Voices sound clear as a bell
Hear the combined voices of the Ostinato community choir when it performs its “All Bells and Whistles” concert at the Wangaratta Performing Arts Centre on Sunday.
The popular annual event will include a special addition this year, with bell ringers adding a truly seasonal charm by playing the Federation Handbells.
The beautifully crafted instruments were originally commissioned by Arts Victoria (now Creative Victoria) and the Melbourne International Festival for the Arts, for the 2001 Centenary of Federation.
They were designed and constructed by Neil McLachlan and Anton Hasell and cast in a foundry in Castlemaine.
There are 80 sets of Federation Handbells totalling 1920 bells, with each set covering two octaves.
On Sunday they’ll accompany the singers as they perform a program of traditional and modern Christmas music, adding magic to songs including The Bells of Paradise, Ring Christmas Bells, Ding Dong Merrily on High and Up Good Christen Folk and Listen.
The bells are made of silicon bronze with a unique design and pitch and they are played by striking them with a mallet.
Local bell ringers Ruth McLay, Richard Gray and Pal Collet have been getting the swing of the extraordinary instruments during rehearsals at Avian Park in the lead up to what promises to be a special, family event.
The choir will also be accompanied by Glenise Williams on the Steinway Grand Piano, with musical director, Ruth HillNoble.
The performance will take place on Sunday from 2.30pm until 4pm with adults and children’s tickets available from the box office or at www.wangarattapac.com.au.
The audience is invited to join Ostinato for a cup of coffee or tea and Christmas cake (by gold coin donation) in the foyer after the show.
A STELLAR line up of comedians will take to the stage at Brown Brothers on Sunday when it hosts the Grapes of Mirth tour.
Hosted by comedian and Grapes of Mirth founder, Merrick Watts, the event will also include Tom Gleeson (Hard Quiz, The Weekly with Charlie Pickering), Celia Pacquola and Luke McGregor (Rosehaven), Fiona O’Loughlin (Winner - I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!), Peter Rowsthorn (Kath & Kim, I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!), and Danielle Walker.
Performing from 2pm until 8pm at the winery in Milawa where lunch options and a full bar is available, tickets can be purchased by visiting www.grapesofmirth.com.au.
DING DONG: Percussionists Ruth McLay, Richard Gray and Pal Collet will be there “with bells on” at Ostinato’s “All Bells and Whistles” concert on Sunday.