong Grammar, 2-5.00pm. Tickets are $10, including afternoon tea.

The Geelong Harmony a cappella women’s chorus rehearses every Monday night at the Western Heights Uniting Church Hall, 31 Douglass Street, Herne Hill, 6.45 to 10.00pm. New members are welcome. For more information visit, call the Membership Manager on 0406 666 737, or email

Some photos from Sneak Peek a couple of weeks ago.

Three barbershop quartets

For the Joy of Singing the Classics: Opera Choruses

Around 50 singers enjoyed an afternoon singing the classics under the able direction of Daryl Barclay with the help of Hugh Davidson, accompanist.

The music was challenging – with all parts needing to divide (in one case, within two choirs).  With opera, the chorus play many roles.  This afternoon the chorus were asked to play peasants, matadors (and their molls), pilgrims, country bumpkins and courtiers.

With many choruses sprinting along at allegro, even English words were a challenge.  However, undaunted, the group attempted Italian for choruses of Verdi, but reneged on trying Russian for Tchaikovsky.

Thanks to Daryl and Hugh for an afternoon of enjoyable singing.  Thanks also to Anne Pilgrim, who devised the concept of Singing the Classics as a chance for singers to attempt repertoire that is outside of their choirs’ usual scope.  The series is sponsored by The Geelong Chorale.

The second For the Joy of Singing the Classics for 2018 will be on June 10th, when Allister Cox (director of The Geelong Chorale and a G & S veteral), will conduct singers in an afternoon of choruses from Gilbert and Sullivan light operas.

Geelong Symphony Orchestra Chorus: The Mighty 9th – Preliminary Workshop


7.30pm, Saturday, 27th October, 2018- The Geelong Symphony Orchestra and GSO Chorus, conducted by Fabian Russell.

Almost 80 singers attended the familiarisation workshop for the GSO Chorus on Sunday, March 4th.  The rehearsal was directed by Peter Tregear, Chorus Master for the GSO Chorus.

There were singers from many different choirs – from Geelong, Drysdale, Colac, Winchelsea, Anglesea, Melbourne, Gisborne and other choirs far and wide.

To do the mighty 9th justice, a large choir is needed.  While the duration of the fourth movement (which includes choir and soloists) is relatively short, the intensity of singing needed is great.  A full range of dynamics is required.

If you would like to register as a singer, please fill out the registration form.



‘Everything Begins with the Human Voice’.

While in Dublin recently, I was warmly welcomed and thrilled to take part in a regular Friday night gathering of the An Góilín Traditional Singers’ Club in the large lounge-room of a club in Parnell Square. About 50-60 people attended, most prepared and eager to sing, with not one instrument in the room. Many sang in Gaelic, some in the ornamented séan nos style, heartfelt songs such as My Little Grey Home in the West (a tenor’s tribute), A Blacksmith Courted Me, The Salley Gardens, Northwest Passage (by Stan Rogers), Bold Fenian Men, and many associated with particular counties such as The Boys of Fair Hill (one of the best-known of songs from County Cork).

The contribution of Kris Drever, recently-awarded BBC Folksinger of the Year (who sang ‘Everyone’s Playing Pool’) was no more greatly appreciated than less-well-known voices singing occasionally out-of-tune; the respect of everyone in the room for all the singers and the songs was palpable and made for a thoroughly satisfying (if, unsurprisingly, very late) night.

A week later the Willie Clancy Summer Festival (Scoil Samhraidh) was in full swing at Milltown Malbay, where thousands thronged the narrow streets of the small town. There was an air of anticipation inside the dilapidated Community Centre which was filling fast before the Traditional Singers’ Concert on Friday afternoon. All were introduced, in Gaelic as were many of their songs, as being from their particular home county (e.g. Tipperary, Mayo or Clare); some of the singers offered an explanation in English as well. The MC acknowledged that ‘everything begins with the human voice’ and we heard a fine range of the best singers of Irish songs to be found in the country.

Some were elderly men with lifelong reputations as fine singers, others the typical Irish tenor or women with strong, tuneful voices, although I noticed that many sang with mouths almost closed and tight, throaty projection. Most sang solemn, even sad songs, about the beauty of the various counties of Eireann, and of emigration to ‘Amerikay’; few, such as a parody of music hall ditties (themselves parodies) called In Praise of Mullingar, had the audience laughing instead of crying.

One young man from a Gaeltacht (where Gaelic is strongly maintained as the first language) sang beautifully but with his eyes closed because he doesn’t enjoy ‘watching people suffer’ although to hear him was a pleasure, and the lone Scot, Sandra Robertson, sang puirt-a-beul (mouth music) from the highlands or islands, which was similarly well received. In every case, respect for the singer and appreciation of their songs was the unified response and created a wonderful atmosphere. And not once did we hear O Danny Boy!

Marie Goldsworthy

Thanks, Marie, for this report.