|Such a privilege to be able to share some Christmas joy with so many of the residents of Ilumba Gardens Whiddon Kelso, Macquarie Care, Cheriton, St Catherine's and Riverview Care Opal Bathurst who have been so isolated in recent months. We had a hectic round of performances on 3 days in a 6 day period - with our own Christmas Party night thrown in the middle for good measure! A great way to finish a most unusual 2020!|
So much joy over the past few weeks as we've been able to resume our rehearsals outdoors - and now finally back indoors, with appropriate social distancing. We're looking forward to sharing our Christmas performances with all the local aged care residents during the next week.
|As rules relax and allow us to meet together in our rehearsal venue (group singing pending...) it was great to be able to get into our pink outfits and hold our annual Girls Night In fundraiser for cancer research and support services.|
|Our Chorus' green thumbs and cooks have been busy preparing for our stall at the Bathurst Spring Spectacular Markets. Unfortunately, the wet weather dampened proceedings but not the enthusiasm for our slices, biscuits and many plants. It was great to be out and about in our community again.|
|Unprecedented times call for some unprecedented ingenuity. When it came time to record our entries for the online Bathurst Eisteddfod this year, we were on the hunt for the most indoorsy "outdoor" venue we could find - and an undercover carpark came to our rescue.|
It was our first opportunity to sing our latest song all together after learning it during our online rehearsals, as well as performing several other songs which had mostly been worked on during lockdown.
We completed our videos and submitted them to the Eisteddfod and then after a few weeks nervous wait, we thrilled to receive 3 Platinum awards and lots of positive feedback from the Adjudicator.
Even a global pandemic couldn't dent our proud history of success at the Bathurst Eisteddfod!
|Lots of great memories to relive (and costumes to squeeze into) as we took a stroll down memory lane and shared photos, outfits and stories from over 30 years of BPC at our rehearsal this week. A special highlight of the night was presenting official membership to our newest member Holly!|
|It was lovely to meet together at our rehearsal hall again for some education nights (and maybe one sneaky song...)|
|Alas, there wasn't any singing but still plenty of laughing and chatting when we were finally able to all get together in person for dinner and went for a stroll around the Illuminations at this year's Winter Festival.|
|After several months of solo rehearsing, we've loved meeting up with some buddies in recent weeks, to do our online rehearsal program together. We've seen plenty of good natured rivalry between our buddy groups each week - via posts in our whatsapp group!|
|Sadly, the COVID-19 shutdown meant an abrupt end to our Guest Program and the cancellation of our eagerly awaited High Tea - but we've kept on finding ways to sing and be together (apart!).|
We used our member's creativity (and some gorgeous gardens!) to put together a video for our Guest Program song Mr Blue Sky - you can check it out HERE.
We've taken our rehearsals online with weekly videos prepared by Beth, Fiona and Debbie to keep us singing, moving and informed as we rehearse at home and we've ventured into the world of zoom meetings with an online rehearsal / Beth's birthday party - complete with fancy hats!
|It's been a hectic fortnight for our catering crew but this year's Luncheon was another great occasion with plenty of delicious salads and slices to eat, songs to share and a craft & collectibles display on the theme "Rhapsody in Blue".|
|We were thrilled to welcome 12 guests to our 2020 Sing with Us program this week. We're looking forward to learning our brand new song together and performing at our High Tea in a month's time.|
|We had a very successful day at our first Bunnings BBQ in several years. Our brand new aprons and sausage sizzle holders (patent pending!) were a great hit!|
Thanks especially to Westpoint & Trinity IGA, Devro and Bakers Delight for your generous donations to support our fundraising.
|We were very pleased to have our annual Regional Education visit this weekend with the fabulous Glenda Lloyd from Brindabella Chorus in Canberra. Glenda provided specialist education to our Music Team members and Bass section, as well as great vocal production work with the whole chorus. |
Thanks Glenda for braving our heatwave to share your expertise with us.
|Our Christmas performance season has been a busy one.|
We were happy to share songs - and a Christmas lunch - with the Bathurst Legacy Widow's group - and we also took Christmas joy to all the local aged care facilities.
