Choral Weekend

The Armidale Music Foundation's Annual Choral and Orchestral Weekend provides opportunities for musicians from NSW and further afield to rehearse and perform another large scale masterpiece, under the guideance of one of Australia’s foremost choral tutors.

Commencing in 1998 with Orff’s Carmina Brurana, highlights of the weekend have included Verdi’s Requiem (1999), Poulenc’s Gloria (2006), and A Sea Symphony by Ralph Vaughan Williams (2000). More recently, participants have enjoyed Gounod’s St Cecilia Mass (2016) and Dvorák’s Mass in D Major (2017), which marked the AMF Choral and Orchestral Weekend’s 20th anniversary.

2020 Choral weekend - Camille Saint-Saëns Messe de Requiem

Register online here or download the postal registration form here. A brochure can be downloaded here: page 1, page 2

The 23rd Armidale Music Foundation Annual Choral and Orchestral Weekend again provides an opportunity for musicians from NSW and further afield to rehearse and perform a large scale masterpiece, under the guidance of Paul Holley OAM, one of Australia’s foremost choral tutors.


FRIDAY 6TH MARCH 2 - 4 PM Optional preliminary rehearsal
6:30 PM Registration
7:00 - 9:30 PM Rehearsal
SATURDAY 7TH MARCH 9 AM - 5 PM Rehearsal; Orchestra from 2 PM
6:30 PM Barbecue
SUNDAY 8TH MARCH 9 AM - 1 PM Rehearsal; Orchestra from 11 AM
2:30 PM Concert

 Other information

REGISTRATION (we are offering both online and postal registration) Online: Go to You can pay by credit/debit card or by direct deposit.

To register online and pay by direct deposit, type DIRECTDEPOSIT in the discount code box. Your
registration will be recorded and you can make your payment with the following details from your bank or institution:

BSB: 932000 (Regional Australia Bank)
A/c: 615539 Armidale Music Foundation - please use your full name as the reference.

Postal: Complete the registration form and send it to the postal address below along with your cheque or money order, or deposit the registration fee using the information above

MUSIC Music for the Messe de Requiem can be mailed to you ($20) or purchased and collected on arrival at the event ($17). Scores are not available to borrow. You must purchase a copy of the score.
FEES (includes lunches and morning
and afternoon teas)
- Single: $150
- Full time student: $110
- Score (posted): $20
- Score (collected at event): $17
- BBQ: $25 per person
VENUE New England Girls School (NEGS)
Old New England Highway (Uralla Road), Armidale.
ACCOMMODATION (book early since Armidale can be busy in March) NEGS:
Reception 02 6774 8704
Armidale Tourist Information Centre
02 6770 3888
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DRESS Casual clothes. Bring something warm for the cool autumn evenings. Concert is casual dress.
QUERIES Coordinator:
Alana Blackburn
0421 863 892
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Postal Address:
Armidale Music Foundation
PO Box 1562

About the Music


In 1878, over the space of just eight days, Saint-Saëns produced the Messe de Requiem in memory of his friend and patron, Albert Libon, who had died twelve months earlier.

In the spring of 1877, following twenty years as organist for L’église Sainte-Marie-Madeleine in Paris, Saint-Saëns resigned his prestigious post after being reprimanded for his “bold playing”. Confident that he could earn a living as a composer and interpreter, he embarked on a series of concert tours. It was upon returning to Paris that he learned of the death of Libon, who had bequeathed the sum of 100,000 francs to Saint-Saëns on the condition that he compose a Requiem on the first anniversary of his death. Libon, an ardent admirer of the composer’s work, had made the provision to enable Saint-Saëns the freedom to devote all his time to composing. Although the will’s condition was ultimately withdrawn, Saint- Saëns fulfilled it in gratitude to his friend.

Musically, the Requiem is unusual since it relies less on dynamics and more on its massive instrumentation to create a heightened sense of expression. Jacques Bonnaure (2010) writes: “This unjustly neglected Requiem is perhaps the most sensitive, imaginative, and perfect work by the composer, who finds here, more than ever before, a classical balance between form and expression, innovation and tradition, sophisticated compositional style and immediate effect”. But the requirement for such a large orchestra (including two organs, four harps, and a four-fold contingent of winds) made performances of the work difficult until an orchestral reduction became available that maintained the richness of Saint-Saëns’ original score.

To register click here: