Established in 1939, the Australian Boys Choir is the nation's first secular boys' choir. The Choir has performed and toured within Australia, and around the world, and holds a distinguished reputation.
I was delighted to be invited to attend the Australian Boys Choir 75th Anniversary Gala Concert, at the Melbourne Recital Centre, on Sunday August 17th.
ABC 75th Anniversary Gala Concert
Melbourne Recital Centre
With cameo appearances by The Vocal Consort and each of the Australian Boys Choir Institute's training groups, the Choir performed significant and favourite works from 75 years of the Choir, Benjamin Britten's opera "The Golden Vanity", and the five finalist entries of the 75th Anniversary Celebrations Choral Composition Competition.
The Choral Composition Competition attracted over 150 entries from around the world, with the five finalists announced earlier this year as being the following composers:
João Camacho (Portugal), Three Poems by William Blake.
Rich Campbell (US), Celebrate A New Day.
Alice Chance (Australia), The Miser and his Gold.
Danny Gray (US), Under the Night Sky (three pieces).
Lydia Jane Pugh (UK), Northern Star.
The Gala Concert featured the world premiere of the each of the composers' works, and thereafter the winner, Danny Gray, was announced. Audience favourite prize was awarded to Rich Campbell.
Following the performance of the finalist composers' works, the audience was treated to favourites such as Brahms' "Wiegenlied", striking memories of childhood; and was welcomed by conductor Noel Ancell, to sing along with the Choir to "Battle Hymn of the Republic"; a lovely inclusive gesture for young and old to enjoy.
With comical entertainment from one young boy waving to his parents in the audience, and another squeezing into his place in the row, we were joyfully reminded of how young these boys are, often forgetting this fact when listening to their skilled voices. The finale, an accidental sneeze to end the show!
A delightful Gala Concert, celebrating excellence over 75 years, that highlighted a wide-ranging repertoire of songs, and the talent and dedication of the Australian Boys Choir members, and their teachers.
The Australian Boys Choir trains boys between the ages of 7 and 10 who love to sing and wish to develop their musical potential. Auditions are held in March, June and November each year, and require an appointment. The next audition date is scheduled for November 29th, 2014. For more information, please visit the Australian Boys Choir.