|Melbourne University Choral Society
Hometown: Melbourne, Australia
Web site: http://www.mucs.aicsa.org.au
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Founded in 1939 when the University's men's and women'sglee clubs merged, the Melbourne University Choral Society (MUCS) has established a reputation as one of Melbourne's leading large choirs, and has brought an exciting blend of youthful energy and musical skill to many works throughout its almost seven decades of existence.
A non-auditioned choir run by and for predominantly Melbourne University students, MUCS exists to offer both students and interested members of the community the chance to learn and perform choral music in a friendly and relaxed environment - irrespective of age, experience or profession.
Under the direction of the choir's long-serving Principal Conductor Andrew Wailes MUCS has performed music from all the important periods in musical history, and has given numerous first performances of new works by young Australian composers.
MUCS usually gives at least three major performances a year, complemented be a number of smaller additional concerts and appearances. The performances are a combination of concerts fully produced by MUCS, usually featuring professional soloists and orchestras, and joint performances with other engaging bodies, which have recently included groups such as the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Independent Classics and the University of Melbourne.
Major works performed by the choir in recent years have included highly-acclaimed performances of the Melbourne premiere of Carl Vine's Choral Symphony, Verdi's Requiem, Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem and Orff's Carmina Burana, (with the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic and Melbourne Youth Orchestra), Mahler's “Resurrection”Symphony 2 and Brahms’ Schicksalslied, Ravel’s Daphnis & Chloe, and Rachmaninov’s cantataThe Bells with the Victorian College of the Arts Symphony Orchestra. Many of these concerts have been met with enthusiastic reviews:
"Each of the choral lines came across with precision and warmth...the choir's competence was tellingly displayed..."
Clive O'Connell, THE AGE
“The Choral Society had moments of mystical beauty...(they) touched the poignancy button... Conductor Andrew Wailes coaxed some creditable dynamic ranges and phrasing... under Wailes' musical persuasion, the choir had crisp diction and dynamics"
Xenia Hanusiak, The Herald-Sun
Many of these performances have subsequently been broadcast on Melbourne's classical radio station, 3MBS-FM and ABC Classic FM. Members of MUCS have also participated in other performances including AFL grand finals, the Melbourne Comedy Festival Gala and various charity performances.
"..the orchestra and choir produced a performance that was of exceptional quality...The choir, prepared by Andrew Wailes, produced an excellent, blended tone"
Joel Crotty, The Age
MUCS is one of the founding choirs of the Australian Intervarsity Choral Movement, and each year members participate in the Intervarsity Choral Festival, which in recent years has included concerts such as Verdi's Requiem with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Bernstein’s Mass with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610 with players from the Canberra School of Music, and Dvorak's Stabat Mater (with the Prague Chamber Orchestra as part of the Perth International Festival). In 2005, MUCS co-hosted the 56th Intervarsity Choral Festival in Melbourne.
Other concerts have included Mozart's Requiem and the Andrew Lloyd Webber Requiem in St Patrick's Cathedral for the Victorian Cancer Council's Daffodil Day Remembrance Concert, Handel's Coronation Anthems and the Melbourne premiere of John Peterson's In Visible Darkness with the Yale Glee Club and the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra. Other concerts in association with the RMPO have included Magnificat settings of C.P.E. Bach, Pergolesi and Vivaldi, Handel’s Messiah, Orff's Carmina Burana, Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms and the world premiere of John Peterson's Mourning and the Light Within.
MUCS has been featured on ABC Classic FM's ‘Rising Stars’ program, performing music of the Russian Orthodox church by Alexander Kastalsky, and Carl Vine's Choral Symphony.
MUCS has hosted a number of visiting international choirs, including several from the USA. These have included the Southwestern College Choir from San Diego, the Yale Glee Club, Occidental Glee Club (Los Angeles) and the acclaimed Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum (Harvard University). In 2008 MUCS has hosted the Orchester der Universitat Stuttgart from Germany, and most recently the Choir of the Hong Kong Baptist University.
Recent highlights have included Rutters’ Gloria, Bruckner’s Te Deum, Schubert’s Mass in A flat, Fauré’s Requiem, Mozart’s Missa Solemnis, Haydn’s Te Deum, Kodaly’s Budavari Te Deum, Verdi’s Quattro Pezzi Sacri and Hymn of the Nations, Saint Saens Christmas Oratorio and Gounod’s Solemn Mass for Saint Cecilia.
In January 2010 MUCS will undertake its first international tour, when 70 members will travel to Europe, performing concerts and providing the musc in High Masses in Cathedrals and Churches in Heidelberg, Rothenberg, Stuttgart, Linz, Munich, Vienna, Salzburg, Bratislava and Prague.
The choir is open to all students and interested members of the community and there are no auditions. Rehearsals take place every Wednesday evening from 6.45pm to 9.30pm in the West Hall of St. Mary's College, University of Melbourne.
For more information, visit the choir's website at www.mucs.aicsa.org.au or contact:
MUCS c/- The Secretary,
Box 51 Union House, University of Melbourne,
Parkville VIC 3010
Visit the MUCS website:
Music, Video, Image and Lyric Samples:
dedication.doc - This dedication will appear in the program at the concert on October 4.