A Photographic Recollection
Sydney inSpires, held over nine days in July 2019, was the largest-ever event organized for Australian church musicians, and was organised by the NSW Branch of the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM). Sydney inSpires controversially catered for a number of contrasting church music strands in the single conference and offered valuable input and experience to many different types of church musicians, from the manuals-only organist in the remote mission church in the bush to the cathedral musicians; to those whose worship is exclusively comprised of full-scale, contemporary bands; from those who struggled to hold a note to those who sang semi-professionally. The conference promoted excellence, ecumenism and eclecticism. The musical centrepiece was J.S. Bach’s monumental St Matthew Passion. The conference was structured into five streams: Choral inSpires (open to all, from ages 15-90), Kids inSpires, Organ inSpires, Youth inSpires (National Youth Choir of Australia’s auditioned chamber choir, ages 18-26), Contemporary inSpires (guitar, keyboard, vocals, solo instrumentals). These streams were directed by a stellar international line-up including David Hill, Noël Tredinnick, John Rutter, Barry Rose, Thomas Ospital and Anne Marsden Thomas. In addition prominent local musicians and clergy who contributed included the CityAlight Band, Christopher Watson, June Nixon, Neil McEwan, Robert Ampt, Michael Fulcher, Amy Johansen, Simon Niemiński, Heather Moen -Boyd, Godelieve Ghavalas, Ross Cobb, Thomas Wilson, David Drury and Paul Ellis, Archbishop Glenn Davies, The Very Revs Andreas Loewe & Kanishka Raffel, Revs Rob Smith, John Gray, Antony Weiss and Cliff Ainsworth.
The conference’s main events included Opening Service featuring the choir of Trinity College Melbourne, Service of Holy Communion in St Stephen’s Uniting Church, Roman Catholic Vespers at St Mary’s Cathedral, Evensong at St Andrew’s Cathedral, Conference Festival Dinner, silent movie Phantom of the Opera featuring Thomas Ospital improvising a soundtrack on the St Andrew’s Cathedral organ, National Youth Choir of Australia in an Open Rehearsal Concert, A Festival of Lessons and Carols with John Rutter (recorded by the ABC for national radio broadcast on Christmas Day), Bach’s St Matthew Passion and Prom Praise in the Sydney Town Hall on consecutive nights.
Following this successful exceptional conference, RSCM NSW remains committed to encouraging excellence in all forms of church music. For more information, go to http://rscmaustralia.org.au/
To see a collection of photos, please select from the following galleries:
|OPENING SERVICE||REHEARSALS||CONTEMPORARY inSPIRES|
|MIDWINTER DINNER|| NYCA ST MARY’S|
| JOHN RUTTER LESSONS|
|ST MATTHEW PASSION||PROM PRAISE|| ST ANDREW’S|
All photos by Justin McLean
Audio recordings of all sessions are available to purchase from Soundwright.
To purchase, CLICK HERE
What the participants said:
“Congratulations to all involved,….. It was truly a highlight of my nearly 70 years. God was glorified, wonderful music was made and I’m still buzzing about it almost two weeks later.”
“Thank you for fantastic experiences…”
“I thought that this was a very exciting event with lots of lovely music of different types plus talks and workshops offered”
“Thank you RSCM for a brilliant time”
“It was my First such music week and I did enjoy it enormously.”
“Just to say thank you for a really encouraging and affirming couple of days of equipping and fellowship. I really enjoyed it.”
For further information on RSCM in Australia, please visit our website.