Montague Choristers Fauré production showcases local talent

For their spring concert at 2:30pm on Sunday, October 22, the Montague Choristers with conductor Philip Hartstein will present the gently evocative Requiem by Gabriel Fauré in its original 1888 version with organ accompaniment.

Fauré himself considered death to be a peaceful deliverance rather than a painful ordeal so it is not surprising that this, his ‘lullaby of death’, is perfectly suited to the Monties and the intimate atmosphere of All Saints’ Anglican church at Bodalla with its original pipe organ.

It is also the perfect opportunity to showcase local talent with soprano Meg Gordon singing the famous Pie Jesu, William Hawkey at the organ and Philip Hartstein providing the baritone solos, Hostias and Libera Me. The concert also features motets by Lassus and Palestrina, as well as Bruckner’s Locus Iste.

Meg has been singing for as long as she can remember - mostly in choirs beginning with her local church’s children’s choir, school choirs, the Canberra Children’s Choir, the Canberra Choral Society and for the past ten years, the Montague Choristers.

She has performed many solo items with these choirs over the years. In 2014 she joined Bill Hawkey for her first twilight recital of English song and again in 2015 for another program with piano.

Last year’s twilight recital was with organ at All Saints Bodalla and included Faure’s Pie Jesu. She is delighted to have the opportunity to sing the Pie Jesu within a performance of the Requiem.

Philip sang in the Canberra Children’s Choir for many years which is where he developed his love of the repertoire that the Monties have been singing under his direction.

His brief period as a tenor coincided with the CCC performance of Locus Iste, so he has been delighted to have the opportunity to learn the bass part this time around.

He holds a BMus in Violin/Viola Performance, as well as degrees in Arts/Law, and Medicine from ANU. He has played in orchestras including the Canberra Symphony and Australian Youth Orchestra and conducted the James McCusker Orchestra and the Llewellyn Choir.

From 2000-2012, he was Conductor/Musical Director of the National Capital Orchestra. Philip is a doctor in the Emergency Department at Moruya Hospital. He has conducted the Montague Choristers since 2013.

William Hawkey, MBE OAM has had a distinguished career in many areas of musical activity in Australia, New Zealand, and overseas.  Bill retired in 1998 as Professor and Director of Music at the Australian National University.

It was then that he became actively involved in choral and instrumental music in southern NSW. For eleven years he was director of the Narooma Montague Choristers and during this this period also conducted the Nomads.

He remains active as a performer on piano and pipe-organ and as a teacher of piano. Bill is also responsible for the Montague Visiting Artists’ Program and contributes to the activities of the Sapphire Coast Music Society, bringing national and international musicians to perform in Narooma and Wolumla. 

The concert is at 2:30 pm Sunday, October 22 at All Saints’ Church, Bodalla. Tickets $25 at the door, $23 from Mitre 10, Narooma or Nested on Wallaga, Bermagui, school students free. Enquiries 4473 7541, and the event is kindly supported by Helen Ryan


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