Mass in Blue to be performed at Merimbula

Mass in Blue: The Canberra-based Llewellyn Choir will perform from the jazz mass at the ecumenical service during the jazz festival.
Mass in Blue: The Canberra-based Llewellyn Choir will perform from the jazz mass at the ecumenical service during the jazz festival.

There is a special treat in store for both lovers of jazz and choral music at this year’s Merimbula Jazz Festival when the Canberra-based Llewellyn Choir performs at the ecumenical service on Sunday June 11 starting at 11.30am at St Joseph’s Catholic Church, Merimbula.

The 25-strong Llewellyn Choir under the musical direction of Rowan Harvey-Smith will perform the Kyrie and Gloria from the jazz mass, ‘Mass in Blue’ by English composer, Will Todd.

Jazz committee member Paul Dion who arranged for the choir to take part in the festival said he was absolutely delighted.

“It’s a first for the festival and very exciting indeed. The popular Rhythm Syndicate vocal group will also be presenting items and then joining forces with the Llewellyn Choir for the congregational hymn selection. I guarantee you’ll never hear the likes of this again. It is not to be missed,” Mr Dion said.

Llewellyn Choir organiser Ted Briggs said choir members were really thrilled to have the opportunity to be involved.

“Between us all I reckon we’ll lift the roof off the church,” Mr Briggs said.

“The best thing about the non-denominational gospel service is how it brings everyone together and leaves everyone feeling happy,” Rhythm Syndicate organiser Kym McKnown added.

The ecumenical service on the Sunday morning of the jazz festival weekend has been a popular event for many years and Rector of the Sapphire Coast Anglican Parish, Lou Oakes who is involved in the organisation said she was “so looking forward to this service, it’s one of the highlights of the year”.

The Llewellyn Choir is one of Canberra’s premier choirs and was founded in 1980 by Emeritus Professor William Hawkey, director and Professor of Music at the Canberra School of Music (now the ANU School of Music).

The repertoire is mainly based on the classical choral repertoire, but it also includes lightly accompanied smaller pieces drawn from a wide range of styles, including folk songs and jazz.

As a prelude to the Merimbula Jazz Festival there is the Jazz Festival Ball on Thursday, June 8 at the Merimbula RSL Club. The festival itself runs from Friday evening June 9 to Monday afternoon, June 12 when the Jazz Hatters party takes place at Club Sapphire.

During the weekend the town will ring to the sound of jazz in six official venues, two in Club Sapphire, two in the RSL Club, Twyford Hall and the Lakeview Hotel where the hotly contested Jazz Quest takes place on Saturday evening showcasing some extraordinary younger talent. For more information about the Merimbula Jazz Festival visit www.merimbulajazz.org.au.