Cloud9 Women's Choir

Coming together to share the joy of singing

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Cloud 9 Re-emergence Concert, 9 April 2022

Forget the selfies: this is how a choir member’s 6-year-old family member captured our first concert in over 2 years. Here we are, singing our hearts out and showing off our many coloured outfits. How wonderfully she has caught our individuality.

And what a buzz we got from our return to performance! In her first concert with Cloud 9, Music Director Kerry led us through a range of songs chosen especially to mark our return to performing and to provide a salve for the effects of the last 2 years of living with Covid.

The works came from around the world and explored the themes of courage, resilience, renewal and the power of nature and togetherness. From Will Todd’s Like a Rainbow Shining written in 2020 as a response to Covid, to Irving Berlin’s Blue Skies, it was a masterful program; thoughtful, meditative, uplifting, and joyful. 

Our accompanist Sam performed two of his own compositions, Autumn Winds and Spring Rains, in a superbly virtuosic manner which had the audience totally enthralled.

I’m now looking forward to our September concert which will be particularly special as we will be marking the 10th Anniversary of the formation of Cloud9 Women’s Choir. Watch this site or our Facebook page for further details.

Janice, Choir and Committee member.

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Our Winter Concert – the best ever!!

Wow! Singing at Church of All Nations for our Winter concert on June 22nd was an energising and uplifting experience.  I overheard one chorister say “It was a triumph!” And the evening certainly had a wonderful sense of community, musical excellence, great leadership, sublime soloists and a full house.  The standing ovation was a wonderful affirmation of all the time and energy that goes into creating a musical experience like that.

Warmest thanks go to Christine M Storey our Musical Director who very ably led Cloud9 Choir, as well as our guests: Dean Sky-Lucas on organ, The Crossing Machine String Quartet with Asher Reichman, Soprano Suzanne Shakespeare, and Mezzo Neda Bizarri.

Annabelle Clucas, our regular accompanist, joined us for the second half of the program and was brilliant as always. Particularly memorable was the ensemble with the violins for Elgar’s Fly Singing Bird and The Snow. Have a look at our program for details of the evening.

Lastly, thank you to our wonderful audience: your role completes the performance circle.

Cloud9’s next concert will be on December 7th 2019 
so save the date. We’ll be back at North Balwyn Uniting Church and look forward to seeing you there and catching up over supper.


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New venue for our next concert

Cloud9’s next concert at 5.30 pm on June 22nd 2019 will be at Church of All Nations, 180 Palmerston St, Carlton, 3053.

Church of All Nations. Image credit: Richard Dobbie, Photoeventz


We will be performing Vivaldi’s Gloria for female voices with The Crossing Machine and the wonderful 130-year-old, very fine Fincham Organ played by Dean Sky-Lucas. The other half of the concert will include songs by Edward Elgar, Michael Mcglynn, David Childs, Kim Andre Arnesen and Andrea Ramsey’s Lineage (hopefully sung a cappella). There is even a place for supper at this acoustically splendid church.

If you are lucky you might score on-street parking out the front; otherwise, there are quite a few parking options within a short walk.  You could download a handy parking app called Parkopaedia which details where to park for free and the cost of the local car parks too. There is ample public transport up Lygon St and car pooling will help reduce costs and our carbon footprint.

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What a wonderful Winter concert!

Cloud9’s Winter Concert – Let Us All Unite was enthusiastically received by a wonderful audience on Saturday 23rd June.  Thank you to all of our supporters.

The celebration of Australian composers in the program was well received, particularly because our fabulous announcers took the opportunity to explain the story of each song. 

The audience loved soaring with the albatross The Wanderer over southern shores of Antarctica, the choir’s opening piece. And we all felt the joy of Morning Tide.

A Place by the River by Eddie Perfect, arranged by Kate Sadler, features the Yarra River as the star of the song. We follow her story from watching the rise of the Indigenous Kulin nations to Melbourne today. Perfect muses that if she could, the Yarra would probably look surprised at the city that lines her banks today.

A gasp arose in the room at the close of the emotional Malala, a song written by Paul Jarman about and for the world’s youngest Nobel Peace prize-winner Malala Yousafzai. The choir’s driving rhythms were backed by the pulsing of the tabla played by Jay Dabgar. 

Jay then partnered with Hari Sivanesan, a Tamil singer and Veena musician, to introduce us to classical Indian music. A few choir members were heard to mutter: “Wow! Let’s head to India!”

There were other old favourites we adored performing again, including You are the New Day, In Flanders Fields, Sound the Trumpet and Jerusalem.

Cloud9 finishes every concert by spreading around the room and singing Let It Go and The Irish Blessing. Let It Go was taught to us by Ben Leske who died in March at only 38 years of age. With every chorister’s eye riveted on Gloria, a number owned up to rather wet eyes.

The concert closed with an emotional farewell to the choir’s Musical Director, Gloria Gamboz. She has brought Cloud9 to new heights of performance and love of music during her five years as Musical Director. Gloria leaves for a new life in Scotland this week and we’ll miss her terribly.

Now the hunt is on for Gloria’s replacement. Watch this space!

Thank you to Jerze Shapter-Lau for the photos.


Let it Go at St. Vincent’s

On December 19th some Cloud9 choristers lent their voices to bring “Let It Go!” to patients and staff at St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne. We were part of a pop-up choir of some 50 choral voices and some staff from St Vincent’s and pulled together by Ben Leske, himself a survivor of brain cancer thanks to St V’s.

What made our afternoon even more special was the presence of both Michael Leunig whose poem and artwork in turn inspired Suzann Frisk to put it to music.

