May 2006 saw the the debut concert of the Canberra Handel Choir, founded and managed by Annette Gaykema and directed by Adam Laslett. The concert was held in our church, St. Philip’s, which has good acoustics for chamber music. Supported by a small orchestra the chamber choir of experienced singers performed a selection of arias and choruses from Semele, Hercules, Solomon and Judas Maccabaeus.
The soloists included graduates of the School of Music of the Australian National University; Erika Tolano sung three solos and was outstanding, particularly in "Where shall I fly?" from Hercules. Also very fine was tenor Daniel McMillan who sang "Where’er you walk from Semele. James and I heard Daniel practising somethimes as he and friend Nicholas Ng were our pleasant neighbours. Nick is also a composer, ethnomusicologist and lecturer in music.
In my ignorance, I had heard little of this music before, and my appetite was well whetted. I greatly enjoyed the show and was glad to enjoy the standing ovation at the end.