Wagga a capella pioneer goes out on a high note

SONG IN HER HEART: Founder of Murrumbidgee Magic Chorus Jill Harris will farewell Wagga at St Michael's Cathedral on Sunday. Picture: Kieren L Tilly.

SONG IN HER HEART: Founder of Murrumbidgee Magic Chorus Jill Harris will farewell Wagga at St Michael's Cathedral on Sunday. Picture: Kieren L Tilly.

Choralists have sung the praises of Murrumbidgee Magic Chorus founder Jill Harris, who is closing the songbook on 25 years of a capella singing in Wagga.

Mrs Harris, who started the local chapter of international barbershop harmony group Sweet Adelines in 1992, is moving to the Gold Coast to be nearer her family.

Mrs Harris recalls being “blown away” by a choral performance at the Wagga Voices Festival in 1990 by a choir that moved effortlessly to the music they sung with “great energy and pizzazz”.

“I was hooked and in January 1992, knowing nothing about barbershop but having a musical background, I started the Wagga Harmony Chorus (now Murrumbidgee Magic),” she said.

The chorus has repeatedly struck a note at the national competition, claiming six gold and two silver medals.

“It’s going to be hard to leave chorus, it’s been my hobby, my passion and my love,” Mrs Harris said.

“I will keep singing on the Gold Coast in some form because it’s such a big part of my life.”

The chorister’s last hurrah will come on Sunday at the Choirs and Carols Christmas concert, which brings together all of Wagga’s choirs from 2.30pm at St. Michael’s Cathedral.

A gold coin donation at the door is welcomed. 

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