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Singing the Classics

Singing for all. Come along to our Singing the Classics days.

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An American Portrait

An American Portrait – Sunday May 21 at 2:30pm, Wesley Church, Yarra Street, Geelong


Review by Helen Lyth in the Choral Grapevine


Review by Colin Mockett at Entertainment Geelong


This unusual concert for the Chorale was reportedly not to every member’s taste. Some singers were believed to hold the view that our region’s premier choir should stick to its traditional material, drawn from classical and/or sacred musical catalogues.
But for this reviewer – and, I’d hazard, a clear audience majority – this concert was just perfect. Sure, there were some challenging moments, but for the most part, this was a concert of delight.
It took the form of five different groups of well-known American songs, each having their backgrounds explained by the knowledgeable Allister Cox before being delivered with clarity and dexterity by the Chorale.
To this history and music buff, this was concert nirvana. It was entertaining, enlightening, informative – and delivered in the most stylish musical way.
Following a short, humorous intro from Director Cox, ‘we planned this concert a year ago before political events in America overtook us..’ including a well-delivered mock Trump call, he went on to explain the context of the first group of spirituals, neatly detailing their roots in the deep south’s slavery era. Then the Chorale delivered Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, Soon Ah Will Be Done, Deep River and Ain’t Got Time To Die with joy and care if not quite the jubilation of a revivalist meeting.
Then followed a Stephen Foster medley following Allister’s potted biography which noted that the author of so many of America’s landmark tunes died with just 40c in his pocket. The Chorale, in unfamiliar but effective formation with tenors front and centre, then delivered I Dream Of Jeanie, My Old Kentucky Home and Beautiful Dreamer with sensitive élan.
A folksong section followed, with Shenandoah, The Riddle Song, Long Time Ago and Ching-A-Ring Chaw receiving the concert’s explanation before refined delivery treatment, and then a trio of Art Songs in Samuel Barber’s Sure on this Shining Night, Randall Thompson’s ironic 1940 multi-layered Alleluia and Stephen Paulus’ The Road Home.
Then came a build-up to the concert’s finale in a section titled ‘Medleys from the Shows’. This preamble told us, among other things, that George Gershwin sought classical training when he was the most successful songwriter in the world and that Judy Garland’s Over The Rainbow was almost cut from The Wizard of Oz as being too slow. Highlights in this section included an amazing number of hit references rolled into the chorale’s Gershwin medley; Helen Seymour and John Stubbings’ duet in Cole Porter’s Night and Day – and the Chorale’s enthusiastic delivery of the thigh-slapping theme tune for Oklahoma!
The concert’s finale was, almost inevitably, the rousing Battle Hymn of the Republic – but only after Director Cox had explained just who John Brown was, and why his body mouldered in the grave.
As always, pianist Kristine Mellens gave the Chorale her fine, unobtrusive support – and I believe that the enthusiastic final applause would have won over even the most sceptical chorister.
For this was a concert of unexpected delights.
— Colin Mockett


Singing the Classics March 19 2017

The first “Singing the Classics” today.
Tom Healey lead us in Requiem by John Rutter, with Sonoka Miyake accompanying.
A great afternoon singing.

Photos here

Calling all singers

The Geelong Chorale is partnering with The Geelong Symphony Orchestra for ‘Last Night of the Proms’ on Friday evening, October 27, and Saturday afternoon, October 28 2017.

We are seeking any interested singers who would like to augment our choir and be a part of these exciting concerts to be held at Costa Hall.
The Geelong Chorale will perform Polovtsian Dances by Borodin in the first half of the program. The second half of the concert will include the usual Proms’ fare including Jerusalem, Land of Hope and Glory, I Vow to Thee, My Country, as well as the Toreador Song from Carmen.

It is a wonderful opportunity to sing with a full symphony orchestra on the big stage of Costa Hall in front of a large audience. The conductor for this concert is Kevin Cameron, Director of Middle School Music at Geelong Grammar School.

​Rehearsals commence Monday September 4 2017, and are held weekly every Monday night from 7.30pm to 9.30pm at St Luke’s Uniting Church, Barrabool Rd, Highton. Rehearsals with the orchestra will be held on the afternoon of Sunday October 8 (venue to be advised); and in the evening of Monday October 23 at Costa Hall; and Thursday October 26 at Costa Hall.

You will need to be able to read music, sing in tune and attend most rehearsals. Our musical director, Allister Cox, will listen to you sing to ensure you are placed in the correct position in the choir. Cost will be a one off payment of $20 to cover insurance.

If you would like to join us in this very exciting venture, please let our secretary, Angela West, know your name, email address and what part you sing, and we will add you to the list!

Angela West
The Geelong Chorale
PO Box 352
Geelong VIC 3220
(03) 5244 7285


Concerts in 2017

For your diary – the Chorale will put on 3 concerts in 2017:

American Portrait, Sunday May 21 at 2:30pm, Wesley Church, Yarra Street, Geelong

Voices of Our Time – music of contemporary composers such as Eric Whitacre, Morten Lauridsen. Sunday August 27 at 2:30pm, All Saints Anglican Church, Noble Street, Newtown

Christmas Carols Concert, Saturday December 2 at 5pm, All Saints Anglican Church, Noble Street, Newtown

Open full day rehearsal

The Chorale is starting off the 2017 year with an open full day rehearsal on Sat 4 Feb, from 10am-4pm, at St Luke’s Uniting Church, 174 Barrabool Road, Highton.

