Rehearsal Update With Jenni Murphy

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Jenni Murphy with Sue Willgoss

Jenni Murphy is the Rehearsal Assistant for the Collegium Musicum Choir for 2020

The job

I’m a mature aged, second year Bachelor of Music student at UNSW and I’ve been singing with the Collegium Musicum Choir for the past year.

Throughout this time, I have often wondered if coming back to university as an adult was some kind of mid-life crisis; but Sonia and the choir have lessened this self-criticism by offering an environment which provides welcoming support and neuroplastic challenges in equal measure.

The people

Both Sonia and her accompanist Oliver are musically brilliant but they also recognise the manifold talents of choir members as academics, medics, writers, artists and students (and in many other fields), so they share their gifts in a respectful, humorous and inclusive way which naturally encourages us to work harder in order to improve our choral skills.

The repertoire

Sonia invariably chooses beautiful repertoire for us. This term we are lucky enough to be preparing some French works by Gabriel Fauré and Maurice Duruflé for a concert on the 5th of April entitled Cantique du Paradis. This concert includes Faure’s Pavane and Cantique de Jean Racine and the French speaking skills of some choir members, such as visitng Academic in submarine acoustics from Lyon, Adrien, are currently proving invaluable as we study these pieces.

The concert also includes Duruflé’s Requiem and Fauré’s Tu es Petrus. These works are in Latin but, sonically, they still reflect the distinctively French sensibilities of their composers. Duruflé’s Requiem, moreover, which constitutes the second half of the concert, allows us to channel the demonic wrath of Judgement Day as much as the blissful harmony of paradise so, if you have any issues or stresses you need to work through, this may be the right concert to attend!

The concert

We always enjoy rehearsals and, when the orchestra and soloists come to rehearse and perform with us in the week before the concert, we really look forward to hearing the works in their full glory. For this concert we will be joined by Stephanie Dillon, alto; Andrew O'Connor, bass; and Paul Stender, cello.


Cantique du Paradis will be held at 5pm on Sunday, April 5 in the John Clancy Auditorium, UNSW. More information and ticket purchases here.