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Channeling Ned Kelly at rehearsals...

Oriana’s return to full choir rehearsals in late September felt a bit like coming out of a dark room into the sunshine again. We hadn’t all been together in the one place in over six months, and it was lovely to see each other again. However, the joy was somewhat muted by the cold, hard reality of Covid-safety protocols. Social distancing, registration, hand- sanitising, and above all, wearing face- masks shouted in a not-very-tuneful way that we were still some distance from ‘normality.’

But the response of everyone to the new situation was nothing short of exemplary. We just wanted to ‘get on with it’, and that’s exactly what we did. The first night rehearsing in masks felt very strange. But Kim Kirkman is a great encourager, and he helped us to feel more comfortable, reassuring us that he could still hear us, and that we were still blending. So we persevered, and it almost felt like a reward when, several weeks into rehearsals, we received notification that masks were no longer mandatory. And then our social-distancing requirements were partially relaxed, and it finally felt more like the old ‘normal.’

The rehearsals for this season of Christmas music have been going very well. Kim works us hard, spends lots of time with each voice section, and has been able to draw us ‘out of ourselves’ with some of the more demanding pieces, so that our confidence level is pretty high. There is some truly lovely music in this programme, with a very wide range of styles, including works by John Rutter, Morten Lauridsen, the brilliant Ola Gjielo, and many others.

In the midst of this busy rehearsal schedule, the indefatigable Fay Baker has still found time to rehearse an octet, to perform at a Remembrance Day service at the E.J. Foote War Memorial Sanctuary in Buderim. The octet prepared five pieces, and performed them all a cappella on the day. The feedback from various people after the service indicated that the group’s participation was much appreciated. And it was indeed quite an honour to be a part of it.

As we all know, time waits for no man, or woman, and our performance dates for ‘A Babe Is Born’ are only a bit over a fortnight away. Trybooking is now open for purchase of tickets to both concerts – Stella Maris Primary School, Maroochydore on Saturday November 28, and St. John’s Cathedral, Brisbane on Sunday November 29. There will be no tickets at the door. See our website and Facebook page for more details, and book early, to make sure you don’t miss out.


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