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Home : About Us : Our Archive : Annual Chronicles : 2013
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2013 - our 16th year

Luminous Magnificat

For the first time, LEC commissioned more than one suite of new music in 2013. We premiered Gerard Brophy's Magnificat suite in April and Alice Chance's Aesop's Fables suite in June. We also premiered works by David Basden, Anastasia Pahos and Tom Knapp, making a total of 16 newly commissioned pieces for the year.

Another first for 2013 was the inception of the Espresso Kids choirs - up to 45 children singing in two choirs and performing at two concerts during the year.

Leichhardt Espresso Chorus and Espresso Kids performing at our Christmas Conundrum concert


Our Ristretto chamber choir gave our first performance of the year, appearing at Leichhardt Council's Classics at Callan Park in March.

The first performance for the full choir came in April with the Magnificat Luminosity concert at St James Church in Sydney. The repertoire for this concert included Magnificat by Gerard Brophy and Luminosity by James Whitbourn; a world premiere and an Australian premiere. LEC's Musical Director, Michelle Leonard, commissioned one of Australia's foremost composers, Gerard Brophy to compose Magnificat (3 movements) for this concert. It is based on the text of the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55) along with some aphoriatic Indian texts.

In June we presented a concert inspired by the classic Aesop's Fables that play such a rich part in our culture. Conceived and conducted by Michelle Leonard, the concert premiered a five-movement Aesop's Fables suite by young composer Alice Chance alongside musings on a moral paradigm by composer David Basden.

During August our chamber choir, Ristretto, was fortunate to participate in two concerts with Australia's premier vocal group: Song Company. These concerts, in Sydney and Canberra, featured a new work commissioned by Song Company to celebrate the centenary of Canberra. Howls of the House is an irreverant reflection of the workings of our Federal Parliament written by Hal Judge and Tim Hansen.

In September, LEC participated in Fire and Water, the 2013 Moorambilla Festival. For the festival Song Company was joined by the full LEC in reprising Howls of the House.

The first ever concert for our Espresso Kids choirs was our A Christmas Conundrum concert on 1 December 2013. Our Ristretto choir performed carols in Pitt Street Mall on Thursday nights as part of Christmas celebrations sponsored by the City of Sydney.

2013 Christmas Conundrum concert photo-gallery
Click on any photo to see a larger version

Leichhardt Espresso ChorusAltos
LEC and Espresso KidsBasses and Tenors

Our final concert for the year was Carols on Norton in Pioneers' Memorial Park, Leichhardt. For the first time, Michelle Leoonard was a member of our audience rather than our conductor due to her confinement prior to the birth of her fourth child. Her conducting shoes were filled extremely well by Kimbali Harding who has worked with the choir over the years as orchestral violinist, accompanist, rehearsal conductor and now concert conductor.


   March - Classics at Callan Park (Ristretto)
   April - Magnificat Luminosity
   June - Aesop's Fables
   August - Howls of the House (Ristretto)
   September - Fire and Water: the Moorambilla Festival
   November - Carols @ High Noon
   December - City of Sydney Carols (Ristretto)
   December - Carols on Norton


LEC commissioned sixteen new works in 2013. These were:
Premiere    Composer               Name

14 Apr       Gerard Brophy          Magnificat Suite (3 movements)
29 June      Alice Chance            Aesop's Fables Suite (5 movements)
               David Basden           Rococco Preludes
               David Basden           Have more than thou Showest
               David Basden           Times Glory
               David Basden           Fortune's Goodnight
               David Basden           'To See A World
               Tom Knapp              Lonesome George
1 Dec        Anastasia Pahos        A Byzantine Carol
               Alice Chance            Prayer for Harmony

Behind the scenes

We were fortunate to work with guest rehearsal conductors Kimbali Harding and Roland Peelman while Michelle Leonard was travelling for Moorambilla.

A team of volunteers bult us a lovely new set of choir risers that had been expertly designed by our long-term "roadie" Geoff Grove and Paul Raciborski.

During August, the committee considered a review by our webmaster of the myriad of information technology services that the choir relies on. Following this review a number of separate responsibilities were identified and allocated.

President: Lliane Clarke
Vice President and Artistic Director: Michelle Leonard
Secretary: Pepe Newton
Treasurer: Chris Robinson
Librarian: Georgie Cropper
Committee: Miriam Poole, Richard Goodman, Paul Raciborski, Melinda Beck

This year we welcomed a new rehearsal accompanist, Benjamin Burton.

Section Leaders
Sopranos: Suzanne Blythin and Lliane Clarke
Altos: Miriam Poole and Pepe Newton
Tenors: Rhys Hardwick Jones
Basses: Chris Robinson, Richard Goodman and Jim Fleming

New Singers

Thirty new singers joined LEC for the first time this year: Karyn Ashley, David Bernard, Lily Bonnici, Holly Brooke, John Burrow, Kathleen Carmody, Andres Criado, Caroline Crumlish, Peter Durie, Gabrielle Flax, Chloe Hardwick Jones, Rhys Hardwick Jones, Jeannette Harvey, James Lusty, Margaret Munoz, Malcolm Noble, Bali Padda, Francis Raciborski, Jennifer Roberts, Samantha Ryan, Hannah Smith, Jacqui Smith, Lucy Sunman, Oscar Sweeney, Alister Wareing, Emma Waterhouse, Bruce Welch, Rosemary Williams, Pippa Winstanley and Marilyn Zaia.