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Singing the Classics

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

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The Very Best Time of Year

This year, our Christmas concert will feature the carols of John Rutter. Born in 1945, Rutter is considered to be the most celebrated and popular composer of Christmas music alive today. His music displays influences of the English and French choral traditions of the 20th century as well as light music and American classic songwriting. A review in the London Evening Standard said, “For the infectiousness of his melodic invention and consummate craftsmanship, Rutter has few peers”. The Geelong Chorale will perform a selection of his best known original compositions along with some of his masterful arrangements. There will also be other popular carols, some with audience participation.

Saturday 10th December 2022 5pm
All Saints’ Church, Cnr Noble and Talbot Sts Newtown
Admission $25/$20  Enquiries 0448 363 781
Bookings: http://trybooking.com/CEEFM

The Very Best Time of Year

The Very Best Time of Year

St John Passion – JS Bach

As part of the Windfire Festival Program The Geelong Chorale is pleased to join the Windfire Choir in presenting

St John Passion by JS Bach

ABOUT
Joseph Hie, Conductor
Robert Macfarlane, Evangelist,
Adrian Tamburini, Christus
Henry Choo, tenor,
Lee Abrahmsen, soprano
Danielle O’Keefe, mezzo soprano,
Tom Healey, baritone
Windfire Choir and the Geelong Chorale and orchestra

DATE
Friday 7 October 2022 7:30 PM – 9:45 PM

LOCATION
The Basilica of St Mary of the Angels
136 Yarra Street, Geelong Victoria 3220

TICKETS
www.trybooking.com/BZPBQ

REVIEWS
St John Passion: Windfire Festival opening concert – Friday, 7th October, 2022
https://thechoralgrapevine.wordpress.com/2022/10/08/st-john-passion-windfire-festival-opening-concert-friday-7th-october-2022/

 

2022 SJP A4 SJP poster

 

 

Around the World in 80 Minutes

Sunday 10th July 2022 at 2:30pm in All Saints Church, Noble Street

Having been delayed in making this overseas journey for the past two years, we are were delighted to finally present “Around the World in Eighty Minutes”
Although restrictions have generally eased, overseas travel still remains a challenge.
So come on an overseas journey with us, no need to check in or stand at the luggage carousel, as we take you on an epic journey via the world’s treasury of folk songs.

Allister Cox OAM

All Saints Church, Cnr Noble St and Talbot St, Newtown, Sunday 10th July at 2:30pm

Tickets $35|$30 concession

Reviews

The Choral Grapevine review

Entertainment Geelong review

Around the World in 80 Minutes

Around the World in 80 Minutes

Around the World in 80 Minutes

Vaughan Williams – A Life in Music

2022 marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of one of England’s finest composers. In a long and productive life, hardly a music genre has been left untouched or failed to be enriched by Vaughan Williams’s work. We will mark this significant milestone with a selection of his finest choral music.

Amelia Wawrzon, soprano
Syrah Torii, mezzo soprano
Ben Glover, tenor
James Emerson, baritone
Ken George, organ
Kristine Mellens, piano
The Geelong Chorale
Allister Cox, conductor

Sunday 15th May at 2:30pm
All Saints Church
Cnr Noble & Talbot Streets, Newtown, Geelong

Reviews:

Colin Mockett Entertainment Geelong https://entertainmentgeelong.com/reviews-2/

Choral grapevine https://thechoralgrapevine.wordpress.com/2022/05/16/vaughan-williams-a-life-in-music-sunday-may-15th-2022/

Vaughan Williams flyer

Upcoming concerts

The Geelong Chorale are pleased to announce that we are in rehearsal again and will present a feast of singing in three major concerts this year.

Our first concert will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Ralph Vaughan Williams, the quintessential English composer of the 20th century. For this concert we will be joined by four soloists to present a selection of some of his finest choral music: grand anthems, partsongs, folksongs, and movements from the Mass in G minor. Sunday 15th May at 2:30pm in All Saints Church, Noble Street.

Having been delayed in making any overseas journey for the past two years, we are delighted that we can finally present “Around the World in Eighty Minutes”: a veritable whistle-stop tour of many countries via the world’s treasury of folksongs. Sunday 10th July at 2:30pm in All Saints Church, Noble Street.

