Previous Concerts

  • The Shoalhaven Lydian Singers presented a weekend of Handel’s Messiah in both Berry and Nowra recently.

    St Patrick’s Catholic Church in Berry was packed to the rafters, with some 50 choir members, seven instrumentalists, four soloists and musical director Lesley Challender delighting the audience with powerful, emotional and uplifting singing. 


    The performance in the Nowra School of Arts was also fully booked. An organ from All Organs Australia was brought in for the day, creating a breathtaking sound.

    This two-day musical marathon was in part to celebrate The Lydians 40th anniversary. 

    The choir was formed in 1977, by the late Don Dudgeon. Only one of the founding members, Noni Rogan, still sings with the choir. 

    In March 2018, the group will take to the stage respectively at St Martin’s Anglican Church, Ulladulla (March 3rd) and at Ss Peter and Paul’s Catholic Church, Kiama (March 4th). Bookings will be available by late January at For information visit      From The Kiama Independent.

    Praise from our audience:
    We must congratulate you on the wonderful performance of The Messiah!  It was an excellent production and absolutely to your credit, Lesley. I realise how much work and how much stress would have gone into it but it certainly gave many folk a boost of Christmas spirit, judging by the comments I’m still hearing. Helen T.
    What a splendid job you all did yesterday. It was a thrill to be able to hear it from the front for once. The soloists were excellent and the choir was in very fine form, particularly the altos, and of course Denis (on Trumpet) was outstanding. 
    Well done for all your hard and detailed work. Peter B.
    It was an absolute pleasure to sing the Messiah with you all. 
    Thank you for the amazing opportunity to not only perform my very FIRST Messiah but also the opportunity to sing the beautiful contralto solos. 
    I am very much looking forward to singing it again come March and am telling everyone I know that missed it, that it was a fantastic concert and they MUST come next year. 
    The choir sounded amazing! Testament to everyone’s hard work and your professional and enthusiastic conducting Lesley. Well Done!      Nicole S.
  • About the Performance

    Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924), was one of the leading French composers of his time whose musical style influenced many musicians in the 20th century. Fauré began sketches for the Requiem in 1887. Unlike many composers, he was not drawn to compose a Requiem because of the death of a loved one. When asked about his motivation for writing it, Fauré responded:

    “My Requiem was composed for nothing … for fun, if I may be permitted to say so!”

    “It has been said that my Requiem does not express the fear of death and someone has called it a lullaby of death. But it is thus that I see death: as a happy deliverance, an aspiration towards happiness above, rather than as a painful experience. . . . . As to my Requiem, perhaps I have also instinctively sought to escape from what is thought right and proper, after all the years of accompanying burial services on the organ! I know it all by heart. I wanted to write something different.”

    These are Faure’s thoughts on spirituality in the Requiem:

    “Everything I managed to entertain in the way of religious illusion I put into my Requiem, which moreover is dominated from beginning to end by a very human feeling of faith in eternal rest.”

    The work was performed at Fauré’s funeral in 1924.

  • The Lydians anticipated the forthcoming Spring and Summer seasons with a romp through a tantalizing selection of seaside themed and related songs, both old and new.

  • Interspersed with some lovely renditions of a mixture of well known and not so frequently heard traditional Christmas Carols, two of the Lydian choir members dramatised the Charles Dickens classic and spell-binding Christmas story “ A Christmas Carol” ( including Ebenezer Scrooge!). The singing and acting performances were both enthusiastically acclaimed and enjoyed by audiences as a great prelude to the Christmas season.

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