The Mackay Choral Society was established in 1947 as a post-war pick up for residents of the Mackay Community and now that I have finally seen them in full action, I can see how that ambition has came to pass because attending the rehearsal for their upcoming performance ‘Hear Us Sing’ last night was up-lifting in every possible way.
For those of you that are as unfamiliar with how the Mackay Choral Society works as I was, the first thing you need to know that not only does this very inclusive committee invite everyone in regardless of how much training they have (so there are no auditions as there are in some of the bigger city Choral groups) but that it’s open to all ages so amongst the dozens of singers that I saw last night, the youngest was aged just fourteen and the eldest eighty-two. I’ve been told that at least sixty percent of them cannot even read sheet music yet, but that doesn’t hold anyone back- their sound is powerful, precise and harmonious and their opening number was arranged in a way that was complex and overwhelming and made me appreciate the musical director Nicole Thomson, her accompanist Judith Brown and the choir on a whole other level. I spend a lot of time singing in an ensemble with local production companies and I’m always impressed when I can hold my part in a three-part harmony and I always think we sound pretty awesome- but now that I’ve seen what this collective can do, I am in awe of them.
The production itself, which is a showcase of the group songs that they intend on performing at the North Queensland Eisteddfod soon is short, sweet and professional. It’s not about the choreography or the individual in the spotlight or any of the trimmings- it is about making a beautiful sound using several different genres of music- sometimes with the entire group and sometimes with smaller groups, but every single time the end result was absolute perfection with clean entrances, exits and so much obvious joy and energy that it seemed barely contained at times. I had a giggle watching how much certain members of the choir got into it and watching Nicole conduct them was a production in its own merit because she looked like she was having more fun doing what she was doing than I have potentially ever had in my life doing anything and that was incredible to see.
I won’t go into a full review now, because I’ll write a more in-depth one for next Thursday’s edition of the Daily Mercury in my regular column in Pulse, but I’m glad to have the opportunity to give people a head’s up about this show in the hopes that it will encourage others to attend who aren’t planning on doing so already. Life feels pretty hard right now to so many people for so many reasons, and I would strongly recommend that everyone that has some free time this Sunday afternoon go see ‘Hear Us Sing’ at The Conservatorium of Music just because I can guarantee that you will walk out of there feeling amazing, sporting an ear to ear grin and feeling refreshed for the new working week. I am disappointed that I won’t be able to attend the real performance this coming Sunday, because I can only imagine how much more impressive the performance will seem when all of the stops are pulled out for the sake of showmanship, but I am so thankful to the Mackay Choral Society for sneaking me in for a a preview because the experience was not one to be missed no matter what your age or how into the performing arts you are.
Mackay Choral Society
‘Hear Us Sing’
North Queensland Eisteddfod 2018 Repertoire
Sunday March 25th 2018
Tickets $15 at the door
The Mackay Conservatorium Of Music