22
Apr
16

A busy July ahead

As well as the Canadians visiting in July, we also will be hosting the Grammy Award winning Pacific Boychoir at a concert at Newcastle Conservatorium on Saturday 23rd July.

The program will be a musical treat with performances by Echology and the Pacific Boychoir, and a combined performance of selected movements from Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil.

We are looking forward to joining in song with this group of talented youngsters.

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12
Apr
16

Meet the Canadians!

During our visit to Geneva in 2014 we met The Canadian Ambassadors Choir.  Being fellow Commonwealth attendees of The Rhythms of One World Festival, we got on well.  We also were together up the back of the massed choir items (back three rows in the photo below).  I do believe some good natured sledging ensued.Choir Geneva 2014 287.jpg

The Canadian Ambassadors Choir is coming to visit us in July.  We will be hosting two concerts, one in Newcastle and one in Sydney, as well as singing Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral.  Other choirs in Newcastle and Sydney will be joining us at both performances.  We are looking forward to meeting up with them again and making music!

More details to follow!

 

05
Apr
16

Upcoming Music Making

During 2015 we began recording an album of the choral music of Ruth McCall.  It has been such a fun time working with her.  Not only is she a brilliant vocalist and pianist, but also a hilariously great person to be around.

Over the next few months, one of our projects is to complete this album – just a few more pieces to record.Ruth McCall Concert.jpg

During July we have two great events coming up.

The first is a visit from Canada by The Canadian Ambassador Choir.  We met this choir in Geneva in 2014.  We will be doing a few concerts in Sydney, and one in Newcastle with other local choirs.  It looks like being a great event.

A few weeks later in July the Grammy award winning Pacific Boychoir are joining us for a concert in Christ Church Cathedral.

We will keep you posted about these concerts.

 

05
Apr
16

2016 Update

It’s been quite some time since we have reported on this blog.  Most of our comings and goings go straight to Facebook.

It’s a 1/4 of the way through the year, and we have already performed several times. In January we had the honour of singing at one of our chorister’s wedding, and also at the funeral of one of our chorister’s relatives.  It is wonderful to share in both the happy and sad parts of life in song.SteveRosie-193

 

 

 

 

SteveRosie-385.jpgOur next event was participating in the Light Up Newcastle Lantern Walk.  This is the second time we have sung at this event which celebrates the Chinese New Year and raises funds for The Mission to Seafarers.

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On 20th March we joined with The Newcastle University Choir, Hunter Singers, Christ Church Camerata and Concertante Ensemble for the glorious St Matthew Passion.  Singing such beautiful music, with a large combined choir and orchestra was a magnificent experience for us.  Thanks to Dr Christopher Allan for inviting us!

That’s the year so far.  Next week I’ll let you know what we are working on now….

04
May
13

Applause at St Paul’s

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St Paul’s is truly a remarkable building with outstanding acoustics.  It was a little frightening walking up the stairs this morning knowing that we were to sing there.

However, we did! We sang to a large and appreciative audience and it has been the highlight of the tour so far.  The Organ Scholar at the Cathedral, Richard, was most enthusiastic about our performance and particularly thought the Sam Donovan pieces we did were “brilliant”.

After singing, we explored the Cathedral, its cafe in the Crypt and climbed the stairs to the various levels of the dome.

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Sue and I decided we would take a tour bus to see a little more of the city.  Our tour guide asked us about the St Paul’s stickers on our clothes and we mentioned that we had sung there at lunchtime.  He then talked over the microphone about the famous choir members on the bus.  Each time he said something the story got bigger.  By the time we alighted from the bus, it was as though we were movie stars.  Very funny.

03
May
13

Choralling at Cambridge – a study in superlatives

Another day, another train and another concert.

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Today we sang a concert at St John’s Cambridge.  It is an absolutely stunning church, and a thrill to sing in.

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Cambridge itself was even more ancient and glorious and glorious than Oxford.  We met some people from Australia at the concert.

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Afterwards, we ate lunch at another fabulous pub, then walked around the shops and markets until evensong at King’s College Chapel. “Magnificent”, “Ethereal” and “Angelic” are just some words our choristers used to describe the service.  The singing and surrounds were all outstandingly beautiful. A few stayed for another evensong at St John’s College to hear Bach and some more “pure, powerful and poetic singing”.

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After three days straight of concerts, and two more to go we are all getting very weary, but getting settled in our singing.

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NB. I am sleeping in the lounge/dining room and knowing that I was very tired everyone came in and ate breakfast VERY quietly so I could have a sleep in.  Aren’t they lovely!

02
May
13

Raising the Curtain on Merton

I haven’t mentioned how wonderful the transport system is.  Even better when you have an app that tells you the quickest way to get somewhere or if there are any delays.  We have names this app The Oracle.  This morning it changed our route because there were delays on the line we were going to take. We made it to Paddington station on time!

The other great thing about public transport is the people you meet.  Helpful locals that point out what park you are passing, or chat about Welsh culture and language.  But the funniest person we have met whilst traveling was the trolley man on our trip to Wales.  Firstly, he came past offering tea, coffee and viper’s noses.  He then handed the lady next to me her cup of coffee and said “Thanks Mary” when she paid.  I thought she must have been a regular on the train for him to know her name.  Then we realised he called every lady Mary, and every man David.  Even when Ben corrected hm, telling him his name was Ben, he replied “Of course it is David”. Priceless.

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Two buses, the tube, and a taxi and we arrived at Oxford’s Merton College ready to sing in the Chapel.  Oxford really is spectacular.

We rehearsed for an hour or two, then performed for a small audience, however some tourists who came to see the Chapel stayed once they heard us singing.

Despite the fact that we are a group of 12, we have never shared a meal together.  We rectified this situation after our performance, sharing a superb lunch at the Beefeater Grill. I completed my meal with tea and scones. Yes, I’m in England.

After lunch and a little shopping some people travelled back home, whilst some stayed in Oxford for a service for the Life an Work of Benjamin Britten.

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