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Southern Highlands News Article

Southern Lifestyle Section

March 2010

A Highlands choir will look back on a selection of favourite tunes for its next performance. Reporter Jackie Meyers learns more about Serendipity: the choir and its Times Past concert ....

A group of Highlands performers are on song for their next big show. The Bundanoon based group Serendipity: the choir will look back at some of their musical favourites of the past two years when it presents its next concert on March 20.

The Les Miserables classic Bring Him Home, two African numbers sung in Swahili, the spiritually moving Deep River and I'm a Train, a piece written by the Kings Singers in Cambridge, will feature in the group's repertoire for its 'Times Past' concert. The concert is the latest by Serendipity: the choir, which has been treating Highlands audiences to a broad mix of tunes since it formed in February 2008.

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Conductor Kerith Fowles, with support from accompanist, arranger and singer Ann Clipsham and a choir of about 20 enthusiastic singers, established the group. Ms Fowles, who had previously spent 14 years as choral director at a church in Sydney, said she missed the role and wanted to do something similar in The Highlands.

'I was a stand-in conductor for another group for a short time and decided I wanted to continue with my own choral group,' she said. 'We started with 24 members, with the original intention to have a membership ceiling of 30, but we have since surpassed that ceiling with 34 performers.'

The aim of Serendipity was to bring together people in a choral group with the intention of developing vocal and musical skills and entertaining others. And it is achieving its goal with about 15 performances each year including appearances at various Carols by Candlelight events, the Highland Proms, Winterfest Bundanoon, the Highlands Tattoo and concerts at several nursing homes and retirement villages. The group, which is a sub-committee of the Bundanoon Community Association, also conducts several themed community concerts each year.

Ms Clipsham said that as a community choir there were no auditions and the skills of the members ranged from those who could barely read music to people with tertiary qualifications in music. However she said the commitment of every member had seen the choir forge ahead in the entertainment stakes.

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'Each major performance takes about three months to prepare,' she said. 'We also do performances featuring only some of the members at various locations through the year. These smaller groups are known as 'A Slice of Serendipity' and are a glimpse of what the entire group has to offer. We specialise in bringing together a varied and entertaining selection of music from popular tunes to 14th Century sacred pieces as well as a mix of spiritual, folk, jazz, classical and even musical scores.'

Ms Fowles added that the choir took on more demanding pieces as it became more skilled. 'Most of the members enjoy being challenged,' she said.

Serendipity rehearses at the Bundanoon Memorial Hall from 7:30 each Thursday.

Upcoming Performances

Next Performance

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Serendipity's Patron

Richard Gill OAM

Serendipity: the choir is delighted to have Richard Gill as its Patron.

Richard Gill OAM is a distinguished Australian conductor. He conducts choral, orchestral and operatic works, and has been involved in music training and education.

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Contact Information+61 (02) 4883 6515
+61 (02) 4883 6515
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Location Soldiers' Memorial Hall
Railway Parade
Bundanoon NSW 2578
Australia

Choir Details Music Director: Kerith Fowles
Accompanist: Ann Clipsham
Webmaestro: Beverley Bennett