The University of Newcastle Chamber Choir tonight added another impressive win to its collection, taking out the final of the Seven Network’s competition - Battle Of The Choirs.
In the hotly contested final, the 40-strong University of Newcastle Chamber Choir battled against VoxSynergy and Harambee to take home $100,000 and a recording deal with Universal Music.
Conductor, Philip Matthias, said the Choir was shocked and thrilled to win the challenging competition.
“This has been such an amazing journey which has pushed the Choir to its limits. There is no room for error when competing against the nation’s best choirs in front of millions of viewers.”
Philip attributes the Choir’s success to its ability to embrace change and move away from its classical roots to perform rock music.
The Choir made its mark throughout the competition with daring performances of Meatloaf’s Bat Out Of Hell, Queen’s Bicycle Race and Jimi Hendrix’s Purple Haze.
Philip said the competition had provided the Choir with many exhilarating moments, none more so than tenor Paul Morris’s solo in the ultimate medley challenge of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody.
“Paul was our secret weapon in the final. His solo added an extra dimension to our performance that was so high and so intense. I can only describe it as one of the most defining moments of my musical career,” Philip said.
“Each week the Choir was judged on its technical ability, cohesion, presentation and entertainment. All members of the Choir worked tirelessly to achieve success in this competition and I am so impressed by their dedication.”
An enthusiastic supporter of the Choir, Vice-Chancellor Professor Nick Saunders, congratulated the ensemble on the well-deserved win.
“It has been incredible to watch the transformation our Choir has undergone. The Choir is a great talent and the University and Newcastle should be extremely proud.”
Battle Cry - an album featuring recordings of songs the Choir performed during the competition - will be released by Universal Music through selected Australia Post outlets tomorrow, Monday 4 August 2008.