Countless memories have been created at Hamer Hall during the National Boys Choir of Australia’s annual Christmas Concerts over the years. The 2018 Christmas Concert will be remembered as one of the NBCA’s pinnacle concerts for years to come.
The repertoire featured the main work of Handel’s Eternal Source of Light Divine (Birthday Ode for Queen Anne 1713), assisted by soloists Jacqueline Porter, Max Riebl, Jeremy Kleeman and NBCA Old Boy Austin Haynes. The piece experienced renewed interest when the opening section was performed by a soprano in the bridal procession during the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Though, the NBCA Performing Choir and soloists (in particular, a countertenor) provided the voice range and type for which this major work was intended. The first half also welcomed our Elementary and Junior Choirs to the stage with gorgeously presented pieces including Cantate Domino, On a Starlit Night and I See a Star.
By the second half, a selection of Christmas carols was performed to capture the talents of the year’s Performing Choir and Choir soloists: Harry Hendel and Lachlan McLean in Good King Wenceslas, Matthew Risson in The First Nowell and Alessio Russo in O Come, All Ye Faithful. The final lingering notes of O Come, All Ye Faithful also marked the point when audience members gave Mr Casey a standing ovation. A fitting send-off and conclusion to his last concert as Co-Artistic Director, that emphasised the Choir community’s respect for Mr Casey and his contributions over the last 51 years. The concert’s closing also highlighted the conclusion of a Casey family member being at the helm of NBCA entire 54-year history. Bravo to all NBCA staff and Board members, choristers, audience members and extended NBCA community for making the evening a truly special occasion.
As one of the NBCA’s Facebook friends commented:
“About the best concert we’ve been to. Terrific soloists including the boys. Sad to be Peter’s last concert and best wishes to his family.”