In October we will combine with Music at the Basilica’s Windfire Choir to present the monumental ‘St John Passion” by J.S. Bach. This moving work has rarely, if ever, been performed in Geelong. First-class soloists and orchestra will accompany the combined choir, all conducted by Joseph Hie.

Concerts for 2020

POSTPONED – from Sunday May 3 to a date to be determined

Brahms – A German Requiem
Brahms’ beautiful German Requiem performed with the accompaniment in his own arrangement for piano 4 hands.

CANCELLED – Sunday August 16 at 2.30pm

Around the World in Eighty Minutes.
A veritable world tour with folksongs of many nationalities followed by a multicultural afternoon tea.

CANCELLED – Saturday December 5 at 5pm

Christmas Through the Ages
A selection of Advent and Christmas music spanning four centuries

Singing the Classics 2020

The program for this year is

  • CANCELLED – Sunday 5 April Tom Healey, Dvorak Mass in D with Terry Norman
  • Sunday 12 July Anne Pilgrim, Beethoven Mass in C with John Bumford
  • Sunday 4 October Allister Cox (G&S)

All sessions are from 2-5pm at St Luke’s Uniting Church, Highton.

Bookings are essential because we have to hire music and plan afternoon tea. Book by email at pandapilgrim@gmail.com or phone 0412 524 316

Magnificat – Music to Celebrate Christmas

The Geelong Chorale’s Christmas concert this year featured works by two great English composers: Fantasia on Christmas Carols by Ralph Vaughan Williams and John Rutter’s supremely engaging Magnificat. There was also be a chance to hear two rarely performed Christmas chorales from Vaughan Williams’ cantata, Hodie. The Geelong Chorale was once again be joined by The Geelong Handbell Choir, directed by Gwyn Gillard. Soloists for the concert are Fiona Squires, soprano, and Rodney Dearing, baritone, with piano accompaniment by Kristine Mellens.

Saturday 7 December, 5pm

All Saints Church, Cnr Noble Street and Talbot Street, Newtown 3220

 

 

 

Singing the Classics – John Rutter – Mass of the Children

A reminder: next Sunday,6 October, in the For the Joy of Singing the Classics program, we will sing through Rutter’s Mass of the Children.

This was first performed in 2003, in Carnegie Hall, New York, conducted by John Rutter. It is written for adult and children’s choirs with soloists, with the Mass texts interspersed with poetry of Thomas Ken (1637-1711) (Awake, my soul, and with the sun…)”, William Blake (1757-1827) (“Little Lamb, who made thee?”) and other sources.

We will be singing all the choral parts and Tom Healey and Rosie Cocklin will be singing the solos.

If you want to participate, please contact Anne at: pandapilgrim@gmail.com

Details: St Luke’s Uniting Church, Highton from 2pm to 5pm.
Cost is $15 includes music hire and afternoon tea.

Great Moments

Sunday 18 August 2019 at 2:30pm

St Luke’s Uniting Church, Barrabool Road, Highton.

Reviews

Great Moments, presented by The Geelong Chorale directed by Allister Cox. St Luke’s Church, Highton, August 18, 2019.

In the seven years since Allister Cox was appointed director of Geelong’s premier choir, he has set the group plenty of musical challenges.

In the past year alone, the Chorale brought an intensely moving In Remembrance commemorating the anniversary of WWI’s ending, as well as their complex collaboration Sound The Trumpets celebration in St Mary’s Basilica.

This concert arrived almost as a release from all that musical concentration. For this was easy, fun, and happy, both in its choice of material and delivery.

That cover-all title, Great Moments, carried the sub-text ‘Arias, duets and choruses from some of the best-loved operas, operettas and musicals’.

In practice, this came down heavily in favour of operatic choruses (9) to four operetta pieces and three extracts from musicals.

The programme neatly grouped each segment together with the Grand Operatic choruses up front before an interval, then the light opera and ending with a big Hollywood musical flourish.

So we began with Verdi’s joyful Brindisi from La Traviata and ended with an equally exuberant rendition of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!
In between we heard a delightful musical selection delivered with a good deal of spirit and skill by the Chorale and its guest soloists Lisa Breen (soprano) and tenor David Campbell.

Such was the level of bonhomie that the two soloists, seated to one side when not called upon to sing, nevertheless joined in with most choruses including a memorable moment when the ebulliently jovial David couldn’t resist singing Bernstein’s West Side Story I Feel Pretty along with the female chorus.

