Featuring the Warrnambool Organ Festival Chorus… Thanks to June and Louise for alerting us to this event.
On the most perfect day for a festival, Acabellas were the only Choral Grapevine group to sing at the 2019 Pako Festa. Belinda McArdle, who leads Acabellas groups from around the region, led the group in a selection of her own original songs.
Despite the open air stage, and with only a mike for Belinda’s guitar, the sound was amazingly good. The group sang with joy and the sound showed this, with clear three and four part harmony and clean unison singing. Singing with others is an uplifting experience. Acabellas are a perfect example of this.
This performance marked the launch of Acabellas new recording Up in Lights. Today the light was sunshine and the light shining from the happy faces of these fine performers. As well as the title track, the audience were treated to a few other highlights from the CD including Breathe, I’ll Try and Big Love.
You can purchase Up in Lights direct from members of Acabella or directly from Belinda.
Festival details released
Saturday afternoon, 22nd June 2019
Warrnambool (Venue to be advised)
Hosted by Merri Singers
Please register expressions of interest with Philip Shaw as soon as possible to ensure you are sent all the details (if possible by December 5th, 2018). This will not commit your group to attending but will ensure that you will be included in our WDCF communications.
The WDCF provides a wonderful opportunity for Western District and SA south eastern groups to hear what their colleagues are singing, and a rare chance to socialise with singers from around the region. It can provide ideas for new repertoire as well as different approaches to presentation.
Each choir will have a performance bracket of 8 to 10 minutes (depending on the number of groups attending) and will be invited to participate in the massed choir songs. There will (of course!) be afternoon tea to follow. Entry will be $5 for singers and $10 for audience.
Some of the choirs from the WDCF 2018
Community Service Announcement—Choir opportunity Melbourne
The Boîte Melbourne Millennium Chorus 2018—Join now!
Singing in groups isn’t just great fun, more and more evidence is showing that choral singing is good for our minds and bodies as well. If you’ve always wanted to experience the joy of singing in a group but haven’t had the opportunity before, here’s your chance to be part of an extraordinary choir.
Enrolments are now open for the 21st Boîte Millennium Chorus—and the great news is, there’s no age limit, and no auditions. It’s a welcoming and diverse choir of up to 300 people, who will attend three full-day rehearsals with a professional choir director and musicians, before the concert on Sunday 12th August at Melbourne Town Hall.
Every year The Boîte (pronounced “bwaat”) runs this mass choir project with a different musical theme, exploring and celebrating Australia’s rapidly changing cultural landscape. This year features songs from the exquisite ‘Mission Songs Project’, which explores the musical journey of Indigenous Australian music and connects the traditional with contemporary, revealing the continuation of cultural practice and song tradition into the 21st century.
Jessie Lloyd launched the Mission Songs Project CD and concerts in 2017 to widespread acclaim. Her extensive research, musical training and family connections, and Indigenous background (as well as her persistence!) made her uniquely placed to uncover a precious part of our history… secular songs that were sung after church, and that explore the day to day life of the mission days across Australia, from cultural identity to love and loss. These unique songs consist of almost forgotten stories that can now shed light into the history of our Indigenous elders, families and communities.
Jessie is Artistic Director for the Boîte Millennium Chorus this year, and choir director is Jess Hitchcock, an emerging Indigenous artist who tours with Jessie Lloyd and the Mission Songs Project as well as with Deborah Cheetham’s Short Black Opera.
Joining the choir
Full price for Melbourne metro choir members is $199. Discounted fees are offered for concession card holders (not seniors), under 25s, families, regional members (100km or more from Melbourne CBD), and Boîte members. This covers rehearsal materials (printed songbook and digital audio song parts), three full-day rehearsals in Melbourne, the concert, commemorative t-shirt.
More information, registrations: Susan Wright, The Boîte, (03) 9417 1983
July: Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th, 10.00am-4.00pm
August: Saturday 11th, 10.00am-4.00pm
Venue: Northcote Uniting Church, 251 High St, Northcote VIC 3070
Sunday August 12th, 2.30pm
Melbourne Town Hall, Swanston Street, Melbourne
The Space, Geelong Grammar School
Festival hosts – The Geelong Chorale
Today’s festival was a celebration of song and the joy that people obtain from singing together in groups. Fourteen choirs participated in an afternoon of fine music making and friendship. It was a chance for choirs to perform at their best. They did not disappoint.
The program began with the host choir, The Geelong Chorale, and was introduced by John Stubbings OAM, who acted as MC throughout the afternoon.
The music ranged from a 16th century madrigal, to folk songs from around the world, through popular songs, songs from musical theatre and old favourites. Even opera had its place, with a delightful rendition of ‘Painless Opera’ by Phyllis Wolfe-White by the Geelong Youth Choir. The smallest group was 8 voices (The Geelong Youth Chamber Choir), the largest around 40 voices (The Geelong Chorale). There were youth choirs, mixed choirs, a female choir (Welsh Ladies Choir), and a male choir (International Harvester Choir). The youngest singers were of primary school age, and the oldest at least 90.
As Geelong is at the eastern end of the WDCF region, many choirs came from the Geelong area. The two groups from further afield, Colac Chorale and Apollo Bay Community Choir were warmly welcomed and greatly enhanced the afternoon’s singing.
The afternoon ended with all singers merging onto the stage for a massed choir performance of “Africa”, conducted by Jodie Townsend, Director of Music at Geelong Grammar School.
It is interesting to note that The International Harvester Male Chorus (formed in 1943) may be the oldest continuously performing choir in Australia in its current form. Raise the Bar, the adult section of The Geelong Youth Choir will be the featured choir for a forthcoming performance of “The Events” at GPAC. Geelong Harmony Chorus are fresh from a very successful Sweet Adelines Convention in Hobart, where they were placed fourth overall, and third in their section.
At the close of the Festival, Frank Sykes, Vice-President of The Geelong Chorale, handed over the Festival to The Merri Singers from Warrnambool who will host the festival in 2019.
Participating Choirs: The Geelong Chorale, Colac Chorale, Wondrous Merry, Apollo Bay Community Choir, Geelong Youth Choir, Raise the Bar Vocal Group, Geelong Harmony Chorus, Welsh Ladies Choir, International Harvester Choir, Sing Australia, Geelong, Vox Box, U3A Geelong Choir, Geelong College Community Choir, The Choir of Geelong Grammar School.
Thanks to The Geelong Chorale, especially their hard working committee, and secretary Angela West, Geelong Grammar School and Jodie Townsend, for accommodating the festival in the excellent performing arts space and all participating choirs and their conductors and accompanists. Thanks also to City of Greater Geelong for their support.
Download a copy of the Western District Choral Festival 2018 program here.