Fresh from supporting the Sydney Flash Mob Choir on Wednesday evening (15th November) at the City Recital Hall, the Sydney Chamber Choir, arguably one of this country’s finest choral ensembles, launched their 2018 program with their own quintessential mixture of elegance and energy.
In 2018, the choir’s 43rd year, Music Director Richard Gill, OAM, is firmly back in the conductor’s seat after a recent bout of illness. He enthusiastically unveiled next year’s program, which includes exciting collaborations with the Australian Romantic and Classical Orchestra and Synergy Percussion and also a guest appearance by renowned conductor Jonathan Grieves-Smith.
The launch provided the perfect opportunity for the choir to announce the appointment of Sam Allchurch who will take the baton from Richard Gill in 2019. Allchurch has been with the choir in Gill’s absence and is to be congratulated on a well-deserved position.
After the obligatory short but sweet speeches of the evening, guests were treated to a few small tastes of things to come from next year’s program.
- First the stirring Kyrie from Mozart’s Spaur Mass KV258, Piccolomini.
- Then a poignant Fluxit labor diei – Mvt 4 from Ross Edwards’ Ab Estatis Foribus, five Latin songs commissioned for the Sydney Chamber Choir by Nicholas Routley and first performed in 1980.
- To finish, the choir performed the rollicking celebratory song they had lead just an hour earlier in the main auditorium in response to the ‘YES’ vote, I am What I am‘. This work, from La Cage aux Folles by Jerry Herman was arranged by J.M. Gibson, one many talented individuals who make up this choir of volunteer singers.
The sumptuous and colourful printed program, was also a talented chorister’s creation. Designed by Josh Murray, the program is a work of art in itself, weaving the themes of each of the chamber choir’s three concerts together into a stunning bouquet which bursts out of the cover.
The 2018 season will be a year of fine performances in fitting venues, such as the City Recital Hall, which will showcase the ensemble’s many talents. If tonight was anything to go by the Sydney Chamber Choir will no doubt live up to their reputation for performing new and challenging music while simultaneously breathing fresh life into more traditional choral repertoire.
A brief synopsis of the program appears below, however I would encourage you to visit the newly updated website for a veritable visual feast.
March 25 | PASTORAL MELODIES
Mendelssohn | Brahms | Mozart | Beethoven
The choir joins the Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra for a journey into the landscapes of 18th and 19th century Europe.
August 4 | DANCE | CHANT
Ross Edwards | Hildegard von Bingen | Peter Sculthorpe | Clare Maclean | Paul Stanhope and more…
The Choir is joined by percussion ensemble Synergy to celebrate the 75th birthday of Ross Edwards, one of Australia’s greatest living composers.
October 6 | BEHOLD – THE SEA!
James Macmillan | Peter Sculthorpe | Josquin des Prez | Cecilia McDowall | Dan Walker and more…
A musical voyage across the seas from Scotland and Finland to Australia, by way of watery depths, epic journeys, maritime disasters, and island magic between.