He had previously delivered a wonderfully romantic solo of Donizetti’s Una Furtiva Lagrima from L’elisir d’amore as well as leading the Chorus’ tenors and basses in two lusty numbers, Tower Warders from G & S’s Yeoman Of The Guard and You’re Back Where You First Began from Franz Lehar’s The Merry Widow.
For her part, Lisa gave us a beautiful solo version of Un bel di vedremo from Puccini’s Madam Butterfly as well as The Merry Widow’s Vilia. As a reviewer and performer I’ve experienced Lisa’s singing in many capacities for more than 20 years, and I don’t think I’ve heard her sing better. This was especially evident when she led the full Chorale in an a cappella version of Gershwin’s Summertime from Porgy and Bess. This sublime moment was, conversely, the only piece that had not involved Kristine Mellens’ skilled piano accompaniments.

Lisa and David joined, both individually and as a duo, with the Chorale in their spirited versions of big favourites The Anvil Chorus, Wedding Chorus and Voyagers Chorus, while deputy conductor Anne Pilgrim led the Chorale’s Sopranos and Altos in Verdi’s Witches Chorus from Macbeth.

Director/conductor Allister Cox introduced each work with his familiar charm and depth of knowledge – along with some carefully chosen humorous insights – while at the finish, soloists Lisa and David spontaneously left their seats to squeeze on to the Chorale’s rostrum and deliver those joyful Oklahoma! whoops.

It was a moment that captured exactly the energy and cheer of what had been such a skilfully delivered but delightfully lighthearted musical afternoon.

– Colin Mockett

https://entertainmentgeelong.com/reviews-2019-1

Great Moments: The Geelong Chorale – Sunday, 18th August, 2019

Posted on August 19, 2019

St Luke’s Uniting Church, Highton

Conductor:  Allister Cox OAM

Accompanist:  Kristine Mellens

The Geelong Chorale is a chamber choir.  Therefore, a foray into musical theatre, opera, operetta and musical comedy is rather outside the choir’s usual musical fare.  Allister Cox, musical director for some years, is a long-time performer in musical theatre, and directed the choir and two excellent soloists with assurance.

The first half of the program was devoted to grand opera, with choruses, solos and duets from Verdi, Mozart, Donizetti, Gounod, Puccini and finishing with a rousing performance of the Easter Hymn from Cavalleria Rusticana.  There was a little staged drama – the program began with Brindisi (a drinking chorus) from La Traviata.  The choir (as people at at party) chatted animatedly during the introduction till the tenor, David Campbell, entered from off stage singing the well-known verse followed by the chorus with the choir before soprano Lisa Breen entered to sing the verse reprise.  It is good to hear Lisa’s lovely singing after some time.  We hope to hear more of her in future concerts.

David Campbell’s acting skill came out throughout the program, no more so that in his aria Un Furtiva Lagrime with a stunning love-lorn cadenza.

Kristine Mellens, the Chorale’s accompanist, had a near impossible task – attempting to emulate an orchestra.   Kristine wrought all possible tone from the available upright piano playing with drama, a sense of style and sensitivity (especially in David Campbell’s aria from L’elisir d’amore).

Deputy conductor, Anne Pilgrim conducted the women of the choir in The Witches’ Chorus from Verdi’s Macbeth.  There was a fine sense of dynamics, and some percussion in the background as the witches announce Macbeth’s arrival.  Unison singing brought out the excellence of the choral lines, even though the sopranos were depleted somewhat in this program.

The second half of the concert produced lighter fare – with excerpts from Yeomen of the Guard, Die Fledermaus, The Merry Widow, Porgy and Bess, West Side Story and concluding with a rousing performance of the title song from Oklahoma with soloists joining the choir.

The choir was in its element in an a capella arrangement of Summertime from George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess with Lisa Breen excelling in a jazz style performance.  This arrangement, which includes intricate scat singing from the choir, would be well worth keeping in the choir’s repertoire.

The near capacity audience included many who are not regulars to concerts from GeelongChorale.  Judging from the warmth of the applause, they were not disappointed.

The Geelong Chorale’s final performance of 2019 is Magnificat: Music to Celebrate Christmas, on December 7th at 5pm at Christ Church, Geelong.

From Helen Lyth at

https://thechoralgrapevine.wordpress.com/2019/08/19/great-moments-the-geelong-chorale-sunday-18th-august-2019

GC Great M's website