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Circular Keys Chorus Glistens on the Foreshores of Fremantle

By Kath Ware

Circular Keys Chorus, from Bella Vista in the Hills District, has won second place in the 2024 Sweet Adelines Australia women’s barbershop competition. This year’s event was held in Fremantle, Western Australia and featured 13 women’s choruses and 22 quartets from around the country.

Women’s barbershop singing is a particular style of a cappella (unaccompanied) singing in four parts. Sweet Adelines is one of the largest non-profit women’s singing associations in the world, and the Australian region encompasses 32 choruses and over 1,100 singers.

CKC was represented in Fremantle this year by 33 members of the chorus. Their competition songs were the Lerner and Lowe classic ‘Almost like being in love’ and the swooniest of swoony ballads, ‘I wish you love’. At the end of the competition, they delighted the audience with an exuberant performance of ‘Don’t rain on my parade’.

Vicki Dwyer, musical director of CKC said, ‘The competition is always fierce, and our chorus sang beautifully, but we were just beaten by an amazing performance from Redland Rhapsody from Brisbane.’ CKC has won many awards over the years, including first place at previous Sweet Adelines Australia contests, and has represented Australia three times at annual international Sweet Adelines conventions held in the USA.

Vicki also competed in the quartet division as lead singer in Alouette along with three other CKC members, including Diane Jenkins, the chorus’s assistant director. Diane went on to win a separate award for the most outstanding recent graduate from the Sweet Adelines directors’ program.

Other members also competed in their own quartets, and although they didn’t win official placings, they all received their best scores so far in the national competition and were very pleased with their performances. Within a week, Alouette also competed to be Overall Quartet winners for Barbershop Harmony Australia (BHA) Eastern Region Contest, and also winners of the Open Women’s Quartet.

But the only chance these intrepid volunteers got to float on Cloud 9 was on the flight back to Sydney, because they’re now straight back into preparations for upcoming local recitals, community events and end-of-year Christmas carol performances.

Circular Keys Chorus meets for rehearsals every Wednesday evening at Bella Vista. Its members come from all over Sydney and from all social demographics, including students, mothers, grandmothers, business people and retirees. The glue that bonds this dynamic group of women together is the love of beautiful music and the desire to create gorgeous harmonies for others to enjoy.

Visitors who are interested in joining the chorus are welcome to attend a rehearsal and see what members do each week to prepare for performances. Follow us online for future singing workshops and upcoming performances. Full details on who to contact and where to go are on the CKC website at: www.circularkeys.org

Photos credit: Kirsten Graham Photography