Meriden’s Senior Singers hit the high note

14 August 2014

The breathtaking performance by Meriden’s Senior Singers at the Australasian Championship for Youth Choir earned the Singers second place in the grand final event of the 2014 Sydney Eisteddfod.

Meriden won the right to perform in the Championship after placing first in the Sacred/Gospel section and third in the Under 19 Female Youth section of the Sydney Eisteddfod rounds. Only the top three place-getters in each of the five choral sections of the Eisteddfod are invited to perform in the Australasian Championship for Youth Choir. For this reason, the standard of the final was extremely high and comprised a varied and contrasting program.

The Senior Singers performed under the direction of Mrs Jodie Spooner-Ryan and were accompanied by Mr Anthony Baldwin on piano.

Senior Singers Captain, Rachael Whitford, describes the atmosphere of the final: “We were listed as seventh on the program so we had the chance to see the other choirs perform.After witnessing their polished performances and the excellent quality of their voices, we were all very nervous. But we were excited, too, knowing that we loved our pieces and knew them exceptionally well.”

“We opened with a compulsory Australian piece, Rain Dream, which is about a boy in the outback who has never seen rain. The song slowly develops into chanting ‘Wandjina’ (Rain Spirit) to bring the rain. We followed this piece with Psalm 8, accompanied by our amazing violinist, Amanda Chen. Mrs Spooner-Ryan had briefed us in the warm-up room about expression and carrying the emotion of the piece and each girl gave it her all. As Amanda played her final note, and the last chord rang out on the piano, there was absolute stillness in the auditorium. We felt that we had sung well but we were overwhelmed to learn that we received the Runners Up Award,” Rachael said.

Following their success at the Championships, the Senior Singers have been invited to perform at the prestigious Australasian Choral Grand Prix on 24 August.

It has been a memorable year for Meriden’s singers. In June, Tapestry of Cultures, a concert of world music for choral and chamber ensembles, was met with critical acclaim by the Meriden community. Traditional and contemporary works from Africa, Japan, Serbia, America, Brazil, India, Ireland, Israel, Spain, Argentina and Australia were performed by the Intermediate and Senior Singers and soloists, accompanied by the School’s many accomplished instrumentalists.