Christmas choir a ‘‘delight’’
Pennell to perform
Avis Pennell might be turning 90 next year but she still has the voice of an angel.
Pennell has been invited to be a soloist in this year’s Matamata Christmas choir, which begins tomorrow night.
Next year, Pennell will have been involved in music and singing for 75 years, both performing and teaching.
She admits she didn’t know what life was going to hold. She never really thought she would still be singing at the tender age of 89. She’s not sure whether it’s the singing that keeps her going, her love of music, or the fact she’s been a vegetarian all her life. Who knows, she says. All jokes aside, she says good health has been important.
‘‘You can’t do anything without that.’’
Pennell last sang with the Christmas choir about 15 years ago when she performed a duet with a young male soprano. They sung Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Requiem.
This time around she said she was very much looking forward to performing with the choir. ‘‘The voice is still quite good. If it wasn’t I wouldn’t be performing, because I have a standard to maintain. There’s nothing worse when you hear of some of the sopranos who have farewell performances and then the next year it’s a farewell performance, they don’t know when to give up. You’ve got to know when to draw the line.’’
Pennell said she gets such enjoyment from being involved with a community choir.
‘‘ I cannot imagine my life without music, it’s been such a delight.’’
She has students across the world performing and teaching.
‘‘They’re making their fame and fortune. They still keep in touch.’’
Pennell said she was amazed that most of those singing in the Matamata Christmas choir don’t read music. They just do it for a love of singing. Much like her, really.
‘‘It’s a great achievement. Matamata has always had a lot of talent. We’re very fortunate.
‘‘Perhaps there’s something the water,’’ she jokes.
Pennell will be performing two pieces with the choir. The first being an adaptation of a French carol, O Holy Night. The second is an operatic aria by Johann Strauss, ‘‘the great waltz king of Vienna’’. She will be singing The Nun’s Chorus.
Pennell said she was ‘‘tremendously’’ looking forward to performing with the choir for the town in the leadup to Christmas.
‘‘ I’d love to see the church filled,’’ she said.
SOLOIST: Matamata’s Avis Pennell will be performing two numbers as part of this year’s Matamata Christmas choir concerts.
The Christmas choir concerts begin tomorrow night from 7.30pm at Matamata’s All Saints Anglican Church. Concerts are also held on November 28 and 29 at 7.30pm and on November 30 from 1.30pm. Entry is free but a donation would be appreciated.