Rosalind Carlson

Carlson Chorale: Live Performances

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The Carlson Chorale in performance

Gloria in Excelsis by Mark Puddy

All Thing Bright and Beautiful by John Rutter - This track is on the Carlson Chorale’s "Reflections" CD.

American Indian Lullaby by Mark Puddy - This track is on the Carlson Chorale’s "Reflections" CD.

The Virgin's Cradle Hymn by Edmund Rubbra - This track is on the Carlson Chorale’s "Reflections" CD.

Recent performances

The Carlson Chorale pulled off three wins at the 2014 City of Ryde Eisteddfod.  Read more about this here.

In 2015 the Carlson Chorale again competed in the Ryde Eisteddfod, winning Section 105: A Capella Choir Open Age, the Federated Music Clubs of Australia Philip & Peggy Woods Award and Section 106: The Ryde City Council Choral Award, Open age (see picture at right). 

In December 2015 The Carlson Chorale also performed as guest artists at the 85th Anniversary Celebrations of Hornsby Girls High School to great acclaim (see pictures below).

Past Performances of Interest

The Carlson Chorale celebrated 40 years of singing in 2012.  The anniversary was marked by the recording of the Chorale’s third CD, titled "Reflections".  This is an archival CD featuring recordings of the Chorale from 1980 through until 2012.  The anniversary was also marked by a 40th Anniversary Celebration Concert, held in November 2012 at The Convent Chapel, Mt. St. Benedict Convent, Pennant Hills, NSW. 

As artists for "Young Australia" radio broadcast program for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) for many years, the Carlson Chorale have been regular artists for the ABC.

Choral Activities for the ABC included:

1.  Radio programs

(a)  "Music in Sydney"
(b)  "Young Australia"
(c)  "Music on the Hour" at Sydney Opera House

2.  ABC concert work

(a)  "Sunday Afternoon Concerts" at Sydney Town Hall
(b)  "Music on the Hour" at Sydney Opera House
(c)  A "Concert of Christmas Music" where the Carlson Chorale performed "A Ceremony of Carols" by Benjamin Britten with the international harpist Alice Giles - program recorded by the ABC,  20th December, 1978, St. Thomas Church of England North Sydney.

3.  ABC Television work

A 10 minute appearance singing in the ABC Channel 2 "Capriccio" TV Series on 28th May 1979.  Jacki Weaver was the artist for this third program in the "Capriccio" series.  In this television series the artist could dictate the content of their program.  Jacki had attended Hornsby Girls' High School and at this school she sang in the school choir, which was directed and conducted by Rosalind Carlson.

Jacki said "that Rosalind Carlson had inspired in her a love for singing", therefore she particularly requested that Rosalind appear on her program conducting the Carlson Chorale.

Other Concert Events of Interest

1.  10th August 1979. 

A 45 minute concert singing a wide range of Hungarian songs by Kodaly and Bartok in the presence of Mrs Kodaly and Government officials from Hungary at the IV International Kodaly Symposium at the NSW State Conservatorium of Music.

2.  22nd September 1979

The Carlson Chorale, winners of the Female Voice Choral Championship of the City of Sydney Eisteddfod, were invited as guest artists to open the 1979 "Sun" Aria contest finals, held at the Sydney Town Hall.

3.  15th December 1979

Farewell Concert (prior to our departure to Israel and Europe) held at Abbotsleigh Girls School, Wahroonga, in the presence of David Ben-Dov, Consulate General of Israel, and the Australian composer Anne Boyd.

At this farewell concert the Carlson Chorale gave a premiere performance of Anne Boyd's "The Last of His Tribe" written especially for the Chorale, and dedicated to Rosalind Carlson, a former teacher of Anne's at Hornsby Girls' High School.

This program was recorded by the ABC for radio broadcast.


Overseas Concert Programs  1979-80 


(a)  20th December 1979 - 9:30pm to 11pm - Kibbutz at Afikim - Israel

Here, the evening recital was attended by a large enthusiastic audience of some 300.  Our program ended with Israeli Hebrew song "Hallelujah" - this song had just won the 1979 Euro-division song competition.  We sang it in Hebrew.  The audience's response to "Hallelujah" was electrifying!  They demanded a repeat performance of this song to a standing ovation, then they threw carnations onto the stage.

(b)  20th December 1979 - Israel

In Caesarea we sang in the outdoor Roman Amphitheatre, with the sea behind being the backdrop.  The acoustics were unbelievable.

