Music Australia News

The Song Company Is Back In Business

The Song Company
Graham Strahle
| July 2, 2019

In May came the alarming news that The Song Company, one of Australia’s most versatile and respected ensembles, and its only full time professional choir, was going into administration. Its board of directors issued a statement that, rather than facing insolvency, it had decided to place the company into independent hands. Nevertheless, it held out to a ray of hope, subsequently informing subscribers: “We are currently working on possible solutions and are optimistic that, with assistance, we can find a way forward and build on The Song Company’s 35-year legacy,” the board wrote to subscribers.

Well the news is good. Chair Michael Tidball and artistic director Antony Pitts have announced that following “the incredible support of our audiences and donors and the Arts community both here and abroad”, The Song Company is back in business. Its Winterreise concert in June remains cancelled, but thereafter its concert season for the rest of the year is essentially back to normal – although be sure to check their performance schedule for any changes (Brisbane’s Mind over Matter concert on 3 September is cancelled).

“We’ve been touring a really innovative, exciting, and challenging program for 2019, and I am looking forward to bringing the remaining part of our Above Beyond season to as wide an audience as possible,” said Pitts.

The reason for The Song Company’s perilous situation becomes clearer on inspecting its 2017 financial report. This records trading deficits in that year of $23,000 and $79,000 in 2016.

Along with private donors, Create NSW and the Australia Council have stepped in to help rescue the ensemble, said Tidball.

Founded in 1984, The Song Company has typically ranged in size from four to six singers. Its current members are sopranos Susannah Lawergren and Anna Fraser, baritone Mark Donnelly and bass Andrew O’Connor. Before he left in 2016, Roland Peelman directed the group for 25 years and brought it to national recognition for its creative programming and commitment to new Australian composition. Building on his legacy since then has been its new artistic director, British composer Antony Pitts.

Check out its upcoming concerts here.

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