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Home : About Us : Our Archive : Annual Chronicles : 2010
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2010 - our 13th year

Six big programs in one year

During 2010 we performed six separate programs and premiered nine new songs that we had commissioned. We also recorded six Christmas songs and, for the first time, made them available for sale and download by the track. We moved to our new rehearsal and performance venue and bought a new grand piano with the help of our fantastic supporters. Oh, and Colin Currey confirmed his potential as a gentle comedian with his star turn as MC of our Carols @ High Noon concert.

Performances

Our year got off to a very early start as we became "The Tattoo choir" over three nights in February for the legendary Edinburgh Military Tattoo at the Sydney Football stadium. Michelle mastered the art of conducting blind and backwards while the choir braved the elements on the battlements. 

Then, a few short weeks later we presented the first two concerts at our new home: the Italian Cultural Centre in the Leichhardt Forum. These Beyond Bach concerts featured the world premiere of the five-song cycle Such Country based on Australian explorer Ludwig Leichhardt. Composer Luke Byrne (our accompanist) juxtaposed the explorers European backgrounds and attitudes (and the music of JS Bach) with their reactions to the  extremities of the new country that they encountered. We also presented the world premieres of two other works that we commissioned for this concert. Firstly, Simplify, Simplify by Andrew Schultz and secondly The Birds by local composer David Basden. 

Carmina @ Carriageworks was the name of our mid-year concert in late June. Set in the huge foyer at Carriageworks in Darlington, Carl Orff's stirring Carmina Burana was a huge artistic and popular success. Audience feedback was incredible positive in relation to the orchestra, soloists, both choirs and about the appropriateness of the venue itself. 
We continued our role as choir-in-residence for the Coming Home program at the annual Moorambilla Festival in north-western NSW in late September. LEC premiered three new songs that we commissioned for the festival: Ave Maria and Processional by David Basden and Moorambilla Dawn by Gerard Brophy. We also participated with the Moorambilla Voices choirs in the world premiere of Guardians of the Gorge by Dan Walker. 

Our chamber choir, Ristretto, was very active this year, with paying gigs for the South African Tourism Board, the QANTAS Christmas Appeal, the Woollahra Festival and a 21st birthday. The photo gallery below is from the Woollahra Festival gig. Click on any photo to see it full size.

Sopranos and BassesBillie McCarthy and RistrettoTenors and AltosOn stage at the Woolahra Festival

We wanted to record the various Christmas songs that we had commissioned over the last few years, so we decided to do it in front of a live audience at our new home, the Italian Cultural Centre. The Carols @ High Noon program was hosted by our own Colin Currie as Master of Ceremonies (while doubling as one of the tenor section)! Colin's patter was so good that we included it on the CDs. And the songs came out well too; an added bonus! You can buy them for just $1.50 per track here.

This put us in good voice for the annual Carols on Norton concert in Pioneers Memorial Park. Unfortunately, after a great sound check, the threatening storm suddenly broke and the downpour washed us out of the park and into the Leichhardt Town Hall for a cut down concert that was, nevertheless, enjoyed by a standing-room only audience. 

2010 Carols on Norton in the Leichhardt Town Hall - click on any photo to show the gallery full size

Colin CurrieDamien BeaumontMichelle LeonardBasses and AltosIggy approachesDamien announces
Iggy and MumNot bored; listening!Treble soloistsGlamourous Billie McCarthySoulful Billie McCarthyPlayful Billie McCarthy
Powerful Billie McCarthyTreble choirSome sopranos and a bassAltosLEC

   February - Edinburgh Military Tattoo
   March - Beyond Bach
   June - Carmina @ Carriageworks
   September - Coming Home: the Moorambilla Festival
   November - Carols @ High Noon
   December - Carols on Norton

Commissions

LEC commissioned nine new songs and co-commissioned one in 2010. These were:
Premiere    Composer               Name
2010                                                                                           
27 March     Luke Byrne              Such Country suite (5 movements)
                    David Basden           The Birds
                    Andrew Schultz        Simplify, Simplify
18 Sep        Gerard Brophy          ^ Moorambilla Dawn
                    David Basden           Ave Maria
                    David Basden           Processional
                         ^ Co-commissioned with Moorambilla Voices

Recordings released

We released six Christmas songs for sale by track download through this website. You can hear excerpts of each song by clicking on the song's title - and see other details about the song as well. 

  • Ride Away (5:35 minutes) $1.82  Tell A Friend

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  • Hodie Christus Natus Est (3:36 minutes) $1.82  Tell A Friend

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  • What Can You See (2:36 minutes) $1.82  Tell A Friend

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  • Billies Song trumpet (3:17 minutes) $1.82  Tell A Friend

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  • Almost Christmas Day (4:01 minutes) $1.82  Tell A Friend

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  • I Love Christmas (6:14 minutes) $1.82  Tell A Friend

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  • The First Christmas (3:41 minutes) $1.82  Tell A Friend

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  • Silent Night (4:51 minutes) $1.82  Tell A Friend

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  • Billies Song sax (3:13 minutes) $1.82  Tell A Friend

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Behind the scenes

The committee decided to move to a new home at The Forum for rehearsals and some performances. It was felt that this move would help to raise the choir's profile as a serious arts organisation in Sydney. In order to move to our new rehearsal and performance venue at the Italian Cultural Centre we needed to procure a piano. Thanks to our administration and our supporters, we raised $8,300 and were able to buy a new grand piano that is also available at The Forum for the use of other members of the community (by arrangement). 

For the first time this year LEC employed a paid Event Organiser: Mark Robinson for Carmina@Carriageworks. This move recognised that, where the concert budget allows, this onerous task is best undertaken by a specialist.

Committee
President: Lliane Clarke
Vice President and Artistic Director: Michelle Leonard
Secretary: Pepe Newton
Treasurer: Chris Robinson
Committee: Mark Robinson, Miriam Poole, Richard Goodman, Jim Fleming

Section Leaders

Sopranos: Margaret Grove, Suzanne Blythin and Lliane Clarke
Altos: Miriam Poole and Pepe Newton
Tenors: Mark Robinson
Basses: Chris Robinson, Richard Goodman and Jim Fleming

New Singers

The following singers joined LEC for the first time this year: Adriana Adamo, Maree Ancich, Jock Baird, Jennie Bazell, Melinda Beck, Jenny Birrell, Georgina Crawford, Jane Eriksen, Anna Fenech, Kerry Gilbert, Emily Groves, Barbara Hearne, Fiona Kerin, Kim Knox-Thurn, Julie Koppi, Felicity Malins, John Marshall, Sara Marshall, Susan McCarthy, Kathryn Morgan, Margaret O'Connor, Elizabeth Pike, Wendy Preston, Susan Quine, Michelle Rollins, Renea Sildatke, Lesley Survela, Marcus Testoni, Judy Tonkin, Pat Veenendaal, Norman Vincent, Alison Weaver, Vara Whale, Louise Williams, Bo Xu, Yun Zhang.

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