That’s why we really love recording Christmas!

Moorambilla Voices has been in the recording studio at the ABC’s Eugene Goossens Hall this week, with members from the Australian World Orchestra, to record eight tracks for Moorambilla’s Christmas CD Yindyamarra: A Prospect of Peace. Yindyamarra means “the wisdom of respectfully knowing how to live well, in a world worth living in”. 

The four-day tour was a huge learning opportunity for the children, who travelled across regional NSW and then to Sydney to rehearse and record. Artistic Director Michelle Leonard OAM selected a total of 51 children from the annual Skills Workshop Development Tour this year, and they hit the ground running, rehearsing in Manly at the Royal Far West and then at the International College of Management as soon as they stepped off the bus.

The children ranged in ages from 8 to 14 from schools across the region. They all thought the recording environment was “really cool” while they learnt about how to make a recording, how music production works, and how a professional recording studio operated.

It wasn’t all hard work! They ate a HUGE amount of ice-cream in Manly, shared pizza, ran on the beach, saw the city lights at night, and every morning saw the sun rise over one of the most famous beaches in Australia. They are all now so media savvy, as they calmly were interviewed by ABC radio Sydney and Western Plains, filmed by the ABC 7.30 Report and performed live in the Radio National studio.

The chamber orchestra players from the Australian World Orchestra LOVED them – and would happily travel half way round the world to do it all again with them!

It was a busy four days, but by the end of it they all had increased their music literacy and touring skills – how to memorise music fast, how to blend quickly with their fellow singers, how to make a beautiful sound, how to get up in the morning and do it all again!

The final take at a live audience recording was sensational as the music lifted to yet another incredible level!

The Christmas songs have all been written for Moorambilla Voices by Australian composers, and included Yindyamarra song by Josie Gibson, written in Wiradjuri.

Tours like these give the Moorambilla Voices children the chance to make new friends and catch up with other children from around the region. We’re proud to be: “more than just a choir”.

Noah and Jess are from Dubbo, and go to school together. “Michelle teaches us how to sing. She doesn’t just say well do it, she shows us how to,” says Jess. “I really like singing with Michelle because she helps us so much,” says Noah.

Moorambilla Voices Christmas Album

Artistic Director Michelle Leonard OAM
Accompanied by Clem Leske on piano
Chamber ensemble from the Australian World Orchestra:
Monica Naselow – violin
Madeleine Easton – violin
Tahlia Petrosian – viola
Christina Leonard – saxophone
Kirsty McCann – double bass
Peter Morrison – cello

1. Yindyamarra – A Promised Sign – by Josephine Gibson (sung in Wiradjuri)
2. So Strong by Alice Chance
3. Ride On by William Yaxley
4. Joyful Expectation (of seeing Santa!) by Georgia Scott
5. Sleep little Baby Sleep by David Basden
6. Home Again by Andrew Howes
7. Yindyamarra – A Prospect of Peace by Josephine Gibson – (sung in Wiradjuri)
That’s Why I Really Love Christmas by Owen Elsley

Photography: Noni Carroll

The Album will be released in September. Watch this space for more details!

Thank you to Royal Far West and the International College of Management.

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