Last Lismore concert for Isabella A Capella

Published 6 June 2001

Southern Cross University's acclaimed choral group Isabella A Cappella will perform its last North Coast concert in Lismore on Friday, 15 June before leaving for an extensive tour of Japan the following week.

The concert will be held at St. Andrew's Anglican Church in Zadoc Street, Lismore (opposite the Court House), starting at 7.30pm. Refreshments will be available during interval. Tickets will be on sale at the door for $15.00 and $10.00 concession.

The concert, like the group's recent ones in Ballina and Brisbane, will be a fundraiser for the Father Tony Glynn Memorial House, a centre for Japanese culture and language that is nearing completion on SCU's Lismore campus. The first Japanese language course for the general community will begin there on Tuesday, 14 August, running for ten weeks, 6.00pm-8.00pm, at a cost of $80.00. The centre's official opening is planned for late September when the traditional Japanese-style landscaping will be well established.

The late Father Tony Glynn was a St. John's College, Woodlawn-educated priest who dedicated most of his working life to fostering cultural links between Australia and Japan. A resident of Nara, Japan for 42 years after WW2, he was known as Shimpu-San, or the 'Healer of Hate', and honoured with awards from both the Japanese and Australian governments.

Isabella A Cappella's concert tour, the group's second to Japan, is aimed at continuing the links of friendship between the two countries, and more specifically between regional areas. Lismore's sister city relationship with greater Yamato-Takada dates from 1963 and was the first such relationship between Australia and Japan. Father Tony Glynn and his brother, Father Paul Glynn, who lives in Sydney and still visits Japan, were the driving forces behind the agreement.

Isabella A Cappella's concert schedule will include performances in Yamato-Takada. The members will also visit the kindergarten established by Father Glynn and his gravesite that is still honoured by his many Japanese friends.

The 8-voice Isabella A Cappella ensemble is comprised of Southern Cross University graduates and current students. It was formed in 1984 by the late Isabel Atchison and has gained a reputation for performing excellence. Now under the musical direction of Jude Magee, the group has a repertoire encompassing a diverse range of styles, from pop and jazz to gospel and classical.

It has released two successful CDs and undertaken national and overseas tours, including the USA, Japan (in 2000) and New Zealand. For the forthcoming tour of Japan, from 22 June-10 July, the group has been perfecting several Japanese songs, including 'I Believe in the Future' and the perennial favourite 'Sukiyaki'. Their songbook also includes works by Gershwin, Lennon & McCartney, Don McLean and other popular composers.

The group will perform 18 concerts in Japan, including shows at schools, universities and a nursing home, and at Tokyo venues such as the Australian Embassy and the Tokyo Foreign Press Club. Other performances are in Hiroshima, Osaka and Fukuoka where they will also sing on a television morning show.

For further details, please contact Jude Magee, (02) 6621 2465 or Simon Chate on 6625 1350.