11th March marked 10 months to go until the Melbourne Intervarsity Choral Festival 2018.
“Ten months?” I hear you say, “But that’s still ages away!”
My reply to that is both yes and no.
To an excited chorister, especially one who missed out on the Perth IVCF 2017, it does feel like a while. An Australian autumn, winter, spring and Christmas/New Year must pass before it arrives. Plenty of local choir action must, too, including individual exciting projects. (Yay!)
But to a MIV Committee member, ten months is not very long at all. In my role as Co-Social Secretary, we’re aiming to have a social gathering at least every couple of months, if not sooner. My workload is going to increase as the year goes on and time grows shorter, but it’s not starting at nothing. The next social event is planned for three weeks away!
On the 10-months-out date, I spent my morning helping out at a Fundraising BBQ at Bunnings. It was fun, if rather hectic at times. I was the bread-woman – I ensured our tub of bread slices was kept stocked fresh, I took the bread slices (often one in each gloved hand) over to the BBQ-man and held them while he placed the sausage (with or without onion in) then handed the full lot to the customer, who’d already paid our cash-woman.
It was sort of fun – we took turns putting our own music through some speakers, leading to more than one occasion of singing along to songs!
We joked that it was “democracy sausages without the election“. 😛 (link to photo on MIV2018 Facebook page – go on, like them while you’re there?)
It was also quite tiring. Not so much the fact that I was on my feet for a good four or so hours doing things, but the social-cognitive stuff was what wore me out more I think. There were times when I was performing the routine described above repetitively without a lull. It was grab bread, listen to order, remember it, turn to BBQ, fill order, turn and locate person, repeat. Sometimes I’d have to multitask if two people wanted one sausage each (so that’s one order per hand) – which could be interesting if one wanted onion and the other didn’t! I got used to repeating, “one with, one without” and “two with” and “two without” and so on. Phew!
I’d do it again though. 😉
Another thing that happened on the 11th was the release of the latest MIV Mailout, to coincide with the ten month mark. In it we introduced our musical director!
Our Musical Director is Patrick Burns. Here’s his bio, courtesy of this link from the MIV Facebook page – I would have embedded it properly, but it doesn’t seem to like that given there’s a picture with it.
“Patrick began his conducting studies whilst completing his under-graduate studies at the Queensland Conservatorium. He is an alumni of the Symphony Australia conductor development program which has seen him participate in workshops across Australia with Orchestra Victoria, the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and also in New Zealand with the Auckland Philharmonia under the guidance of Christopher Seaman, Johannes Fritzsch, Sebastian Lang-Lessing and Baldur Brönnimann.
From 2010 to 2014 Patrick was the Music Director for the Monash University Choral Society and from 2011 to 2014 was also the Music Director for the Victorian Youth Symphony Orchestra. In 2014, he was made a life member of MonUCS for his contribution and dedication to the choir. He is currently the Chief Conductor for the Ipswich City Orchestra in Queensland and has held the position since 2008. Patrick is also the Music Director for the Melbourne-based artistic collaboration, XL Arts.
In 2015 Patrick travelled to Bulgaria to participate in the Blue Danube Opera Conducting Masterclass with the Bulgarian State Opera. As a result he was invited to conduct a performance of Verdi’s Rigoletto at the Bulgarian State Opera House in Rousse. He was also recently awarded the Jury’s Special Prize at the 2015 Blue Danube International Opera Conducting Competition. In 2016, Patrick returned to Bulgaria to conduct performances of Verdi’s Nabucco Puccini’s Turandot and also a symphonic concert with the Pazardzhik Symphony Orchestra. In 2016 Patrick was also awarded the Orchestra’s Prize in the Black Sea Opera Conducting Competition held at the National Opera Theatre of Romania in Constanta.
We’re thrilled to be working with Pat to bring you a gorgeous repertoire and an exciting festival experience.”
It’s so exciting. There’s plenty of more cool things to be announced or in the pipeline to happen…why not sign up to the mailing list at miv.org.au to keep informed?