Memories – Popular and Patriotic
A large and appreciative audience enjoyed the 2018 Serenata Singers Annual Gala Concert at The Gap Uniting Church on Saturday evening 3 November. The concert theme was “Memories – Popular and Patriotic” and included a commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. The commemoration was part of Voices of Remembrance, a state-wide choral program that occurred as part of the Queensland Music Festival.
The concert was co-sponsored by the choir and The Gap/Ashgrove Lions Club, with proceeds aiding the choir and the Lions Medical Research Foundation.
The choir sang tunes from the musicals Sweet Charity, The Phantom of the Opera, and Les Miserables as well as medleys of songs by Lennon and McCartney, Cole Porter and Irving Berlin. Guest artist Ran Luo, an international student at Mitchelton SHS, played an evocative violin rendition of modern Chinese composer Chen Gang’s The Sun Shines on Tashikuergan. Choir accompanist Prue Gibbs contributed a rousing piano performance of Gershwin’s An American in Paris.
After the interval, the program incorporated commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the WWI Armistice. The Gap SHS Combined Brass Group played a medley of lively songs and the Australian Army Band Woodwind Quintet drew enthusiastic applause for their performance. The works selected by both these groups complemented the theme of remembrance. The Serenata Singers sang a collection of songs that were popular with soldiers during World Wars I and II, and the modern song Better Be Home Soon by Neil Finn, to remind us of present-day servicemen and women who are serving overseas.
Choir member Roberta Fletcher read the moving poem, In Flanders Fields. A special moment was the reading by retired Wing Commander Jim Aked of a letter written from the Dardanelles during the Gallipoli campaign by his relative Private John Cobley Aked.
After the playing of The Last Post and the recitation of The Ode, the evening concluded with the choir singing the popular modern Australian anthem, I Still Call Australia Home, with many in the audience joining in.