Review: Children’s Choirs & Pop-up Chamber Orchestra

June 23, 2016

Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th June 2016

News: Music For Canberra’s Pop-up Chamber Orchestra performs again at Ainslie Arts Centre, conducted by Barbara Jerjen

We had yet another busy weekend of performances from Music For Canberra students, both young and young-at-heart, to warm hearts despite the cold outside!

Young choirs present their annual mid-winter concert:

Under the Southern Skies was a wonderful collection of works performed by the Canberra Children’s Choir in concert with the Training and Youth Choirs. The large and potentially imposing space of St Paul’s Church in Manuka was admirably filled with their beautiful voices, and the audience enjoyment of their works was apparent. The Training choir may be a young group but they are big in heart and sound – we will now all remember what to do when we come across a pink panther as we walk along the road. Such lovely voices and great storytelling!

A performance by guest soloist and long term choir member Kirsten Busby was a special moment, and the Canberra Children’s Choir commanded the room with the Tim Minchin song “When I Grow Up”. The Youth Choir had the audience participating in the Australian Medley, and a spectacular finale of the “Australian Anthem for Unity” was presented by the combined Children’s & Youth choirs.

A show of hands confirmed that the performances gave the audience tingles which is one of the real joys of being engaged with live music. Great thanks to our dedicated volunteer choir managers, to Amanda for a lovely flute solo, to conductors Greta Claringbould (Children’s and Training Choirs) and Fraser Findlay Erickson (Youth Choir) for their amazing work with these wonderful musicians, and to our talented accompanist Hanna-Mari Latham.

The Pop-up Chamber Orchestra:

The Pop-up Chamber Orchestra’s performance on Sunday at the Ainslie Arts Centre, conducted by Barbara Jerjen, was a triptych of discovery. Commencing with a Corelli recorder trio, beautifully performed with a lightness of phrasing and dynamics by Barbara, Alexander and Naoise, then progressed to the “Blockflutes” ensemble’s performance of “Hats”. The ensemble comprising of adult recorder players was well rehearsed and demonstrated lovely dynamics, phasing and a solid sense of ensemble – an outstanding inaugural performance by this group (and congratulations on your name too!).

The Pop-up Chamber Orchestra is a concept proposed by conductor Barbara Jerjen, and inaugurated at 2015’s end-of-year Showcase at Llewellyn Hall, which gathers musicians who learn at Music For Canberra, many of whom take individual lessons and therefore don’t get the opportunity to play as part of a larger ensemble with other musicians. Students are encouraged to join the orchestra to experience and learn the techniques of ensemble playing, and expand their confidence through live performance. With only five rehearsals, these orchestral musicians captured the dancing feel of their works and had good balance. Thank you to Kate Firkins for organising the event and to conductor Barbara Jerjen for a compact and rich concert.

Congratulations to all our musicians who performed at this weekend’s concerts. Best wishes with preparations for your next performances!

Kathleen Grant
CEO & Artistic Director

For more pictures of the Pop-up Chamber Orchestra, please see our photo album on Facebook.

Choir parents – we didn’t have a staff member taking photos due to multiple events running at the same time, so we encourage you to post your own photos to our Facebook page, or email them to so that we can create a photo album!