“An ORGANic Christmas” Concert Review

Last Saturday’s concert from MonUCS (Monash University Choral Society) was really good. It had fun pieces and grand pieces and carols. An organ accompanied some songs.

Their opening piece (Regina Coeli from Cavalleria Rusticana by Pietro Mascagni) began with quite the entrance. The choir walked in two columns between the audience seats in order to get to the front of the church to perform from. I thought that was pretty cool.

There were the pieces I hadn’t heard before, sung with vocal strength and expression. Operatic choruses which were gorgeous to listen to and surprising, emotional and sweet by turns. Some of these pieces had soloists – all of whom performed very well. These pieces included the Priest’s Chorus (from Die Zauberflote), Chorus of Enchanted Islanders (from Alcina), Dido’s Lament and Final Chorus (from Dido and Aenea) and even a humming one, Humming Chorus (from Madame Butterfly).

I thoroughly enjoyed myself as I watched my friends perform after weeks of hard work. I also enjoyed singing along to some of the carols as we were encouraged to do – though only at mezzo piano volume so as to hear the actual choir. The carols were not all your usual fare – in fact, two of them I only knew thanks to the carolling gigs last week. That made it all the more fun. Carols included Infant Holy Infant Lowly, Zither Carol, Gloucestershire Wassail and others.

The choir were balanced beautifully, each section blending well (the ultimate goal) while holding their own parts in a superb manner. Each section also had its chance to shine, enabled by the range of songs chosen. For example, it was noted that the tenors sang “without hesitation … and with a wonderful lightness” as one friend put it. The altos were the smallest section of the four, but it didn’t feel like it. The basses carried the bottom range as they are supposed to, giving strength and resonance, while the sopranos were glorious on top.

Bravo, MonUCS! I look forward to seeing what you’ll do next year – and to singing with some of you at MIV. Well done!

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Holiday gatherings and fun

Writing this quickly before I head off to my last choir night of the year.

I’ll write a review of the concert I attended on Saturday (MonUCS’ “ORGANic Christmas”) tomorrow. I want to do it justice and time slipped by me today. In part because less sleep last night from a choir holiday party combined with the afternoon sun on a 37*C day is not conducive to productivity, I think. XD

Choir parties are the best – always great food and conversation with lovely welcoming people. Last night’s one had Karaoke even!

Carolling with MIV – and at LaTUCS’ own gig – has been really lovely this year. My favourite carols are a lot more complex now than the favourites I had when younger and it’s really nice to perform them with friends.

There are still a few chances to see the MIV carollers in the lead-up to Christmas, but I won’t be among them.

As of next Monday, I’m off to Japan on a family holiday until the New Year. I will try to keep you more-or-less abreast of our journey with the help of Womble again  I make no promises as to when any updates will occur though.

Must dash to LaTUCS now….

Remember to buy concert tickets to see the MIV choir with soloists and orchestra perform on January 20th (less than ONE MONTH to go!!): Facebook event here and tickets here. Monday was spent getting decorations for MIV with other committee friends…. I’m getting excited now.

 

 

Fun stuff: all the choir things

Yesterday, my choir (LaTUCS) sang carols at an end-of-year event at uni. Nice and I’m hopeful it’ll lead to further opportunities.

This weekend (starting this evening) I will be a-carolling with MIV2018 people.  Tomorrow afternoon too. Our concert tickets for the end-of-festival performance are on sale now. Put the evening of the 20th of January 2018 in your calendars (Facebook link here – friends should expect invites shortly) and get some tickets via this link.

Also, MIV merchandise sales close on Monday, December 11th – this coming Monday which also happens to be the one-month-out date! Wow. If you want a tie-dye tote bag, a keepcup, promise of concert CD and participant photo, or tickets to the “Aquademic” Dinner, please head on over to miv.org.au, sign up for an account on the website and buy the things you want.

This weekend has other fun apart from carols. Tomorrow evening I’m attending a choir concert by MonUCS. Can’t wait – the program sounds really good. 😀 Here is a link to the Facebook event and click here for tickets (or get them at the door). Hooray!

 

Hip hip huzzah for a wonderful Pirates concert

As my post on Friday indicated, on Sunday evening I went off to see The Pirates of Penzance by MonUCS. It was a fantastic show. As I reflected on earlier this year, there’s something really nice about watching your friends perform a great show, knowing that they’ve been working towards it for months. 

It was really, really fun. I’d never seen it before, which made it all the more special. It was both fun and funny, touching on themes of duty, family and choice but mostly just being a jolly good romp. For some time I’d been avoiding spoilers of songs and so on, but since the concert they’ve been running through my head, competing for attention. They were well-sung after all. Acting was also very good. I could tell people enjoyed themselves on stage just as we enjoyed watching them. 😉 

Afterwards (after packing up or “bumping out”) we went off to a choir member’s house for more singing, food and conversation. Fun! 

As I said afterwards, I’m so proud of all my friends. Well done! I can’t wait for the projects to come. 

