2003 Retrospective, by Rohan MacMahon

Around The Honeybees you'll hear different viewpoints on the highlights (and lowlights) of the year.

Personally, my "moment of the year" came at year-end, when The Honeybees completed a triumphant first-ever "club" format gig. The November concert saw us performing with pianist Marco Creazzo for the first time. With a full house at the soon to be demolished church hall next to St John's Darlinghurst, the choir left no-one unsatisfied with a wide-ranging and accomplished performance. Certainly one of our best ever.

Others might tell you that their highlight was "Prayers for Peace", a non-denominational service held in the shadow of the Iraq conflict in April. Like several other gigs held in the sweaty unease of Australia approaching war in the Middle East, this was an opportunity for Sydneysiders to voice a request for peace. With over 300,000 people marching against the war in Sydney alone, the Bees were in good company in expressing our feelings.

On a brighter note, others may credit the choir's appearance at the inaugural Loud Mouth Festival in Newcastle in February as their favourite moment. Or even bashing out a song or two at Alex and Alina's wedding at the Wharf Theatre Restaurant in September. While the choir performed a little less frequently than in 2002, each and every gig was of a high standard and we were delighted with the success of our new Musical Director, Dynes Austin.

During the year we added new material, including

  • "Be Good" - words and music: Hothouse Flowers, arranged by Marco Creazzo
  • "Joy" - after Georgia Mass Choir, arranged by Fi Lamb
  • "I Want To Be Ready" - a traditional song arranged by Rory Block. Although well-known, this beautiful song had not previously featured in our repertoire.

Our group's line-up continued to evolve during the year, with new members arriving and settling in including Catherine Flitcroft, Jonathan Allott, Pamela Gillespsie and Luther Poier.

In any year there must be lowlights too, and here first and foremost must be noted the impending departure from The Honeybees of Fi Lamb, a founding Bee who leaves us for new musical ventures. We wish her the very best in new times.

The New Year will also see a new Business Manager, Anne Fitzsimons, taking over this critical role from Lyn Mason-Norman. We'd like to thank Lyn for her fantastic work with the Bees as Business Manager for over five years.

The Honeybees look forward to seeing you and yours in 2004!

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