The Auburn Uniting Church reverberated to the wondrous sounds of the Maroondah Singers as we presented our Annual Concert on Sunday September 10. An appreciative audience thoroughly enjoyed a rich and varied program in one of Melbourne’s best musical spaces, with songs with a Latin feel, from the movies, musicals and spirituals.
They thrilled to the talent of 2017 Vocal Scholar James Emerson, fresh from wining the Conductor’s Prize at the recent RMP Aria competition who sang Mozart’s Non Piu Andral and a high energy version of If I were a rich man from Fiddler on the Roof which marvellously complemented the choir’s rendition of Sunrise, Sunset (with Sabbath Prayer).
He also joined the choir and our chorister Nadia Migliardi in a stirring version of the Swedish number Give Me My Song, with music and arrangement jointly written by Benny Andersson of Abba fame. Nadia also enchanted the audience with her version of Art Is Calling Me from Victor Herbert’s comic opera, The Enchantress, and also led the choir in the singing of the Ennio Morricone classic Nella Fantasia.
The artistry of accompanist/guest artist John Atwell was on full display when he played the church’s historic organ built and installed in 1889 to the music of Mendelssohn (from the incidental music to Athalie) and Arthur Sullivan (The Last Chord).
Jenny Mathers contributed her musical talents with the percussion (to River, from the film The Mission and Chili Caliente, a Latin treat) and clarinet (to Sunrise, Sunset).
The choir showed its versatility, so encouraged by our Musical Director Lyn Henshall, from the toe-tapping classics such as New York New York and And All That Jazz and Blame it on the Bossa Nova to the gentle and moving How Can I Keep From Singing? (how appropriate for a choir like ours) and Fields of Gold. That’s not forgetting classics such as Amazing Grace (gospel version), Deep River and Hallelujah, the joyous Every Time I Feel the Spirit and Esta Es el Tiempo.