MonUCS Presents: Pirates of Penzance 

I’m going to see a show on the weekend and I. Can’t. Wait!! My boyfriend and a number of friends in a fellow university choir, Monash University Choral Society (MonUCS) are performing in a musical production: The Pirates of Penzance! 😀 I’ve seen some promo shots and it all looks so good… read on for a full description I grabbed from the public Facebook event. Tickets on sale now – see links at the bottom. 

Monash University Choral Society presents Pirates of Penzance! 

Join our rollicking band of pirates, police & beautiful maidens for a familiar tale of love, duty, and a surprising amount of orphans. Our production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s iconic operetta is a highly entertaining mix of ‘classic’ and ‘pop-culture’ jokes and freshly spun hilarity, which will surely engage both new & long term G&S fans alike. Follow the unlikely journey of young Frederic, who is ready to leave his pirating days behind him and learn the ways of the world (and its women). But the seas of life and love are seldom smooth sailing…

Our talented cast will leave you with a smile on your face, and a song in your heart. Book now!
Directed by Robert Dora & Helen Vice

CAST

Frederick – Naomi Hyndman

Mabel – Eloise Wilmann

Pirate King – Rohan Wilksch

Ruth – Alex Lewis

General Stanley – Nick Power

Samuel – Kevin Hendrey

Edith – Beth Stimpson

Kate – Angeline Seow

Police Sergeant – Daniel Yeaman
Ticket Prices

$30 full fee

$25 concession

Available for Purchase via http://www.trybooking.com/RODW

https://www.facebook.com/events/167070257187573/

MIV2018 Update: Free the Freshers! 

MIV2018 Header: MIV written in bright bubble writing, with 69th Australian Intervarsity Choral Festival, Melbourne 2018 in pink teal and white is on the left side. The right side has
Another month has flown past! We’re now less than FOUR months away from the festival! Wow!! 

With that in mind, here’s the latest mail-out. It’s announcing a bit of friendly competition to get more freshers to IV, continuing the hunt for a Merch Officer, giving details about the next social event (I helped write that bit 😉 ), and reminding everyone that registration is open (2 months until timely registration ends so get cracking)! 

____________________________________

From the Convenors’ desk…

There’s nothing like being a Fresher at IV. And there’s nothing like a bit of friendly competition between AICSA choirs.

Here at MIV2018, we’re combining the two in our Free the Freshers Competition.

Two FREE Fresher Registrations are up for grabs across two categories. So each choir gets TWO CHANCES TO WIN! 

Category One: Awarded to the choir who registers the most Freshers. 

Category Two: Awarded to the choir who registers the most members (fresh and not so fresh) to attend MIV2018. The figure is calculated as a per capita proportion of the choir (based on the census data recently and generously provided by your committees). 

The competition is open NOW and closes at the end of timely registration (Midnight 11 November). 

After that we’ll be busy notifying the winning choir(s) who can allocate their FREE Fresher Registration however they wish. 

They could nominate one Fresher to have their registration fee reduced to zero; split the credit among multiple Freshers to partially reduce the cost OR… actually we think those are the only two options. 

So get fighting for your Freshers to party at IV! Every registration received before 11 November bring the prize closer to your choir. Keep an eye on the total current registrants from your choir. More detailed breakdowns and current competition winners are visible to registered and logged in users. 

The MIV2018 Committee will determine the competition winners based on registrant information and relevant calculations. Committee decision are final and no debate will be entered into.
Join the MIV2018 team as our Merchandise Officer

MIV2018 committee is currently taking expressions of interest for the role of Merchandise Officer.

If you have a passion for choral fashion (and a deep-seated love of spreadsheets) then we’d love to hear from you.

To express your interest please reply to this email or email me directly at secretary@miv.org.au.
Save that (one) day in September

September is a busy month in Melbourne. The wonderful MIV host choirs are preparing for concerts, with LaTUCS and MonUCS performing in September and ROCS performing in October. Meanwhile, there’s sport, sport, sport going on outside.

Come join your choral family to fanatically watch the big game, dip your toes for score updates or ignore it completely with card games, board games and more.

There’ll be BBQs available for pre-game lunch and a tuck shop full of munchies to keep you fuelled for the afternoon.

More details for the Post/Pre Concert Party (that you don’t have to organise) will be released on Facebook and via email soon.
Registration is open.

In less than six months you could be taking the stage with us, a full orchestra and hundreds of fellow choristers to be part of this once-in-a-lifetime musical experience. But you must register to secure your place.

The summer of ’69 will be here before we know it. Register now to be part of the magic. We can’t wait to see you in Melbourne next year!

Peace and love, 

Alex and El xoxo

REGISTER FOR MIV2018

Equip yourself for life…

Sepia-toned photo on beige background of Sir John Monash in WWI Australian Imperial Forces full army uniform. Has stripes and peaked hat of a General. Over Monash are words in white: Peace A Cantata for John Monash. Behind him is an indistinct motif of the Shrine of Remembrance and a steamer ship.

Front cover of concert program

The title is taken from a quote by Sir John Monash: “Adopt as your creed that you will equip yourself for life, not solely for your own benefit but for the benefit of the whole community.” 

