In December 2013 SUMS performed their 55th Annual Festival of Lessons and Carols, aka Carolfest. Set in the beautiful sandstone Great Hall of Sydney University, and making use of its magnificent organ, SUMS presented two very different Carolfest concerts!
The first was a family-friendly affair, to which kids of all ages (including grown up kids!) are were warmly welcomed. Later, as the sun went down, SUMS presented a more traditional concert styled after the King’s College Festival of Lessons and Carols.
On September 29th at the Hunter Baillie Presbyterian Church, SUMS performed works by Mozart and Vivaldi. We were joined by two fabulous singers from the Melbourne Opera company: soprano Joanna Cole and mezzo-soprano Sally-Anne Russell, and were accompanied by a full string orchestra.
The concert opened with Vivaldi’s Gloria, the composer’s magnum opus and one of the Baroque period’s most celebrated choral works. The Gloria also showcased the skills of our renowned soloists. This was followed by three works by Mozart: Laudate Dominum, Missa Brevis in B flat K. 275 & Ave Verum Corpus. These beautiful liturgical works presented a rich mosaic of sounds and styles representing the pinnacle of classical music.
On the first of June SUMS went Back to Bach! They performed Bach’s Magnificat and Cantata 196 – there could be no more appropriate name for Bach’s tour de force than “Magnificat”, which in this concert was coupled with a joyful cantata written for a wedding. For this concert our five-part chorus was joined by a 22 piece orchestral ensemble in order to properly do justice to the majesty and beauty of the music. Held in Hunter Baillie Presbyterian Church, a big crowd turned out to see Australia’s oldest secular choir perform these seminal Baroque works!
In December 2012, SUMS celebrated the Christmas season with their 54th Annual Carolfest concert. In long standing tradition, the concert was held in the majestic Sydney University Great Hall.
With readings by Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir and other special guests, the program featured a variety of works, from Berlioz to Britten, Bach to Rachmininov. Old favourites and new endeavours combined to bring all a night of beautiful Christmas music.
At the beginning of June 2012, SUMS performed Verdi’s spectacular Requiem. This landmark piece is universally recognised as one of the greatest requiems ever written and is a staple amongst the choral repetoire of the romantic period. The choir was joined by the Choir and Symphony Orchestra of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music for two nights in the Vebrugghen Hall at the Conservatorium in what was an unmissable concert.
Featuring the New South Wales Police Band and held in the spectacular Sydney University Great Hall, Carolfest 2011 was a night to remember. A programme of older favourites and newer, festively themed songs from around the globe combined with a great atmosphere and a fabulous sound from the choir and the Police Band to give a great beginning to the Christmas period.
In this sublime concert, the Sydney University Musical Society presented music by a variety of composers, such as Duruflé’s Requiem, and works by Purcell and Gabrielli. Conducted by Margot McLaughlin and accompanied by the New England Sackbuts and David Drury on organ, the program was a feast to the ears in the fantastic surrounds of the Great Hall within the University of Sydney.
In May, SUMS performed Rutter’s Requiem and Haydn’s Missa Brevis Sancti Joannis de Deo – other wise known as the Little Organ Mass. Rutter’s sublime harmonies and Haydn’s moving mass were experienced by an appreciative audience in the Sydney Grammar Big School. Alice Girle performed the solos beautifully and it was a wonderful concert.
Carolfest 2010 was held in the Sydney University Great Hall. Notable guests included SUMS Patrons Her Excellency Marie Bashir and Anne Boyd. The music moved some audience members to tears with a variety of traditional, foreign and modern carols performed.
In September 2010, SUMS performed Faure’s Requiem & Vivaldi’s Gloria in the Sydney University Great Hall. The enthusiasm of the singers was once more a highlight, and using a smaller orchestra was met with delight by both chorister and audience alike.