Hilltops Choir Inc.

"Sharing the Joy of Singing"

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Sharing the stage at the Harden Kite Festival - 7 October 2023

The Hilltops Choir is a community group that has been around in one form or another for over 15 years.

Formerly known as the Choir of the Southern Cross, the group changed its name in recognition of the fact that its members are also from Harden, Cootamundra and surrounding villages.

This year, the choir has performed at the Young Show, the Harden Kite Festival and in December will perform at the Cherry Festival in Young.

The Hilltops Choir holds concerts throughout the year. Our last performance of the year will be at the Christmas Carols in Carrington Park Young.

The group is always looking to bolster its member numbers and welcome anyone who wants to sing.

No auditions are needed. Many current members have little or no musical training. They sing for the sheer pleasure of singing.

The group does aim to perform on a regular basis, singing a mix of contemporary and traditional songs that are well within reach of everyone’s ability.

If you would like to go along and have some fun on a Monday night during school term time, then join us from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm, with time for a break and some shared laughter.

Email the Hilltops Choir at hilltopschoir@gmail.com

Christmas in July Concert 2023

Sunday 30th July

Venue: Uniting Church Hall - Corner of Cloete Street & Lynch Street, Young, NSW

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Hilltops Choir performing at the Southern Cross Cinema

Date: Monday 13 March 2023 | Time: 7:30PM

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CHRISTMAS IN JULY 2022

The Young Show - 17 October 2022

HILLTOPS CHOIR SINGING IN MURRUMBURRAH

The voices of the Hilltops Choir will be heard in the Ross Memorial Uniting Church, Murrumburrah on Saturday, 19th March 2022 as the curtain-raiser for the much awaited Bach in the Dark recital.

After a two year recess due to COVID restrictions, the Hilltops Choir is ready to bring the joy of singing to the wider community.

Why not come along for the concert start at 7.00 pm and immerse yourself in an amazing evening of inspiring music composed by Bach and others with professional artists Rachel Scott (cello), Deborah de Graaff (clarinet) and Ben Sibson (percussion).

Tickets are available online from www.bachinthedark.com and will be sold at the door.  Supper will follow the recital with local wines, cheeses, tea/coffee and slices in the adjoining church hall.  For further enquires, please call Stewart Bruce on 0423 090 912


JOY TO THE WORLD

* PLEASE NOTE: due to COVID restrictions, we have had to postpone our concert to a later date.

The Hilltops Choir is back in full voice after a COVID-19 recess and now preparing for their upcoming Joy to the World concert on Sunday, 25th July commencing at 2.00 pm at St John’s Anglican Church, Young - depending on Covid-19 restrictions at the time.  Entry will be by donation.

The choir, together with local guest artist Wickham Lane and the Canberra-based Forrest National Chamber Orchestra, will perform a variety of enchanting music from Australia to Europe.  There will also be a dose of Christmas in July cheer, followed by a rousing pre-interval surprise item by tenor Peter O’Connor (and audience)!

One of the highlights of the afternoon will be the choir’s performance of excerpts from Handel’s Messiah interspersed with solos by well-known soprano Julie O’Connor.  Accompaniment will be provided by the Forrest National Chamber Orchestra alongside local musician Stewart Bruce on keyboard, all under the baton of musical director Rodney Clancy.

Hilltops Choir is a non-auditioned adult community choir based in Young with the motto “for the joy of singing”.  New members are most welcome.  Rehearsals are on Monday nights 7.30-9.30 pm at the Town Hall and on Zoom during COVID Lockdown.  For further inquiries, please contact secretary Clare Grantham on 0434 863 085.

H.Bruce -Publicity Officer


HOW WE COPED DURING THE COVID PANDEMIC

After nearly 2 years of "rehearsals on ZOOM", the Hilltops Choir resumed Face-to-Face rehearsals on Monday 7th February 2022 with appropriate Covid restrictions such as QR Code sign-in, social distancing and wearing face masks. Shorter singing sessions of 30 minutes also, with outside breaks for fresh air and a drink of water.

  • 14 December 2019: Christmas Carols @ St. Anthony's Catholic Church,  Harden NSW
  • 8 December 2019: Hark Hilltops Hallelujah Concert @ St. Johns Church, Young NSW
  • 7 December 2019: Cherry Festival Performance on 2nd Stage, Young NSW)
  • 28 September 2019: 10 Years of SATB Choral Singing Reunion held at Services Club, Young NSW
  • 30th June 2019: Cowra Concert @ the Cowra RSL Club. The Hilltops Choir performed in collaboration with the Cowra Vocal Ensemble.

CITY-MEETS-COUNTRY CHORAL WEEKEND

Forty-seven of the Macquarie Singers from Sydney’s north-west will converge on Young on the weekend of 25-26 May 2019 to join with our own Hilltops Choir and members of the Cowra Vocal Ensemble for a unique singing experience. Saturday will see a series of workshops for the singers under the direction of two talented and experienced musical directors - Dr. Sarah Penicka-Smith (Macquarie Singers) and Rodney Clancy (Hilltops Choir).

