Here is one sister act that’s hard to beat

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Singing siblings with the Sydney Children’s Choir: Iris, Kate, Annie and Maggie Farrer. Photo: GIOVANNI PORTELLI

Santa Sabina’s Farrer siblings are a real sister act

The red-headed quartet are all current members of Sydney Children’s Choir, which attracts the best young choristers from around the state.
Being blessed with so much musical talent in one family is quite rare. Having four siblings singing in the same choir at different times is unusual but having all four at the same time is nothing short of a “miracle’’.
The four sisters – Iris, 13, Annie, 10 and twins Maggie and Kate, 8, have voices often compared to those of angels, however youngest sibling Maggie giggled “sometimes we can be little devils as well’.’
Eldest sibling Iris, who has been singing for as long as she can remember and a regular in Australia’s national choir Gondwana, is thrilled to share the honour of being in the choir with her younger sisters which she says has bought them closer together and given them a very special bond.
“Singing just makes us happy, sometimes we just all burst into song together, it’s really very beautiful and brings joy to so many people. We are all so lucky to have been given this very precious gift,” she beamed.
“Being in the Sydney Children’s Choir can be tough having to learn the repertoire and keep up with the technical work on top of school commitments, but it’s all worth it. The pieces we learn are often in other languages, so we get a chance to find out about folk culture from other lands and from different periods in history.
“Sometimes we perform pieces commissioned especially for us by the great Australian composers, and sometimes works by traditional greats.
“The tours are a brilliant experience, we’ve sung with lots of different singers, including indigenous choristers from the top of Australia, and the Vienna Boys’ Choir. The work is all very different, but always great fun.”
The young sisters have all been singing for many years but it’s not all fun and games according to artistic director emerita at Santa Sabina College, Karen Carey.
She said the girls show a huge commitment and are a big part of the many choirs and orchestras across the college.
“The girls are immersed in music and their school life is greatly enhanced by this involvement,” she said.
“The Sydney Children’s Choir is a great institution and has attracted some of our top students who gain excellent musical training. School music education is enriched by taking part in programs like the choir.
“Collaboration and a welcoming community is a way of developing better musicians and a musical environment which has no borders.”
The girls attend singing practice at least five times a week – both before and after school – as well as find time to fit in other pursuits. Not only do all four learn piano, they are keen sportspeople competing in Little Athletics, soccer and netball.
“We are very, very busy and we love it,” Maggie said.
“We like doing lots of different things but singing is by far the best. It always makes us happy and smile a lot.
“I can’t imagine life not singing with my sisters.”

The Sydney Children’s Choir has a number of opportunities for young singers to join its ranks in Term 2. All of the details are available on their website www.gondwana.org.au/choirs/sydney-childrens-choir/