Despite the breath of early winter chill, the people of the district gave a warm response to the 2018 Songs of Hope choir concert, staged in front of a capacity audience in St Patrick’s Church, Boorowa, on Sunday, April 15.
The splendid atmosphere and excellent acoustics provided by this local icon along with fine singing and the selection of inspiring musical items contributed to a memorable musical occasion.
Local talent was on display as the Boorowa M&D Society choir drew on a traditional spiritual, a treasured English folk song and concluded the bracket with Peter Allen’s unofficial anthem I still Call Australia Home.
Boorowa choir member Bede Morrissey then concentrated on his other important duty as Master of Ceremonies for the proceedings, a task he achieved with his usual self-effacing, practised ease.
A well loved performer, Julie O’Connor from Harden, then combined with Rugby Choir musical director Rachel Campbell to sing two duets.
The voices of these two singers blended to produce a splendid effect, especially in the second piece, which was the Flower Duet by Leo Delibes.
Making a return appearance after reorganisation, the Hilltops choir from Young, led by the flamboyant Rodney Clancy, presented an outstanding bracket of classical pieces, concluding with the whole audience on its feet, singing the timeless Hallelujah Chorus, from Handel’s Messiah.
Another choir to make a return appearance was the Gospel Folk combination from Canberra.
Under new musical director Clinton White, the choir contributed new arrangements of gospel and traditional numbers.
At the end of the bracket, retiring Musical director Brian Triglone took over, to make his Boorowa ‘swansong’ with two pieces, including the rollicking Babylon, which is loved by gospel singers and supporters of every hue.
His long association with the Canberra choir has earned Brian the title of ‘Musical Emeritus’ among his colleagues.
A new feature of the Boorowa concert consisted of two congregational hymns, Hail Redeemer, King Divine, and How Great Thou Art, which were led, with her usual qualified aplomb, by Rachel Campbell.
Julie O’Connor then made a second appearance on the programme, with a version of the Lord is My Shepherd by Howard Goodall, and a soprano aria from Handel’s great work, the Messiah.
The Australian Rugby Choir completed the outstanding programme with what Rachel Campbell referred to as four ‘love songs’, including the devotional Ave Verum Corpus, John Denver’s popular Annie’s Song, and the universally loved Danny Boy.
At the conclusion of the concert MC Bede Morrissey expressed special thanks to the Bendigo Community Bank for financial support, and to the St Patrick’s Parish Council for allowing the use of such a wonderful venue.
President of the Young-Boorowa Can Assist committee, Gail Hanigan, indicated that donations associated with the concert and ticket sales from the raffle had resulted in a financial boost to her organisation’s coffers of about $3500.