THE Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints local Ballarat ward, together with their hosting partner, St Patrick’s Cathedral, is delighted to announce the 22nd annual Ballarat Choral Festival, being held on Sunday 28th May 2017 at 1.30pm; a free event open to the public. The programme this year is diverse. Eleven choirs will come together at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Sturt Street, to share their enjoyment of singing in a free programme for the Ballarat community.
Singers range across all ages, from the very young to the young at heart; and choirs range in size from 6 to 68.
However, these numbers will swell when all singers join in the great combinedchoirs finale, which this year will join in singing Sending Song of Joy. Leigh Askew, organist for Christ Church Cathedral, will also be playing on St Patrick’s magnificent pipe organ during the prelude and interlude. The Regina Caeli Schola Choir, numbering only six, which sings regularly at Masses at St Patrick’s Cathedral, with a focus on early church music, chant and polyphony, will sing unaccompanied, a capella. However, Federation University’s choir, Word of Mouth, is nearly four times larger.
Under the directorship of Dr Richard Chew, this group is a choral theatre project involving Music Theatre students from the university’s Arts Academy. They perform new work and a diverse repertoire of choral music from the past, often in unusual settings. Two choirs joining the Choral Festival for the first time this year will be the 46-strong U3A Choristers, under the direction of George Walpole, and Ballarat Choral Society, under the direction of Helen Duggan. Children’s choirs include 50 students from St Columba’s Primary School, the Beaufort Secondary College Singers, and youth from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Cairnlea and Sunshine Seminary Choir. Other participating choirs this year include: the regional Pyrenees Chorale, combining singers from Beaufort and Avoca, St Patrick’s Cathedral Choir, Sing Australia Ballarat and Ballarat North, and The Evergreen Entertainers. Organised by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints, in partnership with St Patrick’s Cathedral, donations raised at this event will go to Ballarat’s House of Welcome to support funding for Sri Lankan refugee Neil Paramanathan and his young family here in Ballarat, who are not allowed by the government to work or to access Centrelink assistance.