As you may have heard – Richard Gill – our most dearly loved Music Director for the past 3 years and guest conductor for several of our performances before this time, passed away in the early hours of Sunday morning.
It feels like only yesterday that we were in Northern NSW on our Musica Viva tour with Richard in May. From Armidale, to Coffs Harbour, and onto Jacaranda-filled Grafton – we witnessed the magic of Richard captivating new audiences with his inclusive approach, taking them on a choral musical journey across the centuries and artfully breaking down any barriers people may experience with classical music.
Having him at the helm constantly challenged our thinking and actively encouraged artistic collaboration. Bringing together several junior schools from the Blue Mountains region for our 2016 Penrith performance of Carmina Burana, Richard commented that the children in O Fortuna ‘…may take off like a nuclear rocket, and we’ll just go with them’. By the second rehearsal, he knew most of the children’s names by heart.
A man of quick wit, spark and masterful mind, Richard’s legacy lives on in the hearts of all who were fortunate enough to step into his world. The last thing he would want right now is tears and sadness for his loss… he’d want everyone on their feet, singing and celebrating how wonderful it is that music can bring us together, uplift, and fulfil our lives.
Thank you Richard for your relentless energy, inspiration and enthusiasm. Your presence and passion will be missed.
(on behalf of all members of Sydney Chamber Choir)