“BICC Lights Up Town Hall”
So read the headline in The Inverell Times on Tuesday, 6 June 2015. The article went on to say: “The Blackstone-Ipswich Cambrian Choir was on the road for around seven hours on Saturday. They were travelling from their home near Brisbane with 45 touring vocalists from a full ensemble of almost 90 strong. Though the road was long, the performance on Saturday evening at the Inverell Town Hall was seamless. Myriad voices came together like a single finely-tuned instrument to perform a number of pieces for a local audience under the guiding hand of conductor Sandra Milliken and accompaniment of Katrina May on piano”.
June long weekend mini tour
The BICC visit to Inverell over the 2015 June long weekend, was the brainchild of former members Gail and Mark Leonard, who had moved to the northern New South Wales town in 2013. There they had become associated with the Inverell Music Appreciation Group, to whom they sold the idea of hosting a visit by their previous choral ‘alma mater’.
The choir performed 22 pieces at the Saturday evening concert and received a very warm welcome and enthusiastic response from the very appreciative audience. The supper provided by the Music Appreciation Group at the interval provided a great opportunity for the choir to meet and greet members of the local community.
Fellowship at Danthonia
After breakfast on the Sunday morning, the tour group travelled 20 kilometres east of Inverell to visit the members of the Danthonia community.
Danthonia is a large Bruderhof (Christian religious community with branches in the USA, UK, Germany, Paraguay and Australia) settlement made up of a lively mix of families and singles, young and old, who live, work, and worship together. Many of the community have come to Australia from various parts of the USA. The children at Danthonia are home-schooled, and most of the adults work within the community. Music – both choral and instrumental – is an integral part of the community, which supports itself through Danthonia Designs, a business that makes a wide variety of signs, from hand-carved and sculptured to LED digital signs.
At Danthonia, the touring party was made to feel most welcome. A short concert program by the Cambrians was followed by performances from the junior school choir, the secondary school choir and the men’s ensemble, rounded off with a massed rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus with orchestral accompaniment. Then followed morning tea, providing another opportunity for our choir to interact with the members of this very interesting community.
And then it was time to head off back home, taking with us great memories of a brief but thoroughly enjoyable mini tour along with invitations to return again in the not too distant future.