Townsville’s award-winning community choir will perform a selection of pieces they have entered in the 2019 NQ Eisteddfod at an intimate concert this weekend.
The Townsville Choral Society Choir, which has won the Eisteddfod Championship trophy for the past two years and the Aggregate for the first time in 2018, will travel to Cairns over the Easter long weekend to defend their titles against other choirs from across North Queensland.
Musical Director Rachel Cairns said the local concert was an exciting opportunity for the choir to not only polish their performances ahead of Eisteddfod, but to showcase the group’s talents to the community.
“The concert will showcase every choral piece we will be performing over the weekend, and will also have some solo and duet performances from our members entered in solo sections,” Rachel said.
Deputy Musical Director Claire Davies said the concert would appeal to everyone.
“Audiences can expect a really broad, varied range of repertoire already polished to a high level,” Claire said. “There’s definitely something for everyone in the concert; the choir has to sing such a varied range of genres over an Eisteddfod, and you can really see this in the program.”
The NQ Eisteddfod is shared between the North’s largest cities, with this year’s event hosted in Cairns.
“We will be a travelling choir of 75 voices this year, one of the largest we’ve taken away in some time,” Rachel said. “Our choir always has a number of fresh faces, as well as our regular choristers. It’s so exciting to conduct the TCS Choir because of this: we have what feels like a new choir each year.
“Our new members have grabbed the challenge with both hands and are now very much part of the TCS Choir family. That’s what I love about our choir. It really is like one big family and we enjoy each other’s company very much – from our youngest member to our oldest.”
While the championship poses a challenge for the weekend, Rachel said the result was the least of her concerns.
“The Aggregate Trophy is awarded to the choir with the highest marks over the five set pieces at the Eisteddfod [in which all choirs perform the same songs including chief choruses and Madrigal]. The Choral Championship includes these and then all of the own choice open choir sections like the Modern Chorus, Novelty, and Sacred. It’s a huge challenge to walk away with both, however if I’m honest I don’t really think about the results too much. I care more that we sing our very best and make beautiful music.
“Of course it’s great to win – but winning doesn’t always have to involve a trophy.”
“There are multiple proven benefits that singing improves mental health,” said Claire.
“Singing in a choir is also a hugely community-based activity; in order to be successful, a choir must work together, build and maintain relationships between people, and trust each other to achieve a common goal. I personally find the TCS choir a really enriching, friendly environment and I hope all our members do. Many of us have built long lasting, deep friendships from choir alone.”
“Being in a choir is one of the best things you can ever be part of,” said Rachel. “It’s so good for your health, both physical and mental, and the social benefits far outweigh anything musically. We welcome everyone from ages 14 and up to sing in our choir. Rehearsals commence for Eisteddfod in late January each year , but everyone is welcome to join at anytime during the year.”
Catch the Townsville Choral Society Choir in concert at the Brian and Daphne Pease Hall (Upper Sturt Street) this Sunday from 2pm – $10 entry with afternoon tea included. For more information on the choir, visit the Townsville Choral Society website.