Monday, 31 May 2010

All the Way from Scottsdale Tasmania

I've said before that I like Bill B's bloggings - so here's what he wrote yesterday about a visit to hear Scottsdale Choir in north east Tasmania. There's even a bonus non-musical feature:

The weather was bright and sunny today as we set out for an excursion to Scottsdale. We had a roast beef lunch at Cafe on King and then went to a concert of the Scottsdale Choir at 2:30.

Scottsdale's only performing places are at the schools. The town's one public space, the grand old Lyric Theatre, has been unused for years. Today's concert was at the primary school, which we had not visited before. The hall is architecturally interesting, in the form of a hexagon with a soaring pyramid ceiling, topped by a hexagonal lantern. The whole is panelled in timber.

We joined the large audience as it gathered in the hall. Most would have been older than us.

We have been dimly aware of the Scottsdale Choir for some time, but this is the first performance we've been to. The choir has about 20 members, mostly women. Their repertoire was wide ranging, including Waltzing Matilda, Chicago, Vienna City of My Dreams, In the Mood, Alleluia and, uniquely, In Dorset You'll Find Our Name. The last of these was composed for the choir as a sort of local anthem for the Dorset area. The choir is well trained and, unusually, I could understand every word they sang.

The Choir's performances were punctuated by appearances by other Scottsdale musical groups: the local branch of
Sing Australia, Men of Dorset (a barbershop quartet), Strings and Things (two violins and two keyboards) and a number of solo performers. There was considerable overlap between the memberships of the various groups.

During the choir changeovers, the Master of Ceremonies entertained us with jokes. Here's an example. Little Johnny goes to confession. "Bless me, Father, for I have sinned," he says. "I have spent time with a loose girl." "That's serious," says the priest. "Tell me, was it with Lucy Smith?" "I'm very sorry, Father, but I cannot tell you that." "Well, was it with Janet O'Brien?" "I'm sorry, Father, I cannot say." "Let me try again, was it with Helen MacFarlane?" "I'm sorry, Father, I cannot say." "I commend you for your discretion. For your penance, you are banned from the choir for three months." Afterwards, Johnny goes and meets up with his friend Mick. "How did it go?" asks Mick. "Not bad," says Johnny. "No choir practice for three months, and I got three hot tips."

Thank you once more, Bill. Our singing group in Warooka will be blest with all that info. Please note the link to Sing Australia, to which a couple of our members also belong;  and rumour has it that an Ardrossan branch is imminent.

Some of us went far afield on Saturday and enjoyed the final night of that English farce from  the '60s Not Now Darling. It was directed by Michael Ford and performed with elan and some wife-to-husband prompting by the Minlaton and District Arts Group.

Julie, last week's sleepover guest, phoned saying that she and her Korean friend really enjoyed meeting our human singing crowd, but not the mice in the hut at Innes National Park. Last night I caught two more of the little bleeders, after thinking naively that the plague-like numbers were finished. I suppose they are. But two is a plague as far as I am concerned.

1 comment:

  1. Will, I thoroughly enjoy your warble! I know the Scottsdale area (somewhat) having lived in Tassie for eight years in the 90's. I do love Tassie. And I believe everyone who goes to Scottsdale is encouraged to indulge in a Scottsdale pastie! Of course I did, but was put off by the loud piggy mouthed chewing by one of the people I was travelling with, so I don't really have a memory of the pastie, but more the uncouth fatty in the front seat of the car who ate two of the famous pastries very quickly! Ah, sigh... But I do remember the magic of the driving out of Scottsdale and down the East Coast, which is really beautiful. I must tell you about Eaglehawk Neck, and my house at Saltwater River some time - very fond memories.