On Saturday evening, after months of hard work (including many rehearsals in the final few weeks), the John Monash concert was held. 

It was an amazing experience. There were 29 songs. 13 of them were massed choir pieces, along with pieces for the children’s choir and soloists, all accompanied by a talented orchestra and conducted magnificently by Dr David Kram. David was also the composer, while lyrics were written by poet Kevin O’Flaherty or taken from speeches or letters from Sir John Monash himself. The soloists were Lisa Ann Robinson (Soprano), Michel LaLoum (Baritone), Kristen Leich (Mezzo Soprano), Eddie Muliaumaseali’l (Bass). The orchestra was a hand-picked selection of Melbourne’s finest. 

The concert celebrated the life and values of Sir John Monash. He was an Australian army general in WWI, whose ingenuity enabled a decisive victory in Amiens, France which hastened the Allies victory. But he was so much more than a general. He was a peace-maker, born of migrant parents, Jewish, educated and intelligent, a firm believer in democracy. He was a keen advocate for those under his command, an engineer, lover of music and languages; a family man. 

The Cantata demonstrated this through song – if only all history was explained this way! 😉 It also had some great songs about the peacemakers and the folly of war – the experiences of nurses, Indigenous men, family waiting back home for news, Turkish and Australian soldiers at Gallipoli, and the children of France. 

It was a wonderful experience to take part in. On one level, I sang with friends and my boyfriend, so had the shared connection of that. But more than that there was the music itself. The songs involved a few tricky-to-master parts like fugues and synchopated timings, as well as some entries on high notes. And the songs are memorable – the way lyrics and music worked together evoked images of the song’s message. Everything from the dread and anguish of a pink telegram (MIA soldier now confirmed dead), violins and the timpani sounding like planes strafing and machine-guns) to the importance of peace. It was beautiful. 

I do mean beautiful. It was a evocative Australian story, told through song. At the end of the Cantata, as we sat down after our final bows, I felt incredibly moved. A sense of awe swept through me. I wanted to sit with the feeling for a few moments, it was that strong. 

I cannot thank More Than Opera, the Melbourne company who supported the concert, enough for the chance to be a part of it. I’ve had concert songs float through my head every day since and they still bring a smile to my face. 

Let there be peace! 

John Monash Concert Update

Well, look at that – the concert is two weeks away! O.O

Where did the time go?

LaTUCS have been rehearsing consistently for the past six weeks on our own (led wonderfully by our new conductor). This week we began the compulsory combined rehearsals – rehearsing with other community choir singers. So for the next few weeks, I’ll be at rehearsals for at least two nights a week. The final week (first week of September) gets a little frantic as we’ll have a Saturday rehearsal, three weeknight rehearsals then a final full day of rehearsals (one morning, one afternoon) before the actual concert. Whew! So if I seem a little busy, here’s why. 😉 After all, as of last Wednesday, I’m choir president now.

There are going to be many different community choirs – adult and children – participating in this. If you’re in Melbourne on the evening of Saturday, September 9th, why not come along to Hamer Hall? Tickets are on-sale now: https://www.artscentremelbourne.com.au/whats-on/2017/classical-music/john-monash-peace-concert

If not but you’re in the city this weekend, there will be a gold-coin-entry performance of some of the concert works tomorrow afternoon from 16-17:00 at All Saints East St Kilda, by a small contingent of the concert choir.

Maybe I’ll see you there?

 

#MIV2018 Update: Main Concert Piece Announced! 

I’m so excited… I’ve been sitting on this for months. Speaking of months, #MIV2018 is only five months away! Have you registered yet?? 

___________________________________


From the Convenors’ desk…
It’s cold, it’s dark, it’s hard to get out of bed in the morning. It feels like winter is here to stay, but fear not! MIV and the summer of ’69 is only five short months away. And this month we get to reveal our biggest news yet.

A huge amount of work is going on behind the scenes to organise an amazing festival, but we think there’s one thing that really takes the cake. Without further ado, we’re incredibly excited to unveil our concert for MIV2018. 

The centrepiece of this exquisite concert will be the Australian premier of Edward Elgar’s uplifting ‘Light of Life’

Conducted by our magnificent musical director, Patrick Burns, Light the Dark will be performed on the evening of Saturday the 20th of January 2018, at the Melbourne Town Hall for an audience of up to two thousand people. 

That’s right! Not only do we get to perform the music of a renowned and well-loved composer, but we get to be the first people in the country to perform a dramatic and awe-inspiring oratorio described as a “resplendent and moving” piece, filled with “fascinating orchestral and choral passages.”

If you want to have a listen, check it out here.

Registration is open.
In less than six months you could be taking the stage with us, a full orchestra and hundreds of fellow choristers to be part of this once-in-a-lifetime musical experience. But you must register to secure your place.

The summer of ’69 will be here before we know it. Register now to be part of the magic. We can’t wait to see you in Melbourne next year!

Peace and love,

Alex and El xoxo