Gala Night

Back Home Up Next

27-28 August 2005 - Port Macquarie Civic Centre

Hastings Choristers Inc celebrated its fifteenth birthday in a grand and glamorous fashion on the weekend of 27-28 August at the Civic Centre in Port Macquarie.

Soloists are from left to right: Peter Murphy, Laura Herd, Narelle Yeo, John Thompson and Jim Matsinos. 
The choir, Cantorus, is behind them with Musical Director Robyn Ryan conducting.

Concert “the best ever” (from local press release):

The nearly 600 people at the Hastings Choristers’ Fifteenth Birthday Gala concerts over the weekend were effusive in their praise. “The best concert I have been to in this town,” “I don’t remember the last time I enjoyed myself quite as much” and “you people just seem to get better every time I hear you” were just some of the comments from the elated crowds as they left the Civic Centre.

It was certainly a weekend to remember and a fitting celebration of the fifteen years of fine music that the Hastings Choristers choirs have brought to this region, under the Musical Direction of Robyn Ryan OAM.

The main choir, Cantorus, opened the concert with a stunning bracket of 8 choral pieces, including songs as diverse as a Bach Sanctus, Michael Tippett's Negro spiritual Steal Away and the spectacular African piece, Dubula. The crowd was then treated to some wonderful solo performances from local stars Laura Herd, Jim Matsinos, John Thompson and Peter Murphy

Guest soprano, Narelle Yeo then transported everyone with a beautiful rendition of Send in the Clowns and joined the choir and soloists in favourites from Opera and Musical theatre. You would have to travel a long way to witness a better performance of Narelle's Tipsy Waltz - and John Thompson’s rendition of You Raise me Up, accompanied by Carol Irving on clarinet, had even the conductor wiping away a tear.

“It was a magnificent team effort” said Robyn Ryan, “and it just goes to show that you don’t have to be living in major cities to be part of something of the highest quality. Members of Cantorus put in enormous hours of effort to stage this event and they have every reason to be proud of their achievement.”

Guest soloist Narelle Yeo is a graduate of the San Francisco Conservatorium of Music. Upon graduation, she received the prestigious SFCM Opera Award and was granted a scholarship to study at the American Institute of Musical Artists in Graz, Austria.  Narelle has won numerous prestigious awards and has performed lead roles in many Regional USA Opera productions. Her reputation as a singing actor has led to a diverse range of musical theatre roles including Camelot and Masterclass, and she recently premiered at the Sydney Opera House as soloist in the Mozart Requiem.