(c)  20th December 1979 - Israel

In Nazareth in the Church of the Annunciation we sang under a 180ft high dome.  The resonance of the choir was astonishing as the acoustics took the voices high up into the dome.

(d) 24th December 1979 - 8pm to 12 midnight - Bethlehem Manger Square.

The thrust of our trip overseas was an invitation to sing in the Assembly of Choirs from around the world.  Our invitation had come from the Israeli Ministry for Tourism in Sydney.  We were one of five international choirs invited to sing in Bethlehem that year. 

In the square, the Australian choir was cheered by the twelve thousand gathered there.  They were captivated by the Carlson Chorale's presentation at 10:20pm.  It was so cold and windy in the square.  SBS TV was sending the Christmas program worldwide, as was NBC News and VC News (worldwide).

The Chorale's program opened with "Waltzing Matilda", followed by "The Australian Sunrise" - Frank Hutchens; "Australian Christmas Carols" - James/Wheeler; "The Little Road to Belthlehem" - Michael Head; and finally "The Angels and the Shepherds" - Zoltan Kodaly.

The response by the crowd to our singing was overwhelming.

(e)  25th December 1979 - 11am - Christ Church, Old Jerusalem - Israel

Christmas Day the Chorale provided choral music for the morning service.  A Dutch choral conductor who attended was in raptures over our singing, requesting that we visit Holland with a view to performing in his country.  He remarked that "the choir sounded like angels".


(f)  30th December 1979 - 11:30am - National Gallery ex Royal Palace - Budapest

A one hour recital program of 14 songs weighted with 9 Hungarian songs by Bartok and Kodaly.  The audience of some 200 became most excited about the Hungarian repertoire calling out for "more" after each song.

After a standing ovation and encore work the Hungarian officials who attended asked me "how is it that this choir from Australia sings Bartok and Kodaly as we do?"  This was an honour to hear!

The ex Royal Palace - because of the grandeur of the building, its spaciousness and marble floors and staircases, the acoustics were superb for our singers.

Standing in the upper gallery balcony guards in uniform were in attendance during our performance.

(g)  27th December 1979 - Liszt - Ferenc Music Academy - Budapest

Professor Lukin from the Academy (our first contact with him was at the Kodaly International IV Symposium in August 1979 - see point 4 above) took us through the Academy; we sang in the Theatre here, the acoustics being fabulous.

Towards evening Professor Lukin took us to Kodaly's grave.  This was an awe-inspiring scene, with the statue of the Magyar Woman (folk-lore) standing at the back of the grave.  Freshly lit candles around the graveside and freshly placed flowers on the great educator's grave, together with snow that had just fallen that day made an unforgettable scene.

The Carlson Chorale stood around the graveside and sang on request.  It was a most moving experience.


(h)  6th January 1980 - 7:30pm - Rosslyn Hill Chapel - Hampstead London.

English Harpist - Miriam Keogh was engaged to perform in the "A Ceremony of Carols" by Benjamin Britten sung by the Carlson Chorale at this concert.

The Barnet Brass Ensemble, considered one of the best in the United Kingdom directed by David Honeyball, were the associate artists.

David was interviewed over the BBC publicising the concert.  Three music critics attended this first class recital, the choir being enthusiastically received by a capacity audience of 200.  The BBC recorded this program for radio broadcast.  I was asked, when would the chorale next be in London?

(i)  10th January 1980 - 7:30pm - Borough of Brent Copland High School Hall - Wembley, London.

At this highly successful concert the Chorale was asked for a bracket of encores - which we gave.  The Director of Education for Brent, who was present, was overcome by our choral work saying that the choir "sounded like an instrument".  The famous English poet, Peter Westmore, was present at our final tour performance.  He was delighted with the choir.

Previously in the 1960s Peter Westmore (English poet) and Edward W. Hughes (English composer) wrote song versions of ten Aesop's Fables.  These were published in 1965 by Novello.

Later in the 1960s in response to the Rosalind Carlson's Canterbury Girl's High School vocal ensemble's success in the BBC International Choral Competition "Let the People Sing", Rosalind was sent a congratulatory letter and package from Peter Westmore.  Enclosed was a gift of music that he and Edward Hughes had composed.

