City Meets Country Choral Weekend A Huge Success

Dr Sarah Penicke Smith (Principal Conductor of the Macquarie Singers) with Rodney Clancy (Musical Director of the Hilltops Choir).
Dr Sarah Penicke Smith (Principal Conductor of the Macquarie Singers) with Rodney Clancy (Musical Director of the Hilltops Choir).
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After a meet/greet light lunch, the visiting Sydney-based Macquarie Singers, the local Hilltops Choir and members of the Cowra Vocal Ensemble commenced their first workshop. Many ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ floated down from the Flamingo Room in the Services Club as the group of 94 singers fine-tuned their breathing and singing of vowel sounds.

Dr Sarah Penicke-Smith (Principal Conductor of the Macquarie Singers), complete with her tuning fork, soon had the large group singing the Maori Fishing Song and the traditional Celtic farewell ‘The Parting Glass’ in four-part harmony. This was an amazing feat for the group as all three choirs are non-auditioned and welcome all newcomers.

Following the afternoon tea break, Hilltops Choir Musical Director Rodney Clancy, with accompanist Stewart Bruce, guided the choristers through Billy Joel’s “And So It Goes”. In the evening, everyone gathered for a meal followed by an open mike session with visitors and locals entertained with bush poetry, drama, humour, singing and some instrumental items.

Sunday morning saw the choristers at their third workshop with 5 hours of tutoring now under their belt. This led, after lunch, to the afternoon public concert with around 100 in the audience. Macquarie Singers and Hilltops Choir both sang song selections from their repertoires, followed by the three combined workshopped items which left the audience spellbound.

The Macquarie Singers, having intentionally used local accommodation rather than billeting to assist the local economy, added to their generosity by donating a considerable sum to the local suicide prevention group.

Thanks go to the Young S & C Club for providing rehearsal space, catering, performance venue and support. If district folk would like to join the Hilltops Choir which rehearses on Monday evenings in Young, please contact Tracey on 0418 672 622.

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