By Collin Myers AM, Club Chorale Member
The flourishing Brisbane Club Chorale is a manifestation of two traditions at the Brisbane Club – the strength of Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and an abiding love of music.
Today the SIGs engage hundreds of members across a wide range from business to sports, motoring to mining, history to photography and more.
Years ago – at least 25 – a choir was brought together each year to sing carols at the Club’s annual Christmas dinner.
The dinner was a major event on the Club’s calendar. The tables were lavishly decorated, with features like gingerbread houses. As always at the Club, fine food and wines were served. The Choir added to the seasonal festivities and led the sell-out gatherings in joyous communal voice.
In those days there was plenty of singing at other Club functions, Gilbert and Sullivan enthusiasts being prominent, along iwth champions of Italian and French songs.
So it was that about 20 years ago the Christmas dinner choristers decided that they would like to perform a little more frequently than once a year, and the Brisbane Club Chorale was born.
The Chorale programmed three dinner concerts each year.
The identity of the Christmas Dinner changed to become the Chorale’s Christmas Concert. As women joined the Club, women joined the Chorale. Their numbers boosted when the Moreton Club Choir, after singing as special guests in 2008, accepted an invitation to merge with the Brisbane Club Chorale.
The Chorale enjoys combining with the Club Band, their fellow music makers, whenever concert repertoires feature jazz and popular music – which is often.
On one celebrated occasion in 2006, the Chorale and the Band went busking before Christmas in the heart of the CBD in Eagle Street. Passersby, including business people who knew the musos well, and bemused tourists, threw a tidy sum into upturned busking hats, enabling the Chorale and Band to contribute substantially to a local charity.
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After having had several high quality directors for short periods in the early years, the Chorale then enjoyed nine years under the direction of Donna Langford, three years with Lachlan Snow, and now are under the musical direction of accomplished soprano, Katie Stenzel. Katie has been a principal artist at Opera Queensland since 2016 and will be making her international mainstage debut this year; playing Rosina in a 15 city tour of China in The Barber of Seville for the Australian International Opera Company.
If you are in need of a creative outlet, the Brisbane Club Chorale is the perfect activity! The Chorale welcomes music lovers of all ages and experience levels to join together in a fun, light-hearted environment.