July 2014 witnessed a significant milestone for Gondwana Choirs: 200 Gondwana choristers took to the stage of the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall to join the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in the premiere of Jandamarra: Sing for the Country by Paul Stanhope. This commission was the brainchild of Artistic Director Lyn Williams and Peter Czornyj and was generously supported by Gondwana Choirs and SSO donor, Vicki Ollson.
Jandamarra was a warrior of the Bunuba people – a clever and courageous leader who defended his country against overwhelming odds. In Jandamarra: Sing for the Country, Paul Stanhope created a dramatic cantata for large forces, including soloists, children’s choir, narrators, a large orchestra and Indigenous singers and dancers.
The combined choral forces brought together Gondwana Chorale, Sydney Children’s Choir, Gondwana National Indigenous Children’s Choir and a specially-assembled choir of secondary school students.
We are grateful to IAG, who generously supported the travel of our Cairns Indigenous Children’s Choir, and our SCC families, who provided them a home away from home during the porject.
Of this tour-de-force, Clive Paget wrote in Limelight Magazine:
Chief honours must go to the various ensembles of Gondwana Choirs … Immaculately drilled, the young voices offered an object lesson in choral discipline, singing with focussed tone and palpable enthusiasm.