News Story

Voices Unite as Choirs Gather For a Cause

Renowned Northern Tasmanian community choirs “Right on Cue” and “Crescendo Choir” provided the headline acts for the inaugural Meander Valley Choirfest organised by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently.

Choirs including Sing Australia, St Mark's Anglican Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints and the Deloraine Gospel Chapel, together with soloists Molly O'Brien Vrantsis and Erin Travers, filled the programme with a diversity of memorable vocal performances, according to the Launceston Examiner, northern Tasmania’s daily paper.

Member of Lyons, and former Meander Valley Mayor, Mark Shelton MP and his wife, Merrilyn, were guests at Choirfest, following a full day at the revitalised Longford Show.

“After a hectic day it was a tremendous enjoyment for Merrilyn and me to just come here and relax, listening to the wonderful music,” Mr Shelton said in his concluding remarks.

More than 250 people filled the Deloraine Community Complex Theatre to hear the choirs perform a range of powerful Christian and secular songs including ‘We are Marching in the Light of God’ and ‘Bridge Over Troubled Waters’.

Deloraine is mid-way between the cities of Devonport and Launceston and serves as the centre for the Meander Valley from which the Church expanded across Northern Tasmania.

The Deloraine House is committed to a holistic community approach of caring for families, individuals and the environment. It serves as a non-sexist, non-racial entity which is not aligned to any political party or religious group.

The Deloraine House provides information, educational opportunities and information on social issues. Its meeting room is available to any group who supports the philosophy of Deloraine House.

Choirfest organising committee chairman, James Sayers, was enthused with the community response.  James is a member of the Latter-day Saints' Devonport Ward.

“For an inaugural event the night exceeded all expectations. There was a fantastic feeling amongst the performers and an appreciative audience, a real buzz of excitement,” said James.

The event was originally supposed to be a religious activity or get-together, according to James. However, after first committing the local churches to provide choirs, the committee opened it up to the community including secular choirs,’’ James said.

“It was a really good night.  There was a beautiful feeling at the event and based on this we want to imitate this experience in the future,’’ he said.

Entrance to the event was an optional gold coin donation. Co-hosts for the event, Lionel Walters and Justin Page, announced that $500 was raised to support the work of the local charity Deloraine House. 

Lionel Walters serves in the Latter-day Saint Devonport stake (diocese) presidency.  Justin Page serves as a gospel doctrine teacher in the Deloraine ward (congregation).  He also serves as a Deloraine House committee member.

The future of Choirfest as an annual community event is assured, with choir directors already signalling their support for next year.


Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.