MILESTONE: Gold Coast City Choir is not a religious choir but rehearses at Mudgeeraba's Church of the Good Shepherd and welcomes new singers after its 50th anniversary performance with the Gold Coast Philharmonic Orchestra at HOTA on September 14.
MILESTONE: Gold Coast City Choir is not a religious choir but rehearses at Mudgeeraba's Church of the Good Shepherd and welcomes new singers after its 50th anniversary performance with the Gold Coast Philharmonic Orchestra at HOTA on September 14.

Choir sings for the future as it celebrates 50 years

GOLD Coast City Choir is marking its 50th anniversary with a nod to the future, performing the Queensland premiere of Symphonic Adiemus by famous contemporary Welsh composer Karl Jenkins.

"We are really excited to be performing this together with the Gold Coast Philharmonic Orchestra in such a wonderful venue as HOTA," said the choir's events co-ordinator Julie Watson.

Jenkins' piece, melding elements of classical, jazz and world music, made its world premiere in London just two years ago and Australian premiere last year.

"Fifty years is such a wonderful milestone for any organisation, and it's a real sign of the future for us to be singing something so new and exciting," Julie said.

The 70-strong mixed-voice choir features a cross-section of ages from their 30s to 80s, with the majority over-55s, and no auditions involved.

"I think that's a really positive thing to have an organisation that can suit such a wide age range of people who are all actively engaged," Julie said.

"Our director Sue says she can teach anyone to sing; it just takes longer with some people than others."

Choir president Aileen Sinclair has been a member since 1996 and, with accompanist Marie Nicholson, who has played for the choir since the early '90s, and vice-president Lawrie Yakimoff, is one of the longest-serving current members.

But many original singers, she said, were still loyal supporters from the audience.

"It's a wonderful choir; everyone cares about each other," Aileen said.

Joining "mostly because singing made me feel relaxed - it's such a love", she paid tribute to the talents of former long-time musical director Ruth Gurner as well as Sue Roberts, director since 2015.

Both, she said, were "brilliant" in their respective focuses, with Ruth more classically inclined while Sue, also the head of Performing Arts at Somerset College, had a more contemporary bent.

"It's totally, totally different to anything we've done before, but it's so exciting to do things we never thought we could do ..." Aileen said.

"Sue has a wonderful way of coaxing us through and some of the sounds are amazing."

While the choir's focus is currently its big performance on September 14, Aileen encouraged others interested in singing to come along from October as the choir begins rehearsing for Christmas concerts each Tuesday night from 7-9pm at Mudgeeraba's Church of the Good Shepherd.

"There is so much to be thankful for in music, and all the research shows how good it is for you, for your mind and your health" Aileen said.

Challenging yourself and learning new things, she said, "keeps you awake".

Symphonic Adiemus plays at HOTA at 7.30pm on Saturday, September 14 with Seniors' tickets $30.

Go to hota.com.au, goldcoastcitychoir.com or phone (07) 5588 4000.


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