03 July 2013

Echoes of last year

It was almost exactly the first anniversary of Echo Voices Choir when I saw them the other day. It was also Canada day, which has relevance given some members are Canadians. They were signing for the C100 Musical Offering. This was not a long concert, but it was not without its challenges. I took away that they are a plucky outfit. It’s a community choir so I didn’t expect too many challenges, but this performance had a world premiere of a new work written by assistant director Crystal Muller, another arrangement by Crystal and one of Scarborough Fair by another of the members, Belinda Weiss. They may be un-auditioned, but there are several trained or training performers here, so they must enjoy the challenge. Crystal studies composition at UCAN, Director Leonard is an ANU student who I see regularly leading various ensembles and his sister Belinda is in a Music prep program for ANU. I think this was a totally new program. Crystal’s original surprised me with some very challenging male counterpoint of long, contorted intervals: a considerable challenge for the choir and an interesting composition. Scarborough Fair is well known and Belinda’s arrangement was smoother so easier on the choir, and a lovely, unexpected treatment. The others were a Canadian traditional song, Farewell to Nova Scotia, arranged by Crystal, an English traditional song, The oak and the ash, Blake’s Walking in the air and Jenkin’s Adiemus. My favourite from these was probably The oak and the ash which the choir performed with comfort. Short but sweet and with some original creations. Congratulations.

Echo Voices Community Choir is led by Leonard Wiess (conductor, director) with Crystal Muller (assistant conductor, director). Members are: Karen Dahl, Jenny Grierson, Linda Jeer and Angela Lunau (sopranos), Ada Goldsmith, Clare Smith and Belinda Weiss (altos), John Curmi and Crystal Muller (tenors) and Mark Evans, Phil Malcolm and Stephen Shott (basses).

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