PORT Stephens’ inclusive community choir, The Seaside Singers are set to showcase their talents in Japan on a 17-day tour, titled Creating Harmony Together.
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Fourteen choristers and their musical director will perform and take part in workshops at each of Port Stephens’ sister cities, Kushiro, Yugawara and Tateyama, and at ‘pop-up’ concerts in art galleries and museums.
Mrs Antrum said the choir would perform in concert with Japanese choirs and will hold workshops to teach each other songs they will present at the concerts.
The Australian Government has awarded the choir a $20,000 grant through The Australia-Japan Foundation.
An enormous amount of work has gone into preparing a repertoire for what is shaping up to be a very busy tour.
The repertoire for the tour includes a mix of songs by Australian and Japanese composers and the choir will sing these in the original languages.
Traditional melodies such as Waltzing Matilda and Kojo no Tsuki (Moon at the Ruined Castle) are also featured.
One of these, “Morning Tide” is a traditional Aboriginal Melody, arranged by Stephen Leek and inspired by the musical tradition of the Torres Strait Islander people.
Port Stephens Sister Cities Committee, celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, helped facilitate the visit, which includes two days’ homestay accommodation to give the choristers a feel for the Japanese way of life.
A highlight will be a performance at the famous Hakone Venetian Glass Museum, not far from Yugawara.
The Port Stephens Sister Cities Committee is a 355C committee of Council, which receives funding each year for their administration costs.
Nigel Dique of the Sister Cities Committee told News Of The Area, “Membership to Sister Cities is open to everyone in Port Stephens and members can experience different cultures through programs which include homestays and cultural exchanges including choral performances.”
The choir depart on 11 October for what is shaping up to be a unique opportunity to share and learn.
By Marian SAMPSON