Musical director Mary Walters, left, leads Fasolati community choir in rehearsals for their November 24 fundraiser for drought-stricken communities. Pic: Dan Ryan.
Musical director Mary Walters, left, leads Fasolati community choir in rehearsals for their November 24 fundraiser for drought-stricken communities. Pic: Dan Ryan.

Voices for battling country residents

A COMMUNITY choir will raise their voices for drought-ravaged communities at Stanthorpe on the Granite Belt.

The devastated town has a special place in the hearts of members of contemporary choir Fasolati, which has set about raising funds for drought relief.

Choir manager Leigh Kealton, of Kingscliff, said he and his wife, Jan, and two friends,

Henk (OK) Steenhuis and Diana Dureau were visiting Stanthorpe for a weekend in 2011 when they broke into song in a pub late one night.

“On the spur of the moment, we decided to call ourselves Fasolati, from the well-known tonal scale Do Rem Mi Fa Sol La Ti Do, which was taken from a hymn chanted at vespers – a sunset Evening Prayer service – during the Middle Ages,” he said.

“When we got home, we persuaded Mary Walters, a music teacher and musical director for many theatre productions on the Gold Coast, to form a choir with other friends who loved singing.”

Seven years later, the choir has 35 members from Cabarita Beach to the central Gold Coast and Helensvale.

Ms Walters and conductor Anne Ryan will present a concert on the Gold Coast to raise funds for drinking water for Stanthorpe families.

“We will again use St Peter’s Anglican Church in Southport, which has wonderful acoustics,” Ms Walters said.

“We’ll be performing a range of well-known contemporary, jazz and classical favourites, as well as some newer pieces in our repertoire – and some surprises.”

Entry to the concert is free but visitors will be asked to make a donation.

“This is one small way we can all show our support for our friends and families struggling in regional towns where drinking water is at dire levels,” she said.

Concert numbers will include The Prayer (popularised by Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli), The Lion King favourite Can You Feel The Love Tonight?, Lied an die Freude (Ode to Joy), Russian hymn Tebye Poyem, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Annie’s Song, Bridge over Troubled Water and All That Jazz.

Fasolati will perform at 3.30pm on Sunday at St Peter’s Anglican Church, Southport. The concert will end with cheese and wine at about 4.30pm

For more details, phone Mr Kealton on 0412 363 094 or email leighmk@yahoo.com.