Concert and champagne mark a special anniversary

Picture this. The date is 1842 and the population of Melbourne is just 6000. In the tiny settlement of Brighton, the first church building, barely able to seat 100, is opened. It happens to be St Andrew’s Day, so the church is named St Andrew’s. A choir is formed. This choir, now Victoria’s oldest, has sung every week since, as Melbourne has grown from small beginnings to the major city it is today.

To mark this extraordinary milestone, last Sunday afternoon the current St Andrew’s Choir treated a full house to a concert of some of the finest choral music composed over 300 years – and it was simply sublime. The choir is composed of BGS and Firbank students, past students and a few adults. They were accompanied by the Australian Festival Chamber Orchestra. Under the masterful direction of Thomas Heywood, who is the St Andrew’s Organist and the Director of Music, they have never sounded so angelic.

Along with the varied performances, the audience was entertained by anecdotes about St Andrew’s musical history and stories of the various composers whose music was played. A champagne reception was enjoyed at interval.

Highlights included the two organs (yes, there are two organs in St Andrew’s!) playing a spectacular duet, and the Hallelujah Chorus finale.