Camaraderie at the National Eisteddfod – Choirs result in

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AUDIENCES were treated to a welcome display of camaraderie at the Australian Open Choral Challenge held by the Australian National Eisteddfod in Llewellyn Hall on Saturday, as rival groups cheered and applauded their peers.

Waratah Girls Choir on stageon  Saturday
Waratah Girls Choir on stageon Saturday

Although the main prize of $3000 in the open challenge went to the Waratah Girls’ Choir from Newcastle, adjudicator Marianne Rigby-Black was quick to point out the “breathtaking” quality of all the choirs on show, as she outlined  her focus on intonation, balance expression and degree of difficulty in judging the finalists.

Ms Rigby-Black drew special attention to Sydney’s Shine Chorus, a large group of choristers drawn from the Korean community, which focuses on sacred music. The quality of the conducting by Jung Hye Kim and the sheer quality of their work she thought augured  well for the  future of multicultural participation in competitions.
Squeals and cries of excitement emanated from the Waratah choir as, by process of elimination, they realise they were going to win.

The choir of 26 girls, which regularly participates in the National Eisteddfod, won the Challenge with three contrasting works – “Drought” by Stephen Leek (who now lives in Canberra), “Sansai a Dori” (a traditional Japanese folksong) and the jazz standard “Blue Skies”, jusged to be at the same level as leading groups in the national Choralfest.

The Shine Chorus
The Shine Chorus

Canberra’s entertaining Brindabella Chorus won second place, with Kompactus Youth Choir and Shine Chorus both given highly commended mentions. Waratah Girls’ Choir also won the Open Popular Choirs and Open Contemporary Choirs sections.

The other section winners were:

Canberra choirs – Luminescence Chamber Singers (Open Choral Group), Radford College Camerata (20 Years and Under Championship and Open Sacred Choirs), ANU Vocal Fry Junior and Senior High Fries (ACT 20 Years and Under Choirs), ACT Primary Concert Choir (12 Years and Under Championship) and The Harmonic Means (Open Australia-Britain Choirs).

In the School aged sections, which are not  competitive, the ACT Primary Concert Choir and Radford College Chorale were both given Platinum awards for outstanding performance.

While awaiting the adjudication,  Australian National Eisteddfod Sylvia Tulloch stressed the importance of enjoyment in the annual event.

The full list of results is as follows:

Australian Open Choral Challenge

1st Place: Waratah Girls Choir

2nd Place: Brindabella Chorus

Highly Commended: Kompactus Youth Choir and Shine Chorus

Open Choral Group (up to 15 members)

1st Place: Luminescence Chamber Singers

2nd Place: Debacle Quartet

Highly Commended: ANU Vocal Senior High Fries

20 Years and Under Championship

1st Place: Radford College Camerata

Highly Commended: ANU Vocal Fry Senior High and Deep Fried Fries

12 Years and Under Championship

1st Place: ACT Primary Concert Choir

2nd Place: Barker College Copeland Choir

Highly Commended: Radford College Vox

1st Place: ANU Vocal Fry Junior and Senior High Fries

Open Sacred Choirs

1st Place: Radford College Camerata

2nd Place: Waratah Girls Choir

Highly Commended: Strange Weather Gospel Choir

Open Popular Choirs

1st Place: Waratah Girls Choir

2nd Place: Brindabella Chorus

Highly Commended: Andante Andante

1st Place: Waratah Girls Choir

Open Australia-Britain Choirs

1st Place: The Harmonic Means (Australian Bureau of Statistics)

Primary School Age Choirs (Years K-2)

The Anglican School Googong Choir – Gold award

Primary School Age Choirs (Years 5-6)

Canberra Grammar Primary School CGS Singers – Silver award

Queanbeyan Public School Choir – Gold Award

ACT Primary Concert Choir – Platinum Award

Primary School Age Choirs (Kindergarten to Year 6)

Barker College Copeland Choir (Primary/High School Age) – Gold Award

High School Age Choirs (Years 7-10)

Lyneham High Voices – Gold Award

Gold Creek School Vocal Group – Bronze Award

High School/College Age Choirs (Years 7-12)

Daramalan College (High School/College Age) – Silver Award

Radford College Chorale (High School/College Age) – Platinum Award

ACT Music Educators Network Conductor Development Award: Prudence Harrison (Queanbeyan Public School Choir).


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