Earlier this week, River