Oriana scoops pool at Eisteddfod
Well we’re all very excited after cleaning up at the annual Heritage Queensland Eisteddfod held over Easter. This 118 year old festival of music attracts choirs from all over South East Queensland and Oriana was declared Champion Choir for the 2nd time in only 5 years of competing after scoring an unprecedented 40 out of a possible 42 points! Winning First Place in 7 out of 9 entered competitions, we’ve returned home with a swag of trophies and big smiles on our faces. The event began on Friday afternoon with the Small Ensemble section (16 voice) and continued on Friday evening with Sacred and Madrigal competitions for the full choir. Our performances went really well, and we felt we’d sung our best. Adjudicator Andrew Wailes, Musical Director of the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra commented, "Impressive attention to detail and great focus throughout led to a virtuosic performance," and of our Madrigals said, "It is rare to hear such a large choir perform madrigals to such a high standard." Three for three at the close of Friday's proceedings and we were understandably excited, but retained our focus for the next day's items which would be gruelling and hotly contested. Saturday afternoon began well with the Men's Chorus winning the Welsh Hymn event and the Ladies' Chorus retained our trophy first won last year. Adjudicator David Wakeham, an internationally renowned British based Australian Baritone, declared of our performance, "Beautiful mix of harmony. Thank you. What more can I say – fantastic!" With Oriana now five for five, the Men's Chorus took the stage and although we sang our best, the competition was stiff and we were awarded third place. But the toughest competitions were yet to come. Saturday evening's events of the Modern Chorus and Chief Choral are highly coveted awards with the Modern a popular favourite amongst many singers and the winner of the Chief Choral being awarded Champion Conductor as well. Oriana sang Barry Manilow's, One Voice in the modern section and Adjudicator Andrew Wailes commented, when awarding us First Place once again, "A very polished and sophisticated reading of a Manilow classic." And the success was to continue with Oriana winning First in the Chief Choral. Mr Wailes said of our performance, "Excellent. Bravo to all. Great conductor. Great choir." Our brilliant Musical Director, Daniel Pamenter-Calder was presented with the Conductor's award along with the Grand Champion Choir cup and the Lindsay Statham Memorial Challenge Trophy. No time to rest on our laurels though. As Daniel said, our next Eisteddfod will be the Llangollen International Eisteddfod in Wales! As Champion Choir we’re now set to represent the Sunshine Coast on the world stage as we continue preparations for our International Tour in July 2012, which will see us not only compete for the title of 'Choir of the World', but perform at St Paul's Cathedral and St Martin in the Fields in London and locations in Paris, Brussels and Bruges.