The first ever Short+Sweet Voices Festival has reached the climatic gala final and the best of the fest will face off on Saturday 21 March at the Concourse Theatre, Chatswood.
Almost 30 a cappella (unaccompanied) choirs competed in heats last week, performing in every sort of musical genre and style – in ensembles of all sizes, from quartets to more than 50 singers.
Just like its cousins in other Short+Sweet Festivals – dance, theatre and cabaret – Short+Sweet Voices participants have a strict ten-minute limit imposed on their performances. And, similarly, they are judged not only by industry experts but subject to the audience vote as well.
Ten choirs have progressed to the final:
- Coastal a Cappella (Central Coast, winner heat 1)
- Unaccompanied Baggage (North Sydney, equal runners-up heat 1)
- Treble Makers Quartet (Northern Beaches, equal runners-up heat 1)
- Joubert Singers (Hunters Hill, the People’s Choice heat 1)
- Alouette (Hills District, winner heat 2)
- The Jubilettes (Newport, runners-up heat 2)
- Isingonthecake (Kensington, the People’s Choice heat 2)
- Sista! (Terry Hills, winner heat 3)
- Soulfood (Cammeray, runners-up heat 3)
- Alchemy a Cappella (Petersham, the People’s Choice heat 3)
Coastal a Cappella sings in Barbershop style and has been directed by Linda Wareham since 1992. It features 50 singers and has won numerous competitions and awards. Their heat performance included The “Bandstand in Central Park” and “Somebody to Love” by Queen.
Unaccompanied Baggage, with 30+ singers and directed by Stuart Davis, recently celebrated its 20th birthday. They sing anything from swing to the Beatles.
Treble Makers and Alouette are barbershop-style women’s quartets both sub-groups of the famous Sweet Adelines.
Joubert Singers wowed their heat-night audience with an Australian composition by Sydney based composer Matthew Orlovich based on a Judith Wright poem which enabled singers to produce a choral soundscape of water and birds.
The Jubilettes are directed by Joy Yates and comprise seven women – all members of the larger, famous Sydney gospel choir, Jubilation.
Isingonthecake is another large ensemble of more than 30, also directed by Stuart Davis and has toured extensively and recorded three CD albums. They specialize in funky ‘70s and ‘80s music but for their heat also included the contemporary “All About That Bass” and “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk.
Sista! Is another award-winning barbershop style group – this time a sassy quartet. They blew away their heat night audience with the saucy “Red Hot” and “Help! I’m Turning Into My Parents.”
Soulfood, directed by the charismatic Melissa Kenny comprises more than 50 singers, all grooving and moving through a menu of Gospel, Motown, soul and retro-pop. A finalist in Channel Seven’s Battle of the Choirs, they have won numerous awards and perform widely in concerts and festivals.
Alchemy, directed by Ronelle Knowles, has sung together for 11 years and presents a gorgeous, groovy repertoire that audiences love, such as “Java Jive”, “Walk in the Light” and more.
Tickets $30 / $25 Bookings www.theconcourse.com.au or phone 1300 795 012