Canberra composer, Michael Dooley, is turning 60 and he’s celebrating with a two-day party. But Dooley is the one giving the gifts.
He’s written two quite contrasting works especially for the occasion, and the world premiere performances will be given in two concerts at Wesley Uniting Church, National Circuit, in Forrest, on November 22nd and 23rd.
The Llewellyn Choir gets the gig for the November 22 concert, “Beyond…”, and will perform Dooley’s oratorio, “Perpetua”, an evocative tribute to a woman of faith, vision and courage. An instrumental ensemble led by Canberra Symphony Orchestra violinist, Timothy Wickham, will accompany the choir and soloists Emma Griffith (Soprano), Veronica Thwaites-Brown (Mezzo), Dan Walker (Tenor) and Andrew Fysh (Bass). Rowan Harvey-Martin will direct proceedings from the conductor’s podium.
I was fortunate to hear a couple of movements in rehearsal. There were driving rhythms, quiet melodies and some filmic styles in what is shaping up to be a very interesting and entertaining piece.
Also on the program is “7 Prayers of the Saviour” by Dooley’s 14-year-old son, William, who is showing great compositional talent, having already written several works, which have been performed, including on ABC radio. William has written in the styles of Mozart and Vivaldi in the past, because he likes the music of that era, so it will be interesting to hear his offering in this piece.
Quite a change in style, reflective of Dooley’s quite remarkable versatility, is offered for the November 23 concert, “…Inspirations”. Jazz choir ensemble, Rhythm Syndicate, for whom Dooley is accompanist, will give the world premiere of Dooley’s gospel cantata, “Unto the King”, which also will get its official CD launch, recorded by the same group. Special guest will be well-known jazz singer, Rachel Thorne, half of Dooley’s jazz duo, In2Deep, which has two recordings to its credit.
Rhythm Syndicate will also perform new arrangements of great jazz standards by its music director, Camilo Gonzales.