Gondwana National Choral School 2020

This year 17 choristers from Armidale had the privilege to join the prestigious Gondwana National Choral School in January. The choristers auditioned in September last year and won a hotly contested position in the choirs from hundreds of applicants. Congratulations to Mauatua Barff, Anoushka Byrne, Teya Catterall, Delphi Collins, Gabrielle Cotterell, Holly Dauparas, Alexander Gibson, Tiko Lay, Eloise Gooch, Esther Lindeman, William Mackson, Erin Page, India Smith, Abigail Thompson and Clare Warwick. In addition, NECOM alumni Oliver and Jonathan Bruhl have won a place in the senior Gondwana Chorale.

From Tiko Lay, Year 7 (New England Singers)
For two weeks in January I attended the Gondwana Festival of Summer Voices. Last year I had to audition for it and I was super nervous but it wasn't that scary once I got in there and I was relieved and happy when I got in.

When I arrived on my first day, I felt excited but a bit unsure about what was ahead. There were plenty of kids there who felt the same but we all knew that we would have a great time. It was nice to see some familiar faces from Armidale but it was also great to make new friends.

Gondwana 2020 for me was amazing. I learnt so much and had so much fun in the choir. I was in the junior choir and all of the people in the choir were amazing singers and we sounded great as a group. It was only my first Gondwana but I had heard what it was like and it was even better than I thought. The food and the people were great. They kept us all entertained with a trivia night, in-house concert and our excursion.

The repertoire was really well put together and we really enjoyed singing and performing the music. My favourite piece was the combined piece by Lisa Young which was written especially for the festival and included singers from all of the Gondwana choirs. It was amazing and involved body percussion, drumming and actions. I can't wait to audition this year for Gondwana 2021 and I hope to see all my new Gondwana friends again.

Hear Lisa Young talking about her piece, Sacred Stepping Stones, below.