On choirs and singing

Greetings for the new week.  Welcome to my (now) occasional blog.  If you are new to this blog, as I build my email database or respond to enquiries to join up, welcome.

The Blackheath Choir Festival took place last weekend in various venues in Blackheath (Blue Mountains).  It is now held every two years rather than the original annual event, and I think it is better for it.  It is a fantastic event run by the huge energy of a small number of people together with the energy derived from a large variety of participating choirs from around New South Wales.  The community choir in which I sing – the Glenbrook Community Choir – directed by the amazing and talented and warmly redoubtable Margo Adelson (who is a well-known local musical director, pianist and singer) – performed on Saturday morning to great acclaim from my Mum and sister Leigh.  And others clapped also.  I was not only singing but playing the piano for three of our pieces, including an arrangement I did specifically for this choir of that lovely folk song ‘The Parting Glass’.  Lovely to play on a grand piano (although this meant taking my gloves off – it was very cold, after all) as well as sing.  All good, really.

So, what is it with choirs?  What draws us to this place of music, comraderie and social connection?  Do you sing in a choir?  Have you run a choir?  Do you write music for a choir? (I know some of my readers do).  Choirs can range from high level, professional ensembles to community choirs like the Glenbrook Community Choir, where people may or may not be able to read music, but come for the joy of the music and the friendship the music engenders.  Choirs are a powerful tool for social connection, fun, and the joy of music-making.  There are many an occasion when I think I would rather stay home than go to choir rehearsal on Wednesday night (don't tell Margo), but hey, guess what – invariably I feel better for doing so.

There was an article in Music Australia recently about a choir in Newtown, Sydney, which you might find interesting.  You can find it  by clicking here.

This week’s music  is not choral in character, but is my piano solo Hymn to the Mountains (1), from my most recent CD, ‘Places with high levels of natural beauty’ .  I know some of you will have heard it before, but it is what is on my mind for music that might nourish the spirit when things are tough going, which is what is happening for a number of beloved people in my life, so there you go.

As always, for more details go to http://www.petawilliams.com.au/music_cd_baby/ .

Until next time,



PS Scroll down to the bottom of this web page to play the featured music.