The Chapel Choir enjoyed a wonderful tour this summer of the East Coast of Australia, beginning in Newcastle just north of Sydney, and travelling down through Sydney, Canberra and various other places before finishing in Melbourne. The group arrivedin Newcastle with their first concert in Newcastle Cathedral the following day, so after a day of battling the jet lag, a sleepy first rehearsal and a long sleep the choir explored the coastline and performed their first concert together. Continuing down with a concert in Gosford, the choir reached Sydney. Based at St. Francis, Paddington, the choir sang a Eucharist and a concert at this venue, as well as a concert at St John’s College, part of the University of Sydney, and a meal kindly provided by the college.
The choir enjoyed a much needed day off in Sydney, exploring the Rocks, the Opera House and Botanical Gardens, the Harbour and beaches such as Bondi and Manly. Several choir members shocked locals by jumping into the sea at every opportunity; 20 degrees isn’t particularly wintry for us…
As the choir travelled further south, the weather certainly changed. After a packed concert in Paramatta Cathedral, the choir reached Katoomba in the Blue Mountains. Greeted from the train with icy winds and temperatures of between 2 and 10 degrees over our two day stop, we persevered with a game of choir football, ending in a Can victory with star countertenor Max McGinley contracting a knee injury of some kind. Nonetheless, he powered through our day off spent walking through the amazing surroundings of the Blue Mountains. With two nights in a hostel all together the choir cooked a meal en masse and tried to keep warm by the fire – no one was prepared for the conditions!
After a few more concerts in Bathurst and Goulburn, the choir reached Canberra, with two contrasting concerts at Wesley Uniting Church and a lovely lunchtime concert at the Canberra Museum and Gallery. Although there was not a huge amount of time to explore, the choir found much out from their hosts about the history of the city and its interesting planning, and many were taken up some hills to see the city from above in all its glory.
With a short stopover in Wagga Wagga including a local television interview for our organ scholars and tour organisers, the choir sang a very well received concert and travelled onward to Albury. The concert was packed, newspaper articles were everywhere, and the choir gave their first rendition of the encore ‘Waltzing Matilda’ to a hugely appreciative audience! Finally the choir moved onward to Melbourne. A lovely concert at St Peters, Eastern Hill and a night in a hostel for their final stay gave the choir a chance to explore the city and relax after an incredibly busy tour. The Botanical Gardens, Cricket Ground and great shopping kept the choir amused after a farewell brunch before their evening flight home.
The choir tour was an incredible experience, and allowed the choir to touch base with many alumni of the college, as well as the Master Elect, Professor Jane Stapleton. Our reputation as an excellent choir preceded us with ticket sales booming throughout the tour, with pre-sales where they were provided excellent and on the door sales consistently good. Many venues were packed, with some audience members standing at the back. Some wonderful feedback about the quality of the singing made all of the hard work and jetlag more than worth it, and CDs flew off the shelves.
Thanks to all who supported the tour in any way, attended concerts at the below locations and especially to those who hosted the choir – we couldn’t have done it without you!
Wednesday 29th June - Christ Church Cathedral, Newcastle. Concert
Thursday 30th June - Gosford Anglican Church, Gosford. Concert
Friday 1st July - Holy Name Parish Church, Wahroonga. Concert
Saturday 2nd July - St John's College, Sydney. Concert
Sunday 3rd July - St Francis Church, Paddington. Mass and Concert
Tuesday 5th July - St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Paramatta. Concert
Wednesday 6th July – St Hilda’s Church, Katoomba. Concert
Friday 8th July - All Saint’s Cathedral, Bathurst. Concert
Saturday 9th July - St. Saviour’s Cathedral, Goulburn. Concert
Sunday 10th July - St Saviour’s Cathedral, Goulburn. Eucharist
Sunday 10th July - Wesley Uniting Church, Canberra. Concert (1)
Monday 11th July - Canberra Museum and Gallery, Canberra. Lunchtime concert
Monday 11th July - Wesley Uniting Church, Canberra. Concert (2)
Tuesday 12th July – St. John’s Anglican Church, Wagga Wagga. Concert at 7.00pm
Wednesday 13th July - St. Matthew’s Church, Albury. Concert at 7.30pm
Thursday 14th July - St. Peter’s Church, Melbourne. Concert at 7.30pm