Curtin Theatre, John Curtin Senior High School
Adam Brockway and Jeremy De Vries-Turnell are young, ambitious and have talent to burn. The Perth Modern School graduates are the conductor and business manager respectively behind new a capella ensemble Naya Chorale. They have thrown savvy marketing skills, sharp conducting technique and experience in award-wining a capella groups into the formation of the ensemble which they hope will blast fresh air into the Perth choral scene.
Naya’s debut concert attracted an audience of 700 plus. After an extended support act from female a capella group Iris, who delivered an ambitious set of percussion and vocal pieces with varying success, the 38-strong Naya to took to the stage with repertoire ranging from classical to pop and everything in between.
The opening Kayama by Karl Jenkins was sung robustly and accompanied by a full light show and choreography. Laura Sippola’s Poison Tree and Scarborough Fair revealed an impressive blended sound while the intense harmonies of Imogen Heap’s pop ballade Hide and Seek were delivered with polished sheen.
The singers - many fresh from high school choirs – had a powerful energy but didn’t over sing; vocal projection was unforced and the tone pearly. If you combined cathedral crispness with barbershop blending and gospel dynamism then you would come near to what this group is about.
Compositions from local composers were included: the introverted I Carry Your Heart With Me by group member Alex Turley and the theatrical From A Song of Rain by choral conductor Anne Celia Christmass. Christmass’s piece was the standout on the program with use of vocal fragments and scrunched paper to vividly evoke rain drops. The diction in Bill Whelan’s Shivna was a little too crisp and didn’t quite capture the lilting huskiness of Old Irish. But there was little else to fault in a program of choral gems that had the audience enthralled. Lighting and choreography effectively complemented the music, completing a package that has set the benchmark high.