The Sydney Chamber Choir has has a new Music Director Sam Allchurch. This is after the recent passing of its long time and much loved Music Director Richard Gill. Sam is picking up the baton with his debut concert Saturday week, 30th March at the Great Hall, Sydney University. Music lovers are in for a treat. Mr Allchurch shared his thoughts about the first program he has curated.
“Taking on the mantle of musical director of Sydney Chamber is a very exciting prospect for a choral conductor – something akin to be handed the keys to a Rolls-Royce!
To begin our time together, for my first concert as Music Director, I was keen to perform one of the great motets of JS Bach, Singet dem Herren ‘Sing to the Lord a new song’. This is a tour de force of virtuoso choir writing and one of my favourite pieces: joyful and ebullient in its outer movements and beautifully reflective in the slow middle movement. I was also drawn to Singet by the skill of the singers in Sydney Chamber Choir, one of the few ensembles in Australia who can tackle music of this complexity.
I designed a program of music which is about music. In some cases this is obvious – from the Italian Renaissance, Palestrina’s Kyrie from Missa ut re mi fa so la is based on the major scale and Elliott Gyger’s ut queant laxis picks up on the same idea.
In other cases, the link is more subtle – Joseph Twist’s How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land? and William Byrd’s Quomodo cantabimus set singing as a means of consolation in difficult times – Twist in contemporary Australia and Byrd in 16th century England. Twist’s piece combines the Latin psalm text with poetry of Oodgeroo Noonuccal to make us think about the relationship between what we are singing and where we are singing it. Continue reading SAM ALLCHURCH PICKS UP RICHARD GILL’S BATON WITH HIS DEBUT CONCERT