The ABCI is incredibly fortunate to enjoy an ongoing collaboration with SAE Creative Media Institute.
Choir parent Gareth Parton, SAE’s Audio Department Co-ordinator, brokered the collaboration to impart ‘real world’ learning opportunities for SAE students while generating invaluable archival recordings of ABCI performances.
Recordings of 2021’s glorious Requiem for an Empress concert can be accessed via Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/australian-boys-choir.
We look forward to sharing recordings of The Vocal Consort’s recent Journeyings concert very soon. In the meantime, you can read a review of this performance below!
A global, musical-mystery tour was the perfect antidote to two years of lockdowns and isolation, and the ideal launch for the Australian Boys Choral Institute 2022 concert season. The Vocal Consort, supported by the Institute’s two groups for teenaged singers – the Kelly Gang and Cambiata – were just the men to lead that journey.
Featuring some of Consort’s favourite repertoire, alongside titles from their second CD release of the same name, Journeyings drew an appreciative audience to Our Lady of Victories Basilica, Camberwell, on the evening of Thursday 7 April.
Setting out from England with Ralph Vaughan Williams’ The Vagabond, TVC went on to encapsulate a brave new world with perhaps the most swashbuckling rendition of The Mulligan Musketeers performed by the group yet, before floating back to Ireland with the beguiling Beati Quorum Via by Charles Villiers Standford.
Singing in languages other than English is a skill TVC members handle with aplomb, as evidenced through many of the pieces performed during the evening. However, Dan Bower's mastery of Gaelic as soloist in Dúlamán was particularly noteworthy, elevating the piece beyond the genre of folk music to impressive new heights.
Old favourites such as the traditional songs Swansea Town, Shenandoah, and Loch Lomond, with the vocal stlyings of Old Boy and Teacher-in-Charge of the ABCI Cambiata Training Group Jack Jordan leading the charge, were justifiably well received. And a firm new favourite, Romanian-born György Orbán’s devilish and slightly terrifying Daemon Irrepit Callidus, captivated.
The young men of the Kelly Gang were also given space to shine, frolicking in New Zealand with David Hamilton’s Poem about the Sun Slinking Off and Pinning Up a Notice, before hopping back across the ditch to Australia for one of their favourite pieces, Lachlan Tigers as arranged by Trevor Jones, and finishing their set admirably with Timothy Takach’s energetic Go from his Three Songs for Young Men.
The evening concluded with a powerful, massed choir of 50 male voices – a rare treat for Melbourne – with Cambiata singers joining The Vocal Consort and Kelly Gang on stage. Keep Your Lamps, underpinned by Consort stalwart Stuart Webb on percussion, and peppered with calls and cries from Clyde Saniga, Josh Vass, Alex Ritter and Jack Jordan, demonstrated the group’s stunning adaptability, before they closed the program with the hauntingly beautiful Frobisher Bay, echoing from the far reaches of the Canadian Labrador Sea.
The encore, Molitva za Ukrainu (Prayer for Ukraine), sung in Ukrainian, was a final, poignant symbol of music’s power to transcend borders and to unite.
The ABCI is indeed fortunate to have a plethora of musical talent on hand to inspire and mentor its younger singers, and to deliver such commanding performances.
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