The 5th Intervarsity Choral Festival: MELBOURNE, 29 May-4 June 1954

Camp Venue: Frankston
Participants: SUMS, MUCS, QUMS


MUCS Committee
Joint Secretaries: Helen Jenkins, Michael Wilkins


3 June, St Kilda Town Hall
Conductor: Gordon Spearritt; David Barkla; Percy Jones; Bill Pierce; Hugh Brandon; Percy Jones
Soloists: Betty Tucker, Anne Levin, Paul Gavin, William Watkins
Program: 'Gaudeamus Igitur'; Weelkes On the Plains Fairy Trains, Byrd Lullaby my Sweet Little Baby, Dowland Say Love if Ever thou Dids’t Find, Byrd Though Amaryllis Dance (QUMS Madrigal Group); Bach Cantata No. 50 ('Now Shall the Grace) (SUMS); Holst 'Three Choral Hymns from the Rig Veda ' (MUCS); Bach 'Seven Chorales' (SUMS); Warlock 'Three Carols', 'As Dew in Aprylle' (QUMS); Vaughan Williams Mass in G-minor (Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus sung by MUCS; Credo sung by Combined choirs); 'God Save the Queen'
Notes: Org: Bill Pierce, David Barkla; Piano: Margaret Kerrison, Jim Thomas
Review: Jeffreys Scherek, 'Melbourne Intervarsity Choral Festival', Canon, 7.12 (July 1954): 528-29. "It is a healthy sign when the Universities of Melbourne, Sydney and Queensland can each muster a choir of over sixty voices from the ranks of their students, and that the singers themselves should be so keen as they obviously are. Tone quality in all sections was full, round and ringing, and judged by any standard the singing from each of the choirs individually was good, while when they joined forces the quality rose at times to an unusually high level. Faults of intonation there were, but they were by no means excessive; many a professional choir has been guilty of worse sins in this direction. Enunciation, too, was far from perfect (Melbourne was the best in this respect), but here again, the same criticism can justly be made of many well established and highly esteemed bodies of singers. When it is remembered that these young people are not professional musicians (only two are Conservatorium students) any minor blemishes fade into insignificance in [the] face of the general excellence of their performances … This beautiful unaccompanied music [the Vaughan Williams] is not easy to sing at any time, even by experienced singers; that it could be done so well, and without loss of pitch, by a group of over two hundred amateurs, says much for their general quality and enthusiasm – and would that our professional choirs could produce such a youthful quality of sound."


The 'Hotel Australia incident' was reported in "Wet City Bouquets on Student 'Symphony'", Sun [Melbourne], 4 June 1954: 3, and in a similar article in the Sydney papers, "Students Kept on Singing in the Fain”, Sydney Morning Herald, 4 June 1954: 3. Photograph of "University Choristers in Camp at Frankston", Age, 2 June 1954: 5.

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AICSAPedia: MIV1954 (last edited 2020-02-09 10:07:15 by cpe-60-224-22-30)