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Festival’s great success

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March 15, 2018

Dhungala Children’s Choir with Conductor Deborah Cheetham AO.

Sacred Heart Primary School Choir performing on Saturday.

The Festival of 1000 Voices will be back again next year following its very successful first event.

Event committee member Charney Brown said the Yarrawonga Town Hall rang to the sounds of choirs singing superbly after their extensive Masterclasses with Dr Jonathon Welch AM.
“Ostinato from Wangaratta, Nathalia Community Choir, our own Sacred Heart Primary School Choir and Lakeside Voices, began the Saturday evening program with heartfelt songs such as Autumn Morning in Bunyip, Turn Turn Turn, You Raise Me Up and many more in a variety of genres,” Charney Brown said.
“Jonathon Welch’s The Cho!r filled the hall stage and delighted us with songs ranging from David Bowie’s Major Tom to a sublime rendition of The Pond, a contemporary choral work written by the Australian composer, Stephen Leek. This unique piece featured vocalists imitating a variety of musical sounds, including an unmistakeable didgeridoo.
“The Sunday afternoon sell-out concert featured the charming Indigenous Dhungala Children’s Choir singing original songs of reconciliation, composed by Deborah Cheetham AO.
“Deborah, who conducted and sang, inspired us with her sincerity and dedication. She was deeply moved to be performing on Yorta Yorta land, her grandmother’s land.
“Following Intermission, in 36 degree heat, The Choir of Hard Knocks brought the full hall to tears with their moving rendition of “Hallelujah”.”
Charney said their performance of a range of songs, some specially written for them by Conductor Dr Jonathon Welch AM, was heartfelt and deeply moving.
The spectacular finale of this inaugural Festival of 1000 Voices featured a Massed Choir of at least 150 choristers who filled the stage and flowed onto the floor. All choirs came together in a magnificent culmination of the weekend’s intensive Masterclasses and rehearsals.
“Featured was a World Premiere of Deborah Cheetham’s specially commissioned composition Wamadaman Dhungala, Upon the Dhungala (Murray River),” Charney said.
”It lifted the roof and filled the Town Hall with joyous and magnificent song. The subtle connection between 1000 Voices of the festival and the opening line, can you hear the voices of a thousand generations, was not lost on anyone.
“Dr Jonathon Welch AM, and his team created an unforgettable experience for all who attended. Jonathon was delighted and expressed the feeling that this would be the first of many festivals.”
The Festival of 1000 Voices Committee thanked the people of Yarrawonga for embracing this festival, which is now confirmed for May 17–19, 2019.

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