Fort St High School Chamber Choir on stage at the Australian Choral Grand Prix. Photo: WinkiPoP Media
Fort Street High School Chamber Choir were the undisputed victors the 2015 Australian Choral Grand Prix, winning $8,000 in total for of both the People’s Choice Award and the Jury Vote, and an additional $1,000 for Best Performance of an Australian Composition. The Frensham Madrigals from Mittagong won a well-deserved second place.
The six other finalists did not go home empty-handed: Pymble Chorale, Pymble Ladies’ College Junior School Chamber Choir, Waitara Junior Voices, Reddam House 5 & 6 Singers, Brigidine College and the Australian Performing Arts Grammar School were each awarded $1,000 each, giving everyone something to smile about.
Judges Simon Kenway and Noel Cislowski reflected on how the absolute excellence and discipline of all competitors testified to the extraordinary amount of time and training dedicated to rehearsals. They had nothing but praise for the winners; Fort Street Chamber Choir’s performances of Monteverdi’s Cantate Domino, McCall’s arrangement of Waltzing Matilda and Eric Whitacre’s Sleep were lauded for their magical hushed tones, dynamic range and rhythmic flexibility sustained throughout.
All the choirs were outstanding having already placed in their own individual categories. The standard of musicianship, intonation and blending of sounds was excellent. When choirs listen to each other, they become a part of a group or purpose that is bigger than the individual and that is when the magic happens.