The 4th Intervarsity Choral Festival: SYDNEY, 30 May-6 June 1953

Camp Venue: YMCA Camp, Yarramundi via Richmond
Participating Choirs: SUMS, MUCS, QUMS, AUCS


Convenor: Robin Mackenzie
Secretary: Shirley Bradhurst
Treasurer: Ray Holland
Committee: Klaus Weissflog, James Cunningham, Ivan Ward, Ralph Schureck, Jak Kelly


8pm, 4 June, Great Hall, University of Sydney Conductor: Percy Jones; Gordon Spearritt; G. Faunce Allman; Hugh Brandon; Percy Jones; G. Faunce Allman
Program: 'God Save the Queen', 'Gaudeamus Igitur'; Byrd Ave Verum Corpus, Victoria Caligaverunt, Morley Ho, Who Comes Here?, Bennet Let Goe, Why do You Stay Me? (MUCS); Farmer Fair Phyllis I Saw, Wilbye Adieu, Sweet Amarillis, Byrd This Sweet and Merry Month (QUMS); Bach Magnificat (SUMS); Rubbra The Virgin’s Cradle Hymn, Bantock The Isles of Greece, Stanford The Blue Bird, Walton Make We Joy Now in this Fest (QUMS); Vaughan Williams Serenade to Music (MUCS); Vaughan Williams Festival Te Deum (combined)
Notes: Org: David Barkla; Piano: Margaret-Anne Kerrison.
Review: Martin Long, 'University Choirs', Australian Musical News, 44.1 (July 1953): 40. "A deal of very fine music went to waste in the course of the concert, though there were some memorable moments. The most memorable were provided by the choir from Queensland, most notably in a group of madrigals sung with exquisite subtlety of expression … There was fine singing, too, in a group of modern part songs of unequal merit … [MUCS] tackled the serious business of a group of liturgical works … with fair success."
L.B., "University Choirs in Concert", Sydney Morning Herald, 5 June 1953: 2. "Choirs from the universities of Melbourne, Queensland, and Sydney sang most about joy, yet not often with it, during the Inter-Varsity Choral Festival … Allman was able to win a more convincing expression of joy later, when the three choirs combined under him … [QUMS] sang with graceful, light-heartedness of style … Greater problems of expression and style were faced, and often solved by the well-disciplined Melbourne singers [with] some attractive weaving of the vocal strands."
'Inter-Varsity Choral Festival', Canon, 6.12 (July 1953): 530-31. "The factors which contributed mainly to the success of this festival … were the experience and musicianship of the conductor … coupled with the infectious enthusiasm of the young people presenting their contributions. Byrd’s Ave Verum Corpus and Vittoria's Caligaverunt were convincingly interpreted by the visitors from Melbourne, who later gave proof of their adaptability in a stylistically sung modified version of Vaughan Williams' Serenade to Music. The Queensland singers impressed with their sensitive handling of Elizabethan Madrigals and modern part songs. In diction, balance and modulation their offerings were doubtlessly the most accomplished of the night. Sydney had prepared the most ambitious item of the programme, the Magnificat in D Major by Bach. Many a professional choir would have hesitated to undertake such a difficult task, but when young people get together with a serious purpose in mind, their determination and zest will always succeed … The three choirs combined in a stirring performance of the Festival Te Deum … a performance which provided a most suitable conclusion to the Festival."


Colour photographs taken by Beckmann, Davis and McLennan of QUMS. ABC recorded and replayed most items. A disc was cut by Columbia Records Pty Ltd. Festival subsidised by Student Representative Council. Preview by Helen Morton, 'Intervarsity Choral Festival', Australian Musical News, 43.12 (June 1953): 31.

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