NOTE:  Rosalind's Vocal Ensembles had been selected as the ABC Australian Youth Class entry to represent Australia in "Let the People Sing".  Some 25 countries were entered in this vocal competition. 

After this initial contact by Peter correspondence continued between Rosalind and Peter.  During this time, on request from Rosalind, Peter Westmore and Edward Hughes set another four Aesop's Fables.  These they arranged for S.S.A. voicings, especially for the Carlson Chorale.  These fables we performed many times and they were recorded for radio broadcast by the ABC. 

The Carlson Chorale was able to perform other works where the words were written by Peter Westmore.  The most notable being "Why Not Buy An Extra Present" - a Christmas Carol which hit the charts in London.  It was a fund raiser for children with Rheumatic diseases.  The music was composed by Mike Sammes, and the sheet music published by Novello London.

On request again from Rosalind, Mike Sammes arranged this song for S.S.A.A. voicings in 1982 for the Carlson Chorale performances.

From this valuable artistic contact over the years with Peter Westmore, it was therefore an honour for Rosalind to meet Peter in person when she was in London in 1980 with the Carlson Chorale.

Further Australian Concert Programmes

1.  20th April 1980 - Regent Theatre - Sydney

Israel's 32nd Independence Day Celebrations. 

The Carlson Chorale not long back from the Christmas Choir Assembly in Bethlehem was a special attraction for this celebration. 

The choir sang many Hebrew songs especially learnt in Hebrew for this special occasion.  The large audience ecstatically received our performances of these folk songs.

At this event Rosalind Carlson was presented, by the State Zionist Council of .N.S.W., a certificate saying that 10 trees had been planted in the Jerusalem Peace Forest in her honour , in appreciation for the participation of the Carlson Chorale.

Then on May 5, 1980, the Jerusalem Medal, "Terra Sancta - Love Thy Neighbour" was presented to Rosalind Carlson by Yacob Levy director of the Government Israeli Ministry of Tourism.  This was in recognition of her efforts in taking the choir to Israel to sing in Bethlehem on Christmas Eve.  Mr Levy said that the choir has "brought the message of Australia to the world, and members of the choir have brought back with them the message of Israel to Australia".

2.  27th May 1980 - 8pm - Sydney Opera House

Sang in the Massed Choir for the Royal Charity Concert held in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen and H.R.H. The Duke of Edinburgh in aid of handicapped persons.

The concert was created and staged by Channel 9 and the N.S.W. Government.

3.  Festival of Contemporary Australian Choral Music

September 1992 and October 1993 - Sydney Philharmonic Concert Series. 

The Carlson Chorale gave recitals in these two major concert events in Sydney.  Ross Hamilton was the piano accompanist for the Chorale, who sang female choral repertoire by Australian composers such as Miriam Hyde, Anne Boyd, Ross Edwards, Frank Hutchens and Moneta Eagles.

The concerts were held and recorded in the Eugene Goossens Hall, ABC Centre Ultimo.

4.  28th September 1997

The Australian Women's Music Festival held in Sydney 1997

The Carlson Chorale was invited to give a one hour recital at this festival.  Sally Macarthur, Conference Co-ordinator, invited Rosalind to write a choral work for the festival. 

"Psalms of Joy" S.S.A.A. written for the Chorale and completed in June 1997, was the result of that invitation.

Our recital program included three world premiere performances.  These were:

Other composers represented on our program were Anne Boyd and Moneta Eagles.

5.  Christmas 2007 - Wahroonga Seventh-day Adventist Church, Sydney

The Carlson Chorale provided the choral music for a sacred Christmas Day program for International Television Channel 31.  This went to air on 25th December 2007, and again in 2008. 

The choral repertoire recorded for this program, sung by the Calrson Chorale Chamber Choir, was:

The Conductor: Rosalind Carlson
The Flautist: Stephanie Harrisson
The Pianist: Carole Handley

FILM - May 1980, Notes on a Landscape.

Commissioned by the Australian Music Centre.  It featured 10 Australian composers.  Anne Boyd was one of these composers.  She requested that the Carlson Chorale sing  "The Last of His Tribe" as part of her musical contribution to this film.

So the girls in their vibrant coloured choral dresses were photographed outdoors in the natural habitat in the bushland setting of Hornsby Heights singing "The Last of His Tribe".

Later the film was shown at the Sydney Opera House to an invited audience.  The Premier of N.S.W. was present at this showing, as were most of the composers.


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