Our first official gig of the year saw The Bees perform at the Woman’s Spirituality Evening at St Mary Magadelene Catholic Church in Rose Bay. There were a number of guest speakers including Gabi Hollows. The Bees sang a set of four songs led for the first time by our new MD Steve Clarke. Songs performed were Prayer, People Get Ready, Fly Away and The Storm is Passing Over. There were over 250 people in the audience who sent us off with a standing ovation!
Women's Spirituality Evening performance of "Prayer"
For the second year in a row, our Winter/Mid-year concert was themed Winter Soulstice. Joining The Bees on a crisp May day in the beautiful surrounds of St John’s Anglican Church, Darlinghurst were guest ensemble The Fifth House. This was a special fund raising concert for the benefit of The Wayside Chapel, Kings Cross, which has provided unconditional love, care and support for people on and around the streets of Kings Cross since 1964.
Some 250 audience were there to witness the first major concert with our new MD Steve Clarke. They were not disappointed with rousing renditions of Storm, People Get Ready, Never Let Go My Hand & Oh Happy Day along with a number of first time soloists and Glory featuring a new quartet. A great concert that raised in excess of $4,600 for Wayside.
New MD - Steve Clarke Altos, Sopranos & Tenors JJ conducting a warm up
The cheque was delivered in true Bees style with a few songs at Wayside a couple of weeks later. The choir sang three songs from the fund raising gig at the very informal, humbling service which touched us all greatly. It was also a great way to farewell the existing Wayside Chapel building before its redevelopment. Hopefully The Bees will be able to join Wayside again for their first service in 12 months or so.
MD Steve Clarke hands over the 'big cheque' to Reverend Graham Long from Wayside Chapel
In mid-July we travelled down to Parramatta as guests of All Saints Church to do a fund raising gig that was also tied in with the birthday celebration of one of the parishioners - the lovely Jean. A number of the choir were struck down with flu but we gave a very good account of ourselves despite this - with people filling in for the solos of the absent Bees.
'Bees Lite' performing at the All Saints Church Parramatta
On a wintry August evening the Bees were delighted to perform a few numbers at the Get Up Australia Rally in Green Park, Darlinghurst to support their efforts in bringing Mental Health issues to the fore - especially in the Federal Election. Speakers included Australian of the year Dr Patrick McGorry and the event was very ably hosted by Julie McCrossin. Numbers sung were People Get Ready, Walk in the Light and a particularly apt and rousing performance of The Storm Is Passing Over. A great event that The Bees were proud and humbled to participate in.
Mid October saw the Bees perform at Newington Armoury, part of Sydney Olympic Park, in the River Rhythms series of concerts. Alas, a very blustery day saw the number of Bees outnumber the number of audience but everyone had fun and nobody got blown away - apart from, we hope, the few members of the audience by the music!
Steve leads the 'lite choir' at River Rhythms
The very last day of October saw The Bees perform at the Sydney Blues Festival out a Windsor. It was an early morning gig consisting of three sets. With the excellent set up and the full choir, it's fair to say the Bees sounded the best ever!
Steve conducts the 'big guns choir' at Sydney Blues Festival
Mid November was our cabaret-style end of year gig. Many who have been in The Bees for years thought that this was one of our best ever gigs. A combination of great sounding choir, wonderfully engaged audience and a great sound/lighting set up ensured it was a memorable event - once again held at Sydney Boys High Great Hall. As well as good overall dynamics, each of the soloists excelled including debuts for Kate, Julie & Mike with 'Room at the Inn' and 'Love Just Bubbles Over' respectively. Our special guests were Rev Graham, his wife and some of the team from Wayside Chapel. We were able to raise over $1000 for Wayside by way of a collection from the very generous 200 or so people in the audience.