Brandenburg orchestra, choir return to Gong


Miguel Iglesias (far left) singing in the Brandenburg choir.

Miguel Iglesias (far left) singing in the Brandenburg choir.


St Francis Xavier Cathedral

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What do a group of scientists, lawyers, doctors and other professionals have in common at Christmas time? The Brandenburg's annual Christmas concert.

Following two past years of sold-out concerts in Wollongong and two best-selling CDs, the Brandenburg orchestra and choir return to St Francis Xavier Cathedral for Noel! Noel!

Spanish university biomedicine lecturer Miguel Iglesias has been singing with the Brandenburg choir for nine years and says he thoroughly enjoys his involvement with the ensemble.

"Science is my job and I enjoy it, but music is my passion. It keeps me going. I wouldn't give it up for anything," Iglesias says.

"Australia has given me great opportunities that I wouldn't have had otherwise. I love it here. I sing with many small choirs in Sydney, and then do about three series of concerts a year with Brandenburg, including these Christmas concerts. It's wonderful.

"I'm 43 and I've been singing in choirs for 20-something years and this is pretty up there for experiences I've had in a choir."

He says these Christmas concerts are a particular highlight of the festive season.

"Don't expect a formal Christmas carol service. This is going to be better, much better."

The tenor credits the magic of Brandenburg to the unique combination of music and musicians involved in the concerts.

He says the choir and orchestra performing together is grand as they are able to reach an enhanced repertoire of music.

The music they perform is well researched, using many different instruments and there's a mix of old and new.

"What I like best though, is the fantastic range of voices we have in the choir, from soprano to bass and including a largely male countertenor section, which is unusual but makes a particularly great sound with some really good-quality voices and musical ability in that range."

Iglesias says the concerts are a "music experience that lets loose". He attributes this to Brandenburg's artistic director, Paul Dyer.

"Paul Dyer is not your typical director. He's a great guy, he's absolutely got so much vision. What I really like is that he gives passion, he gives 150 per cent to every performance," Iglesias says.

"A lot of conductors are very academic, but he conducts from heart.

"These concerts always make you smile. They are a lot of fun, and a great, feel-good time for everyone at Christmas."


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