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Hello, Hello, and AWAY WE GO!

Oriana is up, and already running! And if Thursday evening’s rehearsal is any indication of how this season’s rehearsals will go, they will go very well indeed.

We commenced rehearsals for Season 2 of 2022 – “Faure Requiem & Haydn Nelson Mass” – performances scheduled for July 10, 16 and 17 at St. Patrick’s Church, Gympie; St. John’s Cathedral, Brisbane; and Stella Maris School, Maroochydore. Bookings will be open soon.

So many of us hadn’t seen so many others of us for the best part of four months, and it was lovely to have a bit of a catch-up in the half hour or so between opening the building and sitting down to begin. A number of new faces; one or two former members returning to re-live the joy of being in Oriana; and most of us simply delighted to be together again, and eager to ‘get back into it.’

And get back into it we certainly did. After President Melissa’s customary warm, albeit brief welcome to everyone, with a few obligatory house-keeping comments, our Seasonal Musical Director, Kim Kirkman, took the podium. Some introductory remarks about each of the works in this season’s programme, a few minutes of breath and voice warm-ups, and then straight into a no-stopping, no-corrections, getting-familiar-with-it-all sing through of everything.

And it was everything! Every movement of the Faure Requiem, the Cantique de Jean Racine, and all six movements of the Haydn Nelson Mass. The whole session was a full-on marathon of sight-reading, concentration, and re-awakening of mind (and voice) muscles that have lain dormant for some time. A baptism of fire for some of us; for others a realisation, or perhaps a reminder, of how beautiful this music is; and a re-affirmation of what a wonder, and a privilege it is to be a part of this very special group of people.

The accompaniment provided by pianist extraordinaire Fay Baker, was, as ever, inspirational. Her playing helps to bring the music to life, and enhances the singers’ enjoyment every bit as much as the listeners’.

Kim has a vision for how he would like the works in this programme to be presented. Having allowed us to taste for ourselves some of what this marvellous music has in store for us, and for our audiences, he will now begin to direct us, slowly but surely, along the path that will enable us to realise his vision.

They say that one should start something the way one intends to continue. On Thursday just gone, we hit the ground running, and I believe we got off to a very good start. It’s up to every one of us to maintain the momentum. And with music as beautiful as these pieces from Faure and Haydn are, I have no doubt that that is exactly what we will do.


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