Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Busy with Christmas

It has been a busy week and now I am relaxing. Aaaahhh.

The Chorale provided some light entertainment at the Somerville Community Services Christmas party on Thursday night. It was a delightful party for some really deserving people. The Somerville clients are all disabled, some very disabled indeed. The organisation is terrific in the way they provide support for their clients, carers, and families. This is a local charity begun by Margaret Somerville who as a young woman rescued more than a hundred children at the beginning of World War II and managed to get them all to Sydney travelling overland. The great work goes on, helping without any expectation of reward or acknowledgement. Nowadays of course there are professional paid staff as well as the volunteers. Each year they hold a Christmas party in one of the function rooms at Parliament House and one of the politicians picks up the tab. We sang well known carols, as did the Sing Song Signers. A small group of clients presented a small nativity play. Some presentations and speeches rounded out a happy occasion. A truly joyous event.

The choir and the ensemble.
Whoops, and a techie arranging something behind us.
Here is just one of the lovely painted windows
on the western wall.
The afternoon sun  shone through.
Then on Sunday The Darwin Chorale had our Christmas concert. Many weeks of earnest rehearsing resulted in a perfect show. St Mary's Cathedral was packed even though it was mid-afternoon and the temperature was around 35. Yes, with high humidity too. (No air-conditioning in this cathedral.) I loved every minute. People passing by crept in to listen (without paying). It's true, sweaty people covered in tattoos and looking like they have not seen a bath in days still love beautiful music.
Our concert, The Voice of Christmas, included soloists, small groups, the entire choir, and orchestral pieces. Thank you Saint-Saens for your beautiful Christmas Oratorio. Wonderful stuff. After the interval the tone was a bit lighter with carols and Christmas songs from a few different countries. It does seem rather special when you sing with the harp. Then the rousing Hallelujah Chorus out of Handel's Messiah. Oh, yes, Christmas!

These photos were not taken by me at all but have been shared by friends. I was busy singing!!

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Fabulous evening

Sing Song Signers on the left and Fiona singing.
Our Carols by Candlelight show was wonderful. In past years I have been in the audience. I have watched similar shows on TV. But ... the experience of being on stage for the night was completely different. If you ever have such an opportunity grab it.

My awfully blurry shot.
The horses and the officers were decorated  for Christmas.
We had an audience of over 7 000 people; an incredible effort really for a town of about 90 000. Suburbs around town and nearby towns are also running Carols nights, so this shows the community is really involved in delivering the best possible Christmas to the maximum number of people.

One of the local television people acted as compere, and Johnathon Uptin, you did a great job.

Well done, Johno
Standing off stage while Fiona Wake sings
The mounted Police were there - no illegal drugs were in evidence as far as I know. Private security guards were also in attendance. There is a lot of valuable equipment at a show like this.

The Kiwanis clubs ran food and drink stalls.

Every audience member was issued with a battery operated candle and a song book as people came through the gates. People had brought solar lights, torches, glow sticks, headbands with lights, and even real candles to add to the festivities. After dark the scene was really pretty.

Thank you to the Kiwanis
As people came in they could write their name on a raffle ticket. A winner was drawn and won a Samsung tablet. What a generous sponsor! One lucky winner was very pleased.

Another sponsor provided free polo shirts for every choir member, designed by Peter Morrissey no less.

As the night became dark the audience waved their candles. I've seen on TV when this happens the artist of stage says it is wonderful. I thought this was just showmanship. No! From the stage it is incredible. Wow! Black with stars moving. Get yourself on stage and see it for yourself.

Ambrose was just one of the many talented performers
One gorgeous part was when we sang Silent Night. The first verse was by a soloist singing in Greek. The next soloist sang in Tagalog. The third soloist sang in Indonesian. Beat that Myer Music Bowl!

The program was a combination of traditional carols and modern Christmas songs. Really engaging. And Santa appeared, of course, after Jingle Bells.

After the concert we had fireworks. And fireworks, And fireworks. For twenty minutes. Someone was a wonderful sponsor. Can you imagine how many huge sparkly things can be in the sky over twenty minutes? We sat there like a bunch of dills with our mouths open in awe. (Good thing there were no flies to come in.)

Some of these photos are mine are some were taken by my friends and given to me.

Gawking at the fireworks
As I said before, if you get the chance to be on stage as part of any Carols night outdoors, just do it.

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Carols by Candlelight in Darwin

Wow, can not believe it has been so long since I wrote here. Life gets in the way of living at times.
On stage. Lots of fans. About 32 degrees so quite nice really.

This afternoon we rehearsed for Carols by Candlelight. Tomorrow night is the show at the amphitheatre in the Botanic Gardens. It might rain. It did while we rehearsed today.

Some of the singers and musicians are still at school.

This is the choir. We are a combination of the Darwin Chorale, the Youth Choir, the Indonesian Mission Church Choir, the Filipino Congregation of St Paul, Vox Crox, Sing Song Signers, and Sing Australia. The Sing Song Signers not only sing with their voices but sign the carols with their hands.
The techies' view.

We have music from the Darwin City Brass Band, the Army Band, NT Music School, and Ritmico. Ritmico are a percussion band of about 20 school students.

And of course the soloists, including Shalom Kaa, Stevie Kyriacou, Danica Walker, Nimila Heys, Katie Young, Jazmin Tomsen, Ambrose Nichols-Skene, Angela Martinez, Sevasti Karavas, Fiona Wake, Brian Manning, Jemima Fernandes, Ken Broday, Mike Foley, and Angie Datseres.

Children will run about all through the concert. Food stalls will keep everyone feeling fine. Stars and moonlight if the clouds stay away. Perfume of tropical flowers. Live entertainment.
The audience will sit on the lawn. It is a fabulous venue right in the heart of the city.
Wonderful sponsors. Lots and lots of generous sponsors. Just a gold coin entry and the money all goes to charity.

After the singing and speeches there will be fireworks.

Gotta love that! Why live anywhere else? Bet you wish you were here.