On Friday April 28th and Saturday April 29th, the Schola Cantorum had the honour of performing with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra at the Perth Concert Hall. Whilst the Schola had done this twice last year, this 2023 performance was particularly special – the choir were involved in the world premiere of a piece of music called The Tides of Longing, written by Perth composer and rising star of the Classical Music world, Lachlan Skipworth.

The Tides of Longing tells the story of a refugee who travels to Australia by boat, and is performed by orchestra, adult chorus, boys chorus and a single actor. At about 35 minutes in length, the music takes the audience on both a physical and emotional journey, as the protagonist survives storms and relives the horrors that he has fled on his journey to Australia.

The Schola were featured prominently at four different sections of the piece – as well as beginning and ending the whole piece, they also sang two different solo sections. One of these, called Ayee Bird was so well received that it will now be recorded as a stand-alone piece to be heard on ABC Classic FM. The fact that these sections were composed specifically for the Schola makes them even more special.

These two performances, which were to a combined audience of about 3,000 people, prepared the boys in the Schola well for their upcoming tour to England and Ireland, where they will perform seven times inside two weeks.

Hugh Lydon
Director of College Schola Cantorum

Photo credit Linda Dunjey