Type of post: Club news
Sub-type: No sub-type
Posted By: Dick Bushell
Status: Current
Date Posted: Mon, 20 Aug 2018

This year Novatones Harmony Chorus has undergone some changes. First of all there was the change of venue for rehearsals and meetings. After a lengthy period at Wests City, the chorus now meets on Monday nights at Charlestown Bowling Club, which has been very accommodating with storage of our risers and other equipment, as well as providing free use of good-sized practice rooms.
The venue change has generally met with members’ approval, as CBC has easy vehicular access, abundant undercover parking and good facilities.

2018 has also seen some changes in personnel.  The group has lost a couple of long-term members, but from a mid-year membership drive, held over a few of weeks, the group has gained several new, keen members.  Novatones has been very fortunate to have the services of Musical Director Peter Donald, who has quite a long trip, up and back each time, from the Central Coast, to attend rehearsals, meetings and performances. Peter has exceptional musical talent and an ear for ‘perfect pitch’, as well as great ability, enthusiasm, and patience to get the best, out of all members of the chorus.  

Four Novatones members will be joining in with other Eastern Region Barbershop members, to perform as ‘East Coast Harmony Chorus’, at the BHA National Convention in Adelaide in September.

Over the last month or so, Novatones has attended some really varied gigs. One highlight occurred in early July when, after a couple of joint rehearsals, we teamed up with a couple of women’s choruses, to present a Sunday concert at a High Tea Show, entitled: ‘High, On A Cappella’ to a large enthusiastic audience at Fern Bay Retirement Village, near Stockton.

As well as Novatones, taking part were the locals, a prospective chorus: the Fern Bay ‘Women of Note’ and a women’s Harmony Chorus from Canberra.  One of the driving forces for this event was Sandy O’Neill, who is music director for ‘Women of Note’.  As well as each chorus performing on their own, the audience was treated to a songs by several talented quartets, including our own Beryllium, and a violin solo by Peter Donald.  

Novatones Harmony Chorus at Fern Bay
Sandy O’Neill directs the Combined Choruses at Fern Bay

Other recent events attended by Novatones members, were a Charity Ball, where the group made a donation of $3,000 towards Ronald McDonald House, and a Lion’s Club concert, where the group’s performance was very well received.

In the near future, Novatones members will go on a ‘pub crawl’, singing at the multiple Hotels along Beaumont St Hamilton, where we will be collecting more money for Ronald McDonald House.  Another fun occasion will be when the chorus is performing, and enjoying other performances, at a ‘Greek Night’ at The Greek Taverna, the Greek cultural centre of Newcastle.

In short, things are going well at Novatones Harmony Chorus, which has a great bunch of fellows, who enjoy each other’s company, and a very able Musical Director, who is well backed up by a competent and enthusiastic committee.

Mark Henley
Novatones Bari and Reporter