Mandurah City Choral Society: Choristers making many hearts sing


Whether a first-timer or aficionado of choral performance, there's something on offer for all ages and tastes in Mandurah City Choral Society's newest concerts - Mandurah Goes To The Movies and Pinjarra Goes To The Movies.

Audiences will be treated to a selection of music from films including Life is Beautiful, Amadeus and Excalibur, plus musical medleys from Les Misérables and Rogers and Hammerstein.

Mandurah City Choral Society president Nic Devonport urged those who had never attended a choral performance to try something a little different while supporting a local community group.

"We did an Australiana concert in May, itself an eclectic mix of very modern pieces and the feedback from the audience was that it was wonderful and unlike anything they'd heard before. Live performance is nothing like you hear on the radio - it's an enriched musical experience," he said.

The movie-themed concerts were the brainchild of renowned music director Eva-Marie Perissinotto, who would conduct them.

"Eva-Marie is a talented choral director with a PhD in music who is currently performing as an opera singer at a concert in Melbourne. She has come up with a beautifully-balanced and varied program of soundtrack music especially arranged for choral singing. Her husband, Dominic, is our highly-acclaimed accompanist and he's director of music at St Patrick's Basilica Fremantle. The choir will also be accompanied by oboe, cello and timpani players." Nic said, adding the concerts would appeal to "anyone with a love of music", and the "die-hard musicians will enjoy their classical basis".

"The level of musicianship of the music director and accompanist is very high - people won't be disappointed. This is not just a local glee club - we have very accomplished people in our ranks and perform complex pieces in four separate parts so those who've been to choral performances before will be suitably impressed by the standard," he said.

The movie-themed concerts promised to be so much more than "just another reprise of Oklahoma!" and indeed had "nothing to do with musicals", according to Nic.

"People may be familiar with some of the pieces but they will not have heard them like this before, and Eva-Marie gives a brief introduction to the pieces to let the audience know a little bit more about them," he said.

"Highlights include a medley of James Bond themes, a wonderful piece titled Duel of the Fate from The Phantom Menace, as well as Gabriel's Oboe, the theme from the 1996 film The Mission, and a piece called Into The West, which comes right at the end of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King."

Each concert would feature 15 separate works in two halves of about 40 minutes each, with an interval in between. A complimentary afternoon tea served by volunteers will be available at both performances, and the convenient matinee shows meant guests did not have to venture out on a cold wintry evening.

Nic said the ages and backgrounds of choir members varied, but all shared a love of singing: "Our youngest is 12, our oldest is in her 80s".

Many had joined after themselves being inspired by a choral performance.

"We're an unauditioned choir always open to new members. You don't have to be able to read music. Anyone who's interested is invited to turn up at the Uniting Church on Pinjarra Road at 7.15pm on Monday nights," Nic said.

Mandurah City Choral Society is thankful for the support it receives from local businesses, the City of Mandurah, Alcoa and its audience, who largely hail from the Peel region.

"Our local member David Templeman, who is very musical himself, is our patron, as is Peel Development Commission chair Paddi Creevey - they are great supporters," Nic said.