The evening will then be a time to relax with dinner, socialising and an ‘open mike’ session completing a busy day. Sunday’s activities will include a morning rehearsal in preparation for a public concert at 2.00 pm in the Young Services Club Auditorium.

This concert will showcase a broad range of repertoire from the two choirs. The finale will feature the 90-strong group of singers presenting their three workshopped songs. Concert tickets will only be sold at the door - $15 adults, $10 concession.

We thank the Young Services Club for catering and providing the rehearsal space and concert venue for the weekend. The Macquarie Singers and their partners – over 60 in the group – have deliberately opted for motel accommodation rather than billeting to help the local economy in a time when many country towns in NSW are suffering from drought conditions.

The local Hilltops Choir, like the Macquarie Singers, is a non-auditioned community choir. Members meet on Monday evenings at the Young Uniting Church Hall for rehearsal, 7.30-9.30 pm. New members are always welcome.

Macquarie Singers in concert under the leadership of Dr. Sarah Penicka-Smith.


Eris Gleeson of the Hilltops Suicide Prevention Network accepting a cheque for $700 from Tracey Clark (left) and Carole Clark on behalf of the Macquarie Singers following a successful choral weekend workshop in Young.

Tracey (secretary) and Carole (president), of the local Hilltops Choir which hosted the choral workshop towards the end of May. The Macquarie Singers were keen to support a local service with their donation, particularly in a time of drought.


DECADE OF CHORAL SINGING CELEBRATED

Hilltops Choir recently hosted a reunion of choral singers at the Young Services Club to celebrate over ten years of community singing in the Hilltops Region and beyond.

Mark Shiell, the 2008 foundation musical director of the Choir of the Southern Cross, traveled from Melbourne for the occasion.

A PowerPoint presentation capturing choral singing in the district brought back many cherished memories of joyful experiences many local choristers have had over the past decade.

Following dinner, guests were treated to a special item “Shenandoah” conducted by Hilltops Choir’s Rodney Clancy with accompanist Stewart Bruce. This song was the signature piece taught by Mark Shiell all those years ago. Mark spoke briefly about how his vision for a community choir-based in Young came to fruition, and how choir members grew in confidence from Shenandoah to a broad repertoire encompassing spiritual, classical, musicals, movies, and the jazz genre.

To conclude the evening, the Hilltops Choir sang a selection of songs from their current repertoire. Some of these may be performed at the Hark Hallelujah! concert on the Sunday afternoon of the Cherry Festival weekend at St John’s Anglican Church, Young.

The Hilltops Choir is a non-auditioned community choir and is always looking for new members. If you love to sing with others, come along and join us. We meet Monday evenings from 7.30-9.30 pm in the Young Uniting Church hall.

1. Choral singers Christine Emmett and Margaret Edwards were foundation singers ten years ago. 2. Choristers Mary Moffitt and Liz Napier reminiscing at the choral reunion event. 3. Rodney Clancy (current Hilltops Choir musical director) with Mark Shiell (2008 foundation musical director of the Choir of the Southern Cross). 4. Yvonne Tredinnick, singer, and accompanist, has supported choral singing in Young over many years.

SECOND EASTER EXTRAVAGANZA CHORAL CONCERT A HUGE SUCCESS

Over two hundred people from the Hilltops region and beyond enjoyed a wonderful Sunday afternoon concert recently in St John’s Anglican Church, Young.

What a treat with the program consisting of the Hilltops Choir, the Cowra Vocal Ensemble, a duet by visiting Canberra- based artists Rodney Clancy (bass) and George Brenan (tenor), a pipe organ solo by local musician Stewart Bruce and the Young Regional School of Music’s Flute Ensemble conducted by Liz Boland.

Hilltops Choir (directed by Rodney Clancy) sang two brackets with some old favourites plus a new repertoire, with special mention of The Rhythm of Life and Dies Irae (this from Mozart’s Requiem).

The Cowra Vocal Ensemble of 20 singers entertained with five contrasting pieces, while the six young folk in the flute ensemble presented a string of well-known hymn tunes. Stewart ‘blew the dust’ out of the pipe organ with his take on Highland Cathedral, and the vocal duo of Rodney and George Brenan gave a moving performance of Lily’s Eyes from the musical/movie The Secret Garden.

At the conclusion of the concert, a lovely afternoon tea was had on the church grounds making full use of the fine autumn afternoon.

Special thanks go to Hilltops Council for the grant that made this musical event a reality. Thank you also to the Anglican folk who organised catering and to St John’s for providing the venue and use of the pipe organ.

For enquiries about the Hilltops Choir, contact Jacquei on 0427 826 050, as new members are always welcome!