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This year, directed by Réka Csernyik, the Sydney University Musical Society presents the 58th Annual Festival of Lessons and Carols at the Great Hall of the University of Sydney on Sunday, the 27th of November. Within the wonderful atmosphere of the Hall, we look forward to sharing some of the old Carolfest favourites as well as some new pieces!
Join us on Saturday, the 17th of September, for our second yearly concert. Conducted by the wonderful Réka Csernyik, the Sydney University Musical Society presents an array of choral work, from medieval 14th-century pilgrim song to modern Australian bush songs by Iain Grandage, with music originating from all over the world. Held in the Hunter Baillie Memorial Presbyterian Church in Annandale, we hope to thrill and delight you as our music takes you on a Journey Through the Centuries!
Under the baton of our guest Musical Director, Anthony Pasquill, the Sydney University Musical Society presented our 57th Annual Festival of Lessons and Carols at the Great Hall of the University of Sydney on Sunday 13 December. In addition to old favourites, we sang a diverse range of repertoire heard seldom in Australia, including a number of contemporary composers such as Judith Weir, James Macmillan and Bernat Vivancos.
On Saturday 10th October, SUMS was joined by Guest Conductor Anthony Pasquill for a memorable spring evening of choral works that spanned more than five hundred years. Exploring the fascinating connection between silence and music, the concert featured Vaughan Williams’ Mass in G Minor as well as works by a wide variety of other composers, including contemporary works by Paulus, Tavener, Holst, Lauridsen, Tallis, and John Cage’s unique silent composition, 4’33”. Held in the beautiful Hunter Baillie Memorial Presbyterian Church in Annandale, both choir and audience enjoyed a spectacular repertoire of music that helped us appreciate the ways in which silence and music intertwine.
On Saturday 23 May SUMS combined with the Sydney University Symphony Orchestra (SUSO) for a fantastic performance of Mendelssohn’s Elijah in the fabulous Verbruggen Hall at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Conducted by Luke Spicer from SUSO (with Anthony Pasquill as Chorus Master for SUMS), they were joined by soloists Alexander Knight (Elijah), Rebecca Moret, Joel Scott and Anna McDougall for an electrifying performance.
The 56th Carolfest in December 2015 welcomed the brief return of previous conductor Ben MacPherson OAM, the much loved 23-year Musical Director of SUMS. Both choristers and audience alike were thrilled to have him join us for the service, with SUMS alumni returning to sing with the choir and many familiar faces reappearing in the crowd.
SUMS was also joined by our patron Chancellor Belinda Hutchinson AM, Vice-Chancellor Professor Michael Spence, and Reverend Peter Dunstan of Hunter Baillie Presbyterian Church in giving readings at the service. Held in the magnificent Great Hall, both choir and audience enjoyed celebrating the Advent season together.
On Saturday, 11th October, SUMS performed the magnificant Stella Natalis at the Hunter Baillie Memorial Presbyterian Church. Composed by Karl Jenkins, Stella Natalis featured a combination of modern carols as well as arrangements of carols from around the globe in keeping with the composer’s inclusive and universal approach to the message of music.
Supported by renowned soprano Joanna Cole and trumpeter Brian Evans, the performance was enthusiastically received by the full crowd. From the grandeur of Celebro to the drama and complexity of Wintertide, the choir enjoyed performing a more modern and challenging work.
On August 23 2014, the Sydney University Symphony Orchestra (SUSO), the Sydney University Musical Society (SUMS) and the Sydney University Wind Orchestra (SUWO) converged on the Great Hall for a showcase of the music and talent that the University of Sydney Union supports and helps prosper. This unique event was the first of its kind – although SUSO and SUMS have collaborated on many projects over the years, this was the first time with all three societies!
Conducted by David Saffir, SUSO performed Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture, Faure’s Pavane, Hindson’s RPM, and Berlioz’s “Marche au supplice” from Symphonie fantastique. SUMS performed Rutter’s For the Beauty of the Earth, “Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind”, and A Clare Benediction along with African traditional Ukuthula and Gjeilo’s Ubi Caritas, all under the baton of conductor Tim Chung. SUWO closed the show with Broughton’s Silverado, Mackey’s Foundry, and Ticheli’s Angels in the Architecture, conducted by Dr Steven Capaldo.