Bendigo’s Women of Note choir will be giving Melbourne audiences something to write home about today.
The 52-member choir of local women, aged between 21 and 75, will showcase the results of a year of making music and strengthening friendships.
The choir will perform from 2pm today at The Academy of Mary Immaculate, in Nicholson Street, Fitzroy. But locals need not weep if they can’t make it to the city today.
There will be a second performance in Bendigo early next month.
“It’s a culmination of our year’s work,” says choir president Gloria Balcam.
“At the start of the year we’re presented with these songs and we grow to really love them.”
This year’s typically varied repertoire includes Elvis songs, show tunes, serious choral pieces, and even the odd ditty.
The pieces are chosen by choir director Laura Dusseljee, who recently directed the Forever Young choir – that band of senior singers who filled The Capital theatre earlier this month.
Gloria says the songs Laura has chosen this year include something for everyone. And they sound magnificent.
“We sing in four-part harmonies normally and we really love it, we’ve got a fabulous sound,” she says.
“It gives me goose bumps regularly.”
Talk about goose bumps... choir members have reason to be extra excited after this week booking a trip to sing in South Africa in 2012.
Inspired by their South African director, the choir will travel overseas for the Ihlombe Choral Festival in July next year.
While there, the choir will join with a number of choirs from South Africa and beyond to share 10 days of music and cultural exchange.
It promises to be a richly rewarding experience. And one that new choir member Trish Potter would not have missed.
“I actually joined the choir because they were going,” Trish says.
“A friend asked me to come along as a supporter and I said, ‘if I’m going, I want to be singing’.”
Gloria says they will mostly sing Australian songs, bringing a little bit of Aussie culture to the festival.
“Laura is trying to teach us the clicks, but it’s not going so well,” she laughs.
“If you’ve seen The Gods Must Be Crazy, that’s what we’re learning.”
Gloria says the trip will only strengthen the wonderful friendships these women share.
“The choir is a great support for everybody. If someone hurts, we all feel it,” she says. Adding that next month, the women are about to become surrogate aunties – one of the members is expecting a baby, and in true Women of Note style, it will be another production they all celebrate.
In Bendigo, Women of Note will showcase their music on Saturday, November 3, from 2pm at Connect Church, Solomon Street, East Bendigo.
The choir is complemented by the virtuosity of accompanist, Merle Hopman, and will be joined by seven-year-old pianist Augustine Leung, by Bendigo jazz choir Blue Note, and accompanied and the Iron Women on bells.
Tickets are available from The Capital’s box office.