Since its genesis with 6 ladies in 1978, the Esk Community Choir has
been continuously welcoming a passing parade of members to its ranks. Founded by its present Choir Director, Alexis
FitzGerald OAM, so engaging is participation in this Choir that many of its
members join with ‘the locals’, travelling to weekly practices from as far
afield as Brisbane, Laidley, Gatton and Toowoomba. Now in its forty-second year of living its motto “Service in Song”, this wonderful Choir now has an
SATB membership of close to fifty. Having recently celebrated 2019 with some amazing concerts and events including another successful tour of Italy, Alexis, accompanist
Margaret Philp and choir members are now gearing up for another year of spectacular
events in 2020.
As a Community Choir, there are no formal auditions imposed upon singers wishing to join, though a basic knowledge of music is advantageous. Membership does, however, guarantee fun, fellowship, very low-cost therapy and of course, SINGING – underscored by an ever-growing love for beautiful music. Choir rehearsals are held from 6.30pm to 9.00pm every Tuesday night in the Assembly Hall of the Esk State School, East Street, Esk.
The members are, on occasion, encouraged to audition for the
smaller Esk Ensemble – a committed performance group within the Choir.
Alexis and her Choristers are quietly proud of their 41 years of achievements which have included many local concerts and charity performances. As far back as 1993, they staged their first full Musical Production, Oklahoma with many others to follow. They have entertained audiences with Theatre Restaurants, collaborations with many other Choirs, Orchestras and Ensembles and on two occasions, with International Choirs and Conductors at the Sydney Opera House. Highlights amongst many memorable 2019 Performances were the spectacular Opening Concert in March, a montage of music from the Italian Tour repertoire with a touch of the Irish for St Paddy's day. At Somerset's Cultural Festival the choir's contribution to the cross cultures this day embraced was a bracket of beautiful Australian songs. The choir men enhanced their reputation as a choral force with their debut " Terrific Tenors" concert in September and with the spectacular percussion ensemble 'Percussimo' as featured guests, the Christmas Concert was touted as 'one of the best!'
Another worthy musical legacy has been the Somerset Music
Awards. This biennial event, initiated
by Alexis in 2004 and hosted by the Choir, is open to participants of any age
who are resident in the Somerset or Lockyer Valley areas. It will again be held on Saturday, August 1st at St Agnes's Anglican Hall, Esk with the hope of a record number of entrants,
both vocal and instrumental, affirming the high standard of musical talent from
these regions. A flow-on effect has
seen many choir members and others, under the tutelage of Alexis, take it upon
themselves to improve their knowledge and understanding of singing and performance
skills by sitting for St Cecilia School of Music examinations with exceptional
Since 2006, there have been six international tours by 'Touring Choirs', the most recent being their performance tour to Italy in May 2019. These tours have encompassed concerts, choral festivals and competitions throughout Europe including Ireland and England. Life-affirming were the performances given at Budapest's magnificent Matthias Church, a rare invitation to perform in London's St Paul's Cathedral, Brussels Cathedral and the breathtaking Salzburg Dom as well as some of Italy's magnificent Cathedrals in Florence, Rimini and Milan. Equally exhilarating along the way were standing ovations from grateful audiences in rustic little churches, Rehabilitation Centres and aged care facilities.
Tuesday nights at the rehearsal hall are times and a place where lovers of music are always welcomed and encouraged to participate, perchance to become Choir members. To sing with this Choir is to understand the joys of Choral singing and a celebration of what Choral music can bring.
Contact us to learn more