Robyn Ryan (OAM) was the founding musical director of the Hastings Choristers in 1990, and now, after more than 30 years at the helm, she has decided to hand on the baton.
Christmas with the Choristers on Sunday, December 12 at St Agnes Church, Port Macquarie, will be her last concert with the choir.
Robyn's inspiration and drive for excellence has been central to developing the choir's long standing reputation for quality performances.
With the help of many enthusiastic committee members, she has managed to develop the choir from an amateur group of singers to a well-respected and professional organisation, with a regular concert program of three or four performances a year.
During her time as MD, the Hastings Choristers has organised successful mass choir events at The Glasshouse (e.g. Handel's Messiah, Jenkin's The Peace Makers) which have brought choristers, instrumentalists, soloists and guest conductors to the Mid North Coast.
The annual Kaleidoscope Concert brings together choirs from all over the Mid North Coast and has also featured choirs from Newcastle and Sydney.
In 2000 Robyn was awarded an Australia Day Award from the Hastings Council for her work with the Hastings Choristers.
In 2002, Robyn was awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for "service to the community as a contributor to the music and cultural life of the Hastings and Camden Haven District".
The choir has developed into a dedicated group of singers who have a broad experience of choral styles and music repertoire, and is well known and respected in the wider choral community.
And Christmas with the Choristers is the Hastings Choristers first concert since the shutdown last year.
The choir will sing favourite choruses from Handel's uplifting Messiah and Schubert's Mass in G Major known for its lyric beauty and simplicity.
St Agnes' digital pipe organ will be played by renowned organist, Heather Moen Boyd, who is travelling from Sydney for this special performance and the popular female ensemble of singers, Cantabile, will feature in the programme, with a range of Christmas songs.
A highlight of the concert will be the world premiere of a specially commissioned choral work, "Our Song".
This challenging and joyous work was composed by Ben Robinson who grew up in Port Macquarie. Ben is a professional composer who is now based in Sydney, having graduated from the composition program at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
The words have been written by Gillian Bennett, who is a member of Hastings Choristers.
Robyn Ryan commented, "The Choir members are very excited to once again perform for all our locals. We bring a special opportunity to experience choral music of a great standard and of a wide range - a delight for all music lovers."
Christmas with the Choristers - on Sunday, December 12 at 2pm at St Agnes Church, Port Macquarie.
Tickets from the Glasshouse Box Office and at the door. $20 or $10 for those under 18. QR check in and proof of vaccination is required.
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