We will be rehearsing music for our first concert of the year, a progamme of American-themed items.

All singers are welcome to this open rehearsal. Come along and see what the Chorale is all about.

Australia Day honours

Congratulations to our Australia Day honours recipients – long standing tenor, John Stubbings and our musical director, Allister Cox.

The Geelong Chorale community congratulates you both.

Choir sings Allister’s praises


ALLISTER Cox is living life on both sides of the music stand guiding local choir groups and musicians to achieve their potential.

Tenor adds to musical journey


FOR more than 30 years the tones of tenor John Stubbings have rung through Geelong’s churches, stages and classrooms.

Official transcripts from the Governor General’s website re our two award winners

Australia Day 2017
Mr Allister Mark COX, South Geelong Vic 3220
For service to orchestral and choral music. Service includes:
Conductor, Geelong Community Orchestra, since 2005.
Conductor, Geelong Chorale, since 2011.
Musical Director and Conductor, For the Joy of Singing the Classics, since 2012.
Clarinettist, Singer and Conductor, Music at the Basilica, current and Committee Member, ongoing.
Performer and Musician with a range of theatre companies including Geelong Society of Dramatic Art and Geelong Lyric Theatre and Theatre of the Winged Unicorn and Melbourne Opera, ‘for many years’.
Church Music:
Cantor, Chorister, St Mary of the Angels Basilica, Geelong, current.
Chorister and Cantor, St Francis’ Catholic Church, Melbourne, ‘for many years’.
President, Geelong Music Teachers’ Association, 2006-2013 and Vice President, ‘for many years’.
Music teacher, Clonard College, since early 1980s and Sacred Heart College, since 1985 and Geelong Grammar School, since 1995.

Mr Henry John STUBBINGS, Belmont Vic 3216
For service to music, and to the community of Geelong. Service includes:
Assistant Musical Director, Geelong Chorale, since 2003 and Choir Member, 2005-2014.
Assistant Musical Director, Geelong Welsh Ladies Choir, 2004-2014 and Master of Ceremonies on several occasions.
Chorister and Soloist, St Paul’s Occasional Choir, 1989-2008.
Chorus Master and Musical Director, various community musical theatre companies including:
The Geelong Musical Comedy Company.
The Geelong Lyric Theatre Society.
Theatre of the Winged Unicorn, 1961-2000.
Master of Ceremonies:
Carols by Candlelight.
Geelong Young Men’s Association, 2004 and 1975-1999.
Geelong Advertiser Music Scholarships, 1995-2007.
Anam Cara Hospice Geelong.
Footscray, Yarraville, Kew and Preston Brass Band tours, 25 concerts and 2 overseas tours.
Geelong Concert Band.
Geelong Schools Music Festival, ‘for several years’.
Adjudicator, Geelong Eisteddfod, and CWA, and Highton Rotary Club Star Search, 1985-2014.
Life Member, Rotary Club of Highton/Kardinia, 1992-2009.
Department of Education Victoria:
Director of Music, several Victorian public schools including Geelong West Technical School, Bell Park Technical School, Mt Clear Secondary College and Grovedale Secondary College, 1964-1996.
Casual Teacher, Western Heights Secondary College, 2001-2002.

A Christmas Celebration 2016

Our exciting Christmas concert held on Saturday December 3, 2016 at 5pm.

This concert, at Wesley Church in Yarra St, Geelong, featured harpist Jacinta Dennett.

Joining us was the Geelong Handbell Choir.

We performed Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols and its companion piece, Southern Star – a collection of the poems of Michael Leunig set to music by Christopher Willcock.


Leunig and liners in a Christmas surprise package

Colin Mockett (www.entertainmentgeelong.com)



Singing the Classics 23 October 2016

“Singing the Classics” this time  was Messe Solennelle de Sainte-Cecile by Charles Gounod.

Special thanks to Allister Cox for conducting, and Frank De Rosso for accompanying us.


When icicles hang

Some photos from our cafe concert on July 30, 2016. A great evening’s entertainment.

Directed by Allister Cox

Accompanist Kristine Mellens.

Soloist Siân Tegan Williams

Master of Ceremonies Colin Mockett.


For the Joy of Singing the Classics is on again!

The Geelong Chorale will host an afternoon of singing through some choruses, in the For the Joy of Singing the Classics series, from 2 to 5pm on Sunday 19th June, at St Luke’s Uniting Church, Highton.

John Stubbings will lead us through the choruses, some of which are:

Pink Champagne from Die Fledermaus
Gaudeamus and Serenade from The Student Prince
Ol’ Man River from Showboat
Night of my Nights from Kismet
June is Bustin’ out all over and You’ll Never Walk Alone from Carousel
PLUS others from The Gypsy Baron, The Sound of Music, West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof…..

Cost is only $12, and includes afternoon tea.

So if you want to come along, contact Anne at: pandapil@skymesh.com.au.