Sydney’s newest symphonic choir, River City Voices, officially launched at the end of last year. Based in Parramatta, the choir swings into action with an inaugural community Come & Sing weekend choral workshop in May, culminating in a performance of Carl Orff’s Carmina Buranawith soloists, soprano Ayşe Göknur Shanal, baritone Simon Lobelson, tenor Warren Fisher, the Senior Chorale from Our Lady of Mercy College Parramatta, and a percussion and piano ensemble, all led by the choir’s Artistic Director and Chief Conductor, Dr Sarah Penicka-Smith.

Sarah Penicka-Smith, River City Voices Dr Sarah Penicka-Smith. Photo © Karen Almond

Carmina Buranais just the beginning, however. The choir’s founder and General Manager Inara Molinari wants to see River City Voices become the flagship choral organisation for Western Sydney and last 100 years like the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, who celebrate their centenary in 2020.

“I want it to be an organisation of integrity that flourishes through its relevance, vibrancy and reputation,” Molinari tells Limelight. “One that singers and musicians clamour to join, and one that’s valued and supported by the community as being an integral and essential part of their cultural life.”

For the choir’s first Artistic Director,...