Many of you will know that Cloud9 closes its concerts with “Let It Go!” which we’ve done since Ben Leske taught us the song some four years ago.

The poem and music gave Ben a way of coping with all that faced him. It has a similar effect on many others when they hear it.

“Let it go, let it out, let it all unravel. 
Let it free and it can be 
A path on which to travel”.

Michael Leunig (3rd from left), Suzann Frisk (second from right) and Ben Leske, (the tall one) with Cloud9 singers Marie, Janice, Dale and Denise.

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Christmas Collection Concert 2017

Under warnings of torrential rain and storms, Cloud9 gathered on December 2nd for our Christmas Concert. While heavy, the rain didn’t deter us, or our large and enthusiastic audience. We all stayed dry and the irony of singing the spirituals Deep River and Didn’t it Rain wasn’t lost on us.

There were two notable milestones in this performance.

First was complex six-part singing concurrent with playing tuned wine glasses in the ethereal Stars by Eriks Estevals. This piece is now a firm Cloud9 favourite and induced both tears and goosebumps in some of our audience members. Secondly, we added Church Slavonic to the list of languages we’ve sung in with Bogoroditse Devo from Sergei Rachmaninoff’s All Night Vigil.

We loved singing some of our other favourites: Seal Lullaby, Wherever You Are and the Cantique de Jean Racine among a variety of new pieces.

We were thrilled to welcome our guest performers, Hilary Taylor and Roger Heagney OAM. Hilary has performed with the Royal Opera, the Glyndebourne and Salzburg Festivals, the Victoria State Opera and Australian Opera. Roger is a pianist, harpsichordist, composer and choral conductor and accompanied Hilary in this performance including three of his own compositions.

Some of our audience members told us their favourite part of the concert was when Cloud9 spontaneously began quietly humming in the back row to accompany Hilary’s beautiful rendition of O Holy Night.

Enormous thanks to Gloria and Annabelle, Hilary and Roger and everyone in Cloud9 who worked behind the scenes to ensure this performance ran smoothly. We are immensely grateful to our loyal family and friends who braved the rain to support us. We loved hearing yet again that this was ‘our best concert ever!’

We are already looking forward to meeting again on February 1st to begin another year of creating beautiful music together.

JM, Cloud9 Member



Almost ready for showtime

Didn’t it rain!

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Our 2016 Christmas Collection Performance

One of my favourite things about being a member of Cloud9 is our incredibly diverse repertoire, and our 2016 Christmas Collection Concert was a superb example of this diversity! Under the expert guidance of our beloved Music Director, Gloria, we are becoming more and more versatile as singers, and having ever more fun performing.


Looking the part with our gold and red highlights!

In our first set, we sang traditional Australian and southern African pieces, including the stunning lullaby Inanay, made famous by Tiddas. Next we sang two crowd favourites: Weep you no more and Glory to thee, my God, this night. After Laudate, with its beautiful melodies (and highly-repetitive lyrics), we were very lucky to be joined by Rowan Thomas and Ian Goding performing Haydn’s Duet for violin and cello in D major. Thank you Rowan and Ian.

Our next set comprised wonderful showtunes: we all enjoyed stepping into character for these and getting sassy! Finally, our soprano Jacqui sang a glorious solo opening to Ave Maria which we followed with two lovely nods to the Season: Angels’ Carol and I saw three ships.


Our audience was large and generous in their responses to our performance. We are very grateful to be so warmly supported by our family and friends and love hearing each time that this was ‘definitely our best concert yet!’

We look forward to coming together again on Thursday 2nd February to begin another year of beautiful singing.

– JM, Cloud9 member


Enormous thanks, as always to our wonderful Music Director Gloria, and fabulous Accompanist, Annabelle.

img_735320161203_194623Our incredibly versatile soprano Jacqui: wowing us with her solo one minute, vacuuming the next!

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Musings on our Winter Concert

What a great audience we had at our winter collection concert which took the theme of adventure and travel with a touch of Shakespeare in this anniversary year. I do think that having such a warm and appreciative audience spurs us on to sing our very best. On this occasion we surprised ourselves by singing a couple of pieces even better than we had done in rehearsal.

Many people commented on the diverse choice of music and how well it worked together. It was a largely new repertoire for us this year so that has been exciting. Gloria, our Music Director, can take the credit for steering us towards works we have not done before and that stretch us as a choir. She then expertly takes us through them to get to the stage where we can perform them in public.

The Shakespeare songs set to music were just beautiful but I have to say my favourite was the lovely modern arrangement of Shall I compare thee to a Summer’s Day. I declare my bias though; as an alto, we got a rare opportunity to take the lead with the tune and we loved it!

Talk about flexibility though! In the two Gilbert and Sullivan pieces the choir had to change quickly from being “sober men and true” in We Sail the Ocean Blue to being “hardy little lasses …skipping rivulet and fountain” in Climbing over Rocky Mountain.

Our guest artists followed our theme for the evening with our wonderful accompanist Annabelle and choir member Gail playing En Bateau for Piano 4 hands. Soprano Alexandra Mathew delighted us all with more Shakespeare, a song of wandering and the beautiful folk song O Waly, Waly.

And for the first time we had 2 guest accompanists who are offspring of choir members. Emily on cello joined us for Over the Sea to Skye and is the daughter of mezzo Diana. Stuart played guitar with us on Mull of Kintyre and is the son of soprano Cathie. They were both terrific and added that extra special dimension to our performance. Thanks to all our guests!!

If you didn’t get to see us this time round don’t miss us next time! We already have the date for our next concert, Summer Collection 2016, so put Saturday 3 December in your diary now.

JS, Choir member