Endeavour Harmony Chorus on stage at the 2017 Sydney Eisteddfod. Photo: WinkiPoP Media
Endeavour Harmony Chorus, winners of the 2016 and 2017 Australian Choral Grand Prix as well as the The John Lamble Foundation Australasian Open Choral Championship in 2016 and 2017, consistently impress Sydney Eisteddfod judges and audiences alike.
Melanie Mapleson, a member of the choir, recently spoke to Sydney Eisteddfod about how she became involved in her first choir, why she loves choral singing and what it is like to be apart of Endeavour Harmony Chorus.
Describe choral singing in five words.
The key to World peace!
Tell us how you became involved in your first choir?
My first choir was gathering around the piano at home, singing harmonies with my family.
Why do you love being a chorister?
Chorus takes my breath away. It gives me purpose and belonging. It promotes such an enormous sense of pride in the arts and in ourselves. The best part is that we get to have so much fun gifting our music to others and sharing the joy of harmony.
What has been a highlight of performing with Endeavour Harmony Chorus?
Placing in the Top 10 at the Sweet Adelines International Convention in Las Vegas, 2015. Wow! I’ve never felt so exhilarated in my life. We made history by achieving what no other Australian team had ever achieved before. The support from back home was extraordinary.
What styles of music do you like singing with Endeavour Harmony Chorus most?
We sing all kinds of music, although our signature style is barbershop in 4-part harmony. I enjoy branching out into modern repertoire and we’ve even done some gospel and Aboriginal songs. My favourite songs are the ones that really move the audience – for instance to a joyful grin, or a few tears.
What is Endeavour Harmony Chorus hoping to achieve next as an ensemble?
We’re heading back to the USA in 2018 for the Internationals in St Louis, Missouri, and we’re aiming high! We couldn’t be prouder to represent our wonderful country on the international stage again.
Do you have any tips for somebody thinking of joining a choir?
Don’t waste another second thinking about it, just do it. The hardest part is walking into the room on your first night, the rest will look after itself. You'll never, ever regret joining a choir. Singing is one of the best medicines out there… it’s a happy pill with no side effects.
What do you believe the future holds for choral singing in Australia?
Me! I’m never leaving… once a Sweet Adeline, always a Sweet Adeline!