Six Years Old and a Cut Above!

Six Years Old and a Cut Above!
Type of post: Choir news item
Sub-type: No sub-type
Posted By: Andrew Price
Status: Current
Date Posted: Mon, 8 Apr 2024
On Saturday 6 April in Creswick, the streets were alive with the annual CresFestcelebration of music and arts, a weekend of dancing, busking, international musicians and avariety of choirs - including the Macedon Ranges' own much-loved Warblers.
The Woodend Warblers have performed many public gigs before, but this one was considered by many to be their best ever. Sung to the crowd from the steps of Creswick'shistoric post office, their repertoire ranged from the gentle “Won't Let You Drown” to a lively performance of the Beach Boys' “Fun Fun Fun” which had audience members smiling and dancing. A particular favourite was “Freedom is Coming”, a gospel song written by those committed to ending apartheid in South Africa.

One of the Warbler's original sopranos, Trish said “I immediately felt at home in Creswick on finding the pub full at ten in the morning, with the strains of an Irish jig flowing out onto the street!”. Another soprano, Rachel, commented afterwards:  CresFest was such a special event for us. The crowd was so engaged and warm – just a delight to perform for!”

The Woodend Warblers have been in existence for six years now, growing from a small group of beginners who swore they couldn't sing and would definitely never perform in public to a confident choir of forty regular members who love nothing more than showing off their latest songs to anyone who'll listen.

A member from another choir commented: “The Warblers really are a cut above: so professional and solid in their songs”. And an audience member expressed delight that a community choir could sound so good – “fabulous variety of songs and really good harmonies.” These comments are a credit to the hard work that Andrew Price, choir director, puts in to teaching the Warblers every week. They meet at 7.30 pm on Wednesdays at the Norma Richardson Hall in Woodend. Andrew reassures new members that no singing experience is required, that “if you can speak, you can sing”. Plenty of mistakes are made, but Andrew has an endless amount of patience and is very encouraging; rehearsals are full of laughter and everyone is made to feel an important part of the choir.

Bass singer Max became quite poetic in his praise of the day: “Music in the country is the road to happiness, and singing is the highway to enjoyment”. As a finale and a surprise to the audience, the Warblers “interrupted” another choir (run by Melbourne director Sue Johnson) performing a brand new song which the Warblers had been practising in secret. Singers were astonished to suddenly find a flash mob of Warblers joining them on stage for a dramatic performance of “Laid Bare”, written by Sue only a few months earlier.

The Woodend Warblers have members from as far afield as Northcote and Castlemaine and welcome new singers. The first session is free, and term fees are $10 per week (or $12 for a single week). Ring Andrew Price for more information 0419 604 444 – or just turn up!

The final word goes to tenor singer Marina, who has been with the choir since its early days: “You couldn't find a better or friendlier mob of people to sing with. To be honest, Warblers literally changed my life.”