Up against acts like Tina Arena, Idea of North and the State School Spectacular Melbourne Contemporary Choir (MCCHOIR) and MCYOUTH performed to a packed house in North Coburg at our third annual concert entitled “Watch Me Fly”.
The countdown clock finished and amongst the cheers the classic guitar riff to “Eye of the Tiger” opened the night as an announcer introduced the choirs who entered down the aisles to great applause. Guest artist Rod Davies was welcomed to the stage and kicked off the night singing “Risin’ up back on the street ...”
Backed by a stellar line up of musicians, headed up by the ridiculously talented Jared Haschek MCC certainly entertained their guests in what was an electric evening of entertainment. For many of our guest the highlight was Queens “Bohemian Rhapsody” – the lights were dimmed and the choir opened with the acapella section, torches shining on each members face – much to the delight of the crowd. The torches made a come back as the song built, climaxing with the ringing of a huge “gong” that was brought in especially for the night.
Here's what one of our guests wrote:
“I was invited by a friend [and took] a lot of pleasure listening to your choir performing tonight. Enjoyed the clever muso’s doing their thing.
And great seeing the young members doing their stuff centre stage.
Highlight – Bohemian Rhapsody. Aah beautiful.”
- Andrew Thompson (Surrey Hills)
Our MC for the night pointed out that you won’t see a program at an MCC concert detailing every song the group will perform and that’s because you should always expect the unexpected at one of our MCC events. For example a piece by one of the UK’s emerging artists, FRANCES entitled “Don’t Worry About Me” featured soloists Jane Wigill and Susan Hische. In my opinion these were some of the purest and sweetest vocals I have heard bar none and you could tell that the whole choir really identified with the song. The verses were like spreading a layer of pure white icing on a cake – it was a georgeous moment.
Right from the outset, original tunes have been a significant part of the MCC repertoire and the concert was no exception. The choir performed three original tunes co-written by creative Director Jason Simmonds and Jared Haschek with help from Melody Crystal on one of the songs. Rod Davies helped us out with one tune called “Others” inspired by a Christmas greeting the co-founder of the Salvation Army, William Booth sent in the 1900’s.
Throughout the night the MCYOUTH choir, a new breed of choir, featured. These young people hit the stage, some who have only been with the group for a few weeks were already performing solo’s like they were seasoned performers. My favourite was MCYOUTH’s version of Ed Sheerans “Photograph”. We’re so excited about the potential of this group and encourage your youth to check out MCYOUTH on a Thursday night in Macleod during school terms.
Before intermission the concert title song “Watch Me Fly” had the crowd captivated. As the song built to a climax, the audience were surrounded by two huge orange flying bird puppets which soared above the audience. My dad was one of the puppeteers and he was having so much fun, floating his bird over the crowd.
During the break our guest generously purchased boutique cupcakes which we used to raise money for the Salvation Army’s “Making it Happen Project”. This very focused project aims to restore a women's hostel in Bandung Indonesia and we raised over $500 on the night. Someone paid $48 for their cupcake which was very generous. Together with another concert MCC participated in earlier this year, we have helped raise over $2,000 for the project - so a big thanks to our guests.
The choir showed the crowd how to let loose and get their groove on, with the Jackon 5 number “Blame it on the Boogie” The pumping horn section on the night certainly helped us get in the mood and feature soloist Ange, strutted her stuff on stage at the end during the break down.
The night flew with so many great moments, our guests were not disappointed and the choir was able to demonstrate their vocal diversity across a number of contemporary genres. Our guest artist for the night, Rod Davies who’s performed with the likes of John Farham, Olivia Newton John, and Chong Lim in 13 seasons of the hit TV show “Dancing With The Stars” had an interesting connection with the venue – The Moreland City Salvation Army. He told the audience that it was at the Moreland salvos that he sang his first public solo and it was at that moment that he knew this was what he wanted to do with his life. He wowed the audience with the classic Stevie Wonder tune “I wish” and the Maroon 5 hit, “Sunday Morning”.
At MCCHOIR Jason is develop creative stimulation, and connecting people with shared musical experiences which builds community. The group has grown and developed in these early days and each concert experience is becoming more elaborate and engaging for our audiences. Our audience is who we perform for but I think each member gets just as much of a buzz belonging to the group and performing at live events like this.
If you’re interested in exploring group singing in an environment where your individual vocal abilities will be nurtured and developed then we’d encourage you to visit our website www.mcchoir.com and register your interest for a first free session with the choir. It requires a bit of bravery to step out of your comfort zone and make that first step, but trust me, the people you will meet, the fun times and performance opportunities will be well worth it.
Melbourne Contemporary Choir
Jason or (Jase) as he likes to be called is Founder & Creative Director of Melbourne Contemporary Choir (MCCHOIR) and is a passionate musician who wants to bring his love for music to a broader audience.
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