Approaching half past two yesterday afternoon there was a palpable sense of anticipation at the Cardinal Cerretti Chapel, not unlike the tension at the start of a sporting event. The team (there was only one) had prepared and trained for weeks, and was now ready for action. Team members were straining at the leash, waiting for the starting signal as the sign to put all their training and practice to the test.
And they were not found wanting. After the usual preliminaries, the conductor took to the rostrum and away they went! There were slow sections, there were fast sections. There were sections with tricky manoeuvres embedded. There were loud sections and soft sections. All seemed to hang together seamlessly, producing a continuous flow of inspirational sound for almost two hours.
If the reaction of the enthusiastic audience is any judge, then the team won with flying colours.
The team comprised firstly the Manly Warringah Choir, who overcame many difficulties in this complex music to communicate it most convincingly. Then there were the “backing group” of piano, bass and drums, all sensitively supportive – and the pianist threw in a wonderful ragtime number for good measure. Next come the string quartet, whose members played absolutely delightfully, with some majestic moments and some exquisitely soft moments which held the tension so much you could have heard a pin drop. Finally comes the Maestro, the Choir’s beloved conductor Carlos, who trained and tested, cajoled and coaxed, and above all shared his musical soul with performers and audience alike..
We made it! All that preparation had been worthwhile. We finished the course in style. What a fabulous way to spend a Sunday afternoon!