Debra and Peter Griffiths generously opened their newly landscaped backyard for a fabulous family picnic evening "Christmas at Keppel"
We performed at Carols by Candlelight for the first time in many years, and finished our season braving the heat and smoke on Bathurst's hottest ever December day to sing at the Christmas Farmers' Markets
|After our success in last year's Aussie Christmas Song video competition - we commissioned arrangements of 3 of the songs, which we also gifted to all Region 34 members as part of our 30th anniversary celebrations.|
This year we upped the ante with our competiton video - singing in 3 separate locations including amongst the bells in the All Saints Cathedral Bell Tower. You can watch the finished product HERE!
Our song this year "Christmas Bells Ringing" was arranged by our former member Jen Squires (now Assistant Director of Perth Harmony Chorus).
We were thrilled to again be amongst the winners in the 2019 competition.
|We love to support a good cause - and they don't come much better than raising funds for research and support services for women's cancers.|
We got into the pink for our annual Girls Night In - and raised a total of $675
|Our very own Christine Hurford had her garden featured in this year's Bathurst Spring Spectacular on the the last weekend in October.|
We were out in force - doing 4 performances for garden visitors across the 2 days, as well as serving several hundred high teas on the verandah with the best views in Bathurst, and selling lots of plants at our plant stall.
What a fantastic weekend!
|We took our singing talents and our catering talents to the 2nd Central West Choir festival, held in Blayney. It was a wonderful afternoon, sharing the stage with choirs from Bathurst and Orange - particularly with the combined closing number|
|We love getting to welcome new citizens and perform at our Bathurst Regional Council citizenship ceremonies. Here we are at the September ceremony|
|We had a very successful night out at Choirs Night at the 2019 Bathurst Eisteddfod.|
Not only did we retain the magnificent Carillon Trophy by winning the Open Choral section, we also placed second in the Language other than English section.
The versatility of our mix and match costuming was given full expression with our 3 small group entries - where we placed 1st in Open Vocal group and 2nd and 3rd in the Open A cappella group.
|Whilst not part of the official program this year, we weren't going to miss an opportunity to get out and about and do some singing during the Winter Festival. On Saturday 20 July, we performed a few Random Acts of Music along Keppel Street, enjoying the Illuminations and shop window displays - and surprising a few shoppers and diners along the way.|
|Chorus members and supporters have been busy knitting. |
We had a lovely time chatting, eating, knitting and eating(!) at our annual Charity Knit In afternoon on 1 June.
So far in 2019 we have completed 22 warm and colourful blankets which have been distributed to our local charities.
|Everything old was new again as we returned to Hobart for the 2019 Australian Convention. The weekend got off to a great start with Robyn, Sarah and Debra attending the Official Reception at the spectacular Government House and then joining our members and supporters outing to Mures seafood restaurant on the Hobart waterfront - where we couldn't pass up the opportunity to have a sing. |
The Convention began with the Mass Sing on the Derwent River foreshore in glorious sunshine. As number 11 in the Order of Appearance, we had a relaxed preparation on competition day and thoroughly enjoyed our time on stage - showing off our 'same, but different' costumes and breaking new ground with our undirected performance. We were thrilled to receive the 2nd Place Small Chorus medal and then partied the night away celebrating Sweet Adelines Australia's 30th Birthday - which also co-incides with our Chorus being #30YearsStrong.
