Although we are only half way through, 2016 has already proven to be a tumultuous year for Gondwana Choirs. Yet significant bad news has been accompanied by shining silver linings.
Two major announcements have caused great upheaval for the organisation. The first of these was the announcement from the Australia Council for the Arts that we would no longer receive multi-year operational funding. The second was the disappointing news that the Sydney Sings festival was to be “postponed”. Much of our year’s work in the office had been centered around planning for this event. We were hugely disappointed that we would not have the opportunity to showcase the breadth of Gondwana Choirs’ work in such a festival and we felt keenly the impact that this was going to have on our choristers from across Australia.
Yet alongside these bad tidings came feelings of great joy as we experienced a flood of unprecedented support and recognition from Sydney’s music community and from the public. This has given us a renewed confidence in the value of our work as an organisation , our contribution to the artistic landscape of the country and to the enrichment of the lives of hundreds of young people.
The most public show of support came through the Rhythm & Voice fundraising concert on 13 June, generously presented by the City Recital Hall, shared with our friends at Synergy and Taikoz.
The presence of so many of Sydney’s most wonderful musicians who generously performed in support of Synergy/Taikoz and Gondwana Choirs was quite overwhelming and absolutely memorable. To get such a large audience on the afternoon of a public holiday was a real achievement and was made possible by such outstanding performers. You will be pleased to know that the concert raised almost $40,000 each for Gondwana Choirs and Synergy/Taikoz. I would like to send my personal thanks to all the members of:
the Sydney Symphony Orchestra
the Australian Chamber Orchestra, led by Richard Tognetti
the Australia Ensemble
The Song Company
theLingalayam Dance Company
Their presence was a tremendous vindication of our work and really uplifting for all our young performers with whom they shared the stage.
Other great support has been forthcoming through words. Here is a small quote from Lyndon Terracini, Artistic Director of Opera Australia, from an article in Limelight Magazine:
Just imagine the outcry if the Austrian Government cut the funding for the Vienna Boy’s Choir! It’s the same thing – Lyn Williams is doing work at that level.
And then of course there has been the generosity by the parents of choristers and from so many wonderful donors, through our Annual Giving Campaign, Raise Your Voice.
We believe in the power and value of our work and we sincerely thank all our supporters.There can be no doubt, we will continue to astound, uplift and inspire you.
With warmth and music,