This past weekend saw many of our students in Years 3 to 6 at St John’s, participate in the biennial New England Sings! Program. This program is run by NECOM and gives students the opportunity to sing in a massed choir made up of singers from many schools in the North West region.
Our students performed repertoire by contemporary Australian composers, including a set of three songs about the New England region, commissioned by NECOM, specifically for this event. The pieces are called “Remarkable”, “Gostwyck” and “Nightfires” and were written by the composer Luke Byrne.
The combined choir was privileged to work not only with Luke Byrne, but also with Paul Jarman and Mark O’Leary, who are also leading composers and conductors in Australia,
The students practised the repertoire for the concert at school and in a number of combined rehearsals during Term 3. The weekend was exciting and challenging for all students, with rehearsals on Saturday, followed by the sell-out concert on Sunday.
The primary students performed in the first half of the concert and were able to hear the Armidale Youth Orchestra play an opening work for the second half of the show. AYO then accompanied songs performed by the combined Secondary Schools choir.
The finale of the concert was a combined Primary and Secondary choir performance of the Johnny Farnham hit “You’re The Voice” again accompanied by the Armidale Youth Orchestra and also by bagpipes, played by members of the Armidale Pipe Band.
Our St Johns students worked extremely hard to learn the music from memory and they were a great credit not only to the massed choir, but also to St. John’s School and to the Armidale community.
I am sure that this experience will have created lifelong memories for our students!