Monday, April 5, 2010

National Folk Festival

Yesterday I got to do something I never thought would be possible. I conducted a choir of 80 beautiful voices.

Bread and Roses - Combines Unions Choir

Admittedly it was only one song (my favourite union song - Bread and Roses), but I conducted it on three different occasions (including a rehearsal!), and I think my smile got wider each time I did it. Not because of the thrill of conducting (I do enjoy doing it, but I'm not a very good conductor at all and I was only filling in for our usual musical director) but for the thrill of having 80 people singing in four-part acapella harmony right in front of me. It sounded fantastic.

Canberra Union Voices were at the National Folk Festival yesterday to sing with three other union choirs - Tasmanian Grassroots Union Choir, Sydney Trade Union Choir and Victorian Trade Union Choir. After weeks of organisation by email, we had just one hour to rehearse seven songs together, and two performances to do. But in between rehearsals and gigs, we had time to take in some other acts.

String Theory
String Theory at the Motown Competition heat.

Mal Webb
Mal Webb at the Motown Competition heat.

The Fooks
The Fooks at the Merry Muse.

Davidson Brothers
Davidson Brothers at the Coorong.

Street choir - Combined Union Choirs

It was a lot of fun, but I got so very tired. I could have done with a nap about mid-afternoon.


About 10 pm I reluctantly called it a night. I said one last farewell to the colourful bunting, hopped on my bike and rode back home. I was showered and in bed asleep not half an hour later.

Today I am really sore so I think I will just stick to the excitement of the sofa. I have some crochet to finish off and some CDs to listen to from the festival (can anyone say "sea shanty"?)


  1. Bravo! I'm sure your 'finishing fingers' were just perfect.

  2. congratulations!
    It sounds like a great day =)
    ps love the red shoes - you look great! =D

  3. Oh my you're a woman of many extraordinary talents! Love your outfit with those gorgeous red shoes.

  4. What a fabulous experience to conduct your acapella choir! And lucky you for seeing the Davidson Brothers - they are something else with the banjo and mandolin. Saw them years ago at the festival.

  5. Sounds like oyu had a wonderful day and congratulations on the conducting.

    I used to conduct the (primary) school choir but I was always awestruck by my colleague who could meld choirs from up to twenty different schools and make them sound fantastic!

  6. Couldn't think of anything more spesh that the exhilaration of eighty voices following your red shoe lead! Well done Mrs.

  7. Oh WOW! As an acapella lover (oh, how I need to get back to choir) I so wish I'd been there to hear them sing and to see you conduct! Very proud of you Michelle - what a superb time you've had!

  8. What a great experience !!!Right in front of all that beautiful singing - uplifting???

  9. That's exciting, congratulations! (as are new CDs after a festival - enjoy!)

  10. Well done! How very exciting for you. :) - Taph.

  11. how magic is that! It gives me goosebumps and I wasn't even there. I hope to get to the festival one of these days rather than always being out of town - I could still hear the last bits when i got home last night.

  12. Yay! It was great to bump into you, even if briefly... and you know, String Theory won the Motown comp...they were great.


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