Meanwhile the Home Team were also well and truly in the party spirit, not missing a minute via the webcast.
|The weather outside may have turned miserable, but the atmosphere inside was anything but as we presented our final dress rehearsal before Regional competition. It was time to unveil our "upcycled" costumes and debut our undirected performance for the first time in public. Thanks to everyone who braved the weather to support us and to St Philomena's School for the use of their hall. Well done to our competition First Timers Brenda and Marls on their first Family & Friends Preview.|
|Our first event for 2019 was our very successful annual luncheon. This year's display was of Retro Toys - which took everyone on a fun trip down memory lane! |
In between the mega main course and the decadent desserts - we also squeezed in a few songs, including giving our Lion King costumes another outing and getting all our former members in attendance up to join us
|On Saturday 15 December, we got out and about for our annual Christmas Carols Day. This marathon event began bright and early at the Bathurst Farmers Markets where we sang in each pavilion and debuted our latest innovation - the 360 degree performance!|
From there, we divided into two groups to visit St Catherine's and Macquarie Care Aged Care facilities simultaneously and sing to various groups of residents there. The Macquarie Care group had the special experience of their performance drawing a response from one of the dementia patients who had not previously responded to staff. Proof again of the wonderful power of music.
We re-convened under the shady trees of Machattie Park for a lunch picnic before heading up to Cheriton Aged Care and finally out to Ilumba Gardens Whiddon Kelso where we were greeted by an enthusiastic gathering of residents and family members for our performance and treated to a reviving afternoon tea.
|BREAKING NEWS - Winners are grinners!|
We were thrilled to run into Zoe Hiida from Everywhere Venues when we were singing at the Bathurst Farmers Markets for Christmas. Zoe announced that we were major prize winners in the Aussie Christmas Song Competition 2018 - winning the Community Choir and Most Popular Video sections.
Thanks to everyone who watched, liked and shared our video for giving us this great Christmas present!
Our Christmas project for 2018 has been to submit an entry in the Everywhere Venues Australian Christmas Song competition, showcasing the original music of Hazel Hughes (an Australian composer with family links to Bathurst). A keen group of Chorus members learnt "The Christmas Star" in 3 parts and after a short (but intensive!) rehearsal period, we filmed our performance in the beautiful surrounds of the Chapel at Bishop's Court Estate. Thanks to Christine Lefevre for her generous hospitality!. Our videography team of Debra Griffiths (on camera) and Beth Pratley (editor) put together our entry and our video went live on 5 November on the Chorus facebook page, and was quickly racking up the likes, comments and shares needed for success in the competiton. Check it out! Our facebook page
Fingers crossed for the competition results in December!
|On 30 July we began our 2018 Guest Member Program, where we welcomed 11 ladies to the risers across the 6 weeks which culminated at the Bathurst Eisteddfod on 8 September. Six Guests joined us on stage for our performance in the Open Choir section and we were proud to be crowned winners and bring home the spectacular Carillon trophy again. Congratulations to Brenda, Christina, Christine, Diane, Marls and Montanah for being part of this special achievement. We were also winners on the same night in the Language Other than English Choir section - with our Spanish song - and in the Open A cappella Group section.|
On 14 September, we returned to the BMEC to compete in the final section of the 2018 Eisteddfod - the Musical Theatre song. We brought some Lion King to the stage, complete with animal prints, face paint, masks and scenery! It was a lot of fun bringing our characters to life for the audience in such an entertaining section with so much local talent on show.
|We braved the cold on Saturday 14th July to share our songs with the crowds attending the Bathurst Winter Festival Brew and Bite. Performing over lunchtime on the Main Stage, we brought out one of the biggest set lists we've performed in a long time - featuring 13 different songs, including one making its public debut. We loved having such an enthusiastic crowd enjoying the sunshine and clapping and dancing along with us. We look forward to being part of this fantastic local event again in the future.|
We enjoyed a fun and successful trip to Hobart in May for the Sweet Adelines Australian regional convention. We spent a couple of days rehearsing and taking in the other convention activities - as well as doing plenty of shopping, and entertaining our fellow diners at the Ball and Chain Grill at Salamanca with some of our songs. Then it was time to get down to the business of the Chorus Competition on Saturday 19 May. As Competitor number 2 in a field of 23 choruses, we had to be up early for our hair and makeup preparations and our final rehearsal. A relaxed and confident chorus (including our 5 first timers!) took to the stage and delivered a great performance to an appreciative audience both in the Wrest Point auditorium and watching at home on the webcast. We then got to sit back and enjoy all the other competitors in what proved to be a very high standard competition. We were thrilled to be announced as 3rd place medalists in the Small Chorus Division - which gave us all the more reason to party the night away at the Royal Wedding themed afterglow! Sunday brought us some great education classes and then at the Closing Ceremony, our Director Beth Pratley was presented with the certificate for her recently achieved Directors Certification from Sweet Adelines International.
Now the countdown is already on to Convention 2019!
|Our break from competition over the past few years has also meant that it's been a while since our last Family and Friends Show - but it was wonderful to have this event back on the calendar this year. A huge thank you to St Philomena's School for the use of their hall, and to all of our family and friends who came along to give us a fanastic dress rehearsal for Hobart. It was particularly special to have so many of our former members with us and to present them with our new "Former Member" badge (If you haven't got yours yet - get in touch so we can get one to you). It was a joy and a privilege to have so many former members with us on the risers to sing I am Australian and How We Sang Today. Well done to our five Convention "First Timers" - Fran, Karen, Kathy, Kylie and Rachel - and our 'new to us' member Deb, who looked and sounded just smashing in their first outing in blue velvet! Hobart, here we come!|
|A fine feast was had by all at the 2018 edition of our annual luncheon. This year our guests were treated to a display of all things botanical - art, crafts, quirky clothing and not to mention an enormous selection of Margie Moad's prizewinning roses. Before tucking in to the legendary selection of desserts, we entertained with a few of our songs - including a rendition of Deck the Hall, with lyrics specially written by our Director, Beth, to celebrate all things Luncheon!|
|We've hit the stage at the local Eisteddfods in recent weeks and brought home a number of prizes. In Orange, we placed 3rd in the Open Choral section and our small groups placed first in both the Contemporary Group and A cappella Group sections. In Bathurst, we were highly commended for our rendition of Mamma Mia in the inaugural Musical Theatre section. We were 2nd in the Open Choral section and in the song in a language other than English section (where we gave Latin our best shot!), and our small groups were 1st and 2nd in the Open Vocal Group section.|
On the weekend Bathurst Panorama Chorus took a little bus trip to the 5th Annual Trundle ABBA Festival. The date has been in the chorus calendar for quite some time, intially as a social option however approximately 8 weeks ago we were invited to be officially included in the program. It's been 8 weeks of Mamma Mia, Gimme Gimme and Dancing Queen (and other hits from that era) to put together a 30 minute set to take to the event stage.
Now costumes are a MUST when attending the ABBA festival, and the girls certainly showed their creativity and style with the costumes they arrived in. The bus left Bathurst a little before 8am, spirits were high, costumes were bright and the girls ready to have an ABBA-solutely awesome day. A little rain on arrival to Trundle didn't put us off for too long, and soon enough after taking to the stage we started to gather quite an audience. Crowd favourites were definitely the ABBA classics, which is to be expected at an event celebrating ABBA.
With the performance over it was time to play, some girls braved the stage again in a singing contest, others watched. There were market stalls,food vans, dancing in the street and plenty of people watching. The day concluded with a Bjorn Again Concert at sundown, relaxing in a folding chair with a picnic dinner. What F-ABBA-ulous fun!
It seems that our reputation as good singers is only overshadowed by one other talent, our COOKING. The Bathurst Panorama Chorus Summer Luncheon has been running for about a decade and is one of our regular fundraising events held each year. Previously held in the Yetholme Hall, this year marked a new location in Bathurst in a bigger hall and for our benefit a BIGGER KITCHEN!
Guests started arriving early to secure their spot closest to the buffet and view the photography display curated by some of our own member 'photographers'. Lunch was served shortly after noon and 83 hungry diners delighted in the HUGE spread of salads, meats and most importantly, the desserts.
No chorus event is complete without a bit of singing, so the girls came out from the kitchen to perform some oldies (but goodies) as well as a few new tunes in the repertoire. It is always such a positive experience to see our ladies working together and doing two things they do best, cook and sing.
If you missed out this year, we will be back in 2018 to cook up a storm again! Stay tuned!