"I consider myself to be a grass roots composer because my inspiration is derived from nature."
- Rosalind Carlson
The Victorious Carlson Chorale
The Carlson Chorale3
The Carlson Chorale
The Carlson Chorale2
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The Carlson Chorale was founded in 1972 by Rosalind Carlson from her former students at Canterbury Girls' High School and later Hornsby Girls' High School. This all female choir is involved in competition, concert, charity and community work. It has an extensive repertoire which covers a wide range of choral items from the light-hearted and folk idioms through to the more dramatic and intensive compositions. These include some of the most challenging songs written for female choirs. The Chorale specialises in a cappella singing, especially works by the Hungarian composers Zoltan Kodály and Béla Bartók.
Those who hear the Chorale sing comment not only on the technical achievement, the manner in which a beautiful blend of the varied vocal qualities is achieved, but also on the obvious enjoyment which the Chorale members display in their singing.
As a youth choir, the Carlson Chorale was invited by the Israeli Ministry of Tourism to give performances in Israel and to sing in Bethlehem's Manger Square on Christmas Eve in 1979. This invitation provided the Chorale the opportunity to tour not only Israel, but also Europe and England. As a result, a four week concert tour was arranged to include the Holy Land, Budapest, Salzburg and London. Rosalind Carlson had the honour of receiving the Israel State Medal which was presented to her by the Israeli Government in 1980 in recognition of the Carlson Chorale's 1979 Concert Tour. A number of Chorale members who toured overseas in 1979 are still singing with the choir today, more than 30 years later!
Over the years the Carlson Chorale has won numerous awards and honours. It has been involved in film and radio work and has recorded for ABC radio, for two ABC television performances and other concerts for the ABC including a film appearance in "Notes on a Landscape.
Several works have been written specifically for the group, including "The Last of His Tribe" by Anne Boyd, "Four Aesop's Fables" by Edward Hughes, "Three Psalms" by Paul Paviour, "Uluru Dreaming" by Ruth Lee Martin, and "Still Your Fears Mary" by Miriam Hyde.
Rosalind Carlson has also composed a number of works for the Chorale such as "Psalms of Joy", "Hear the Angels Sing" and "Old Man Platypus".
"Australian Sunrise" was recorded in 2002 in the magnificent acoustics of the Mount St. Benedict Convent Chapel, as was the Chorale's first CD, "Arcadia", recorded in 2000. Since their release, "Arcadia" and "Australian Sunrise" have enjoyed regular airplay on both ABC and 2MBS-FM radio. Then in 2012 to celebrate the Chorale's 40th Anniversary, a third CD was launched entitled "Reflections". Recorded on this disc is Rosalind Carlson's "Old Man Platypus". This is a setting of Banjo Paterson's Australian poem by the same name.
"Reflections" is archival in concept because it traces the Carlson Chorale's choral output from 1979-80 to 2012. As a Youth choir, this includes international concerts given on tour in London (1979-80); the Horizon Series of concerts presented and recorded in 1992-3 by the ABC (of Female Australian Choral Repertoire); and the choir as it is today.
The works included on these CDs demonstrate the Chorale's versatility and its varied repertoire.
"Hear the Angels Sing" performed on the "Australian Sunrise" Carlson Chorale CD was nominated for the Vocal/Choral Award Work of the Year in the 2003 APRA - AMC Classical Music Awards Nominations. Rosalind considered it to be a great honour to have her song nominated. Rosalind wrote the lyrics as well as composing the music for this beautiful tranquil song.
McGraw Hill Education included "Uluru Dreaming" from the Carlson Chorale's CD "Arcadia", in their publication "In Tune With Music" Book 2, 3rd Edition, by Ian Dorricott, for use in Australian High Schools. In the City of Ryde Eisteddfod held at the Ryde Civic Hall on 3rd August 2010, the Carlson Chorale won the a Cappella Choir - open age - the Federated Music Clubs Philip and Peggy Woods Award. They won this award again in 2011 and 2012. Then again in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.
The Carlson Chorale performed at the Music Teachers Association of NSW Centenary Luncheon held at Parliament House Sydney on 13th July 2012. Here the choir sang Rosalind Carlson's "Old Man Platypus" and Ruth Lee Martin's "Uluru Dreaming" as guest artists at this auspicious occasion.
Hat Trick for the Carlson Chorale
The Carlson Chorale pulled off three wins at the 2014 City of Ryde Eisteddfod. They competed in three sections, winning all three:
Section 154 Chamber Choir 3-12 voices,
Section 155 A Capella Choir Open Age, the Federated Music Clubs of Australia Philip and Peggy Woods Award, and
Section 160 The Ryde City Council Choral Award - Open age.
The Adjudicator, Mr. Peter Ellis, Director of Choral Programs at Barker College, remarked on hearing that the Carlson Chorale had been going for over 40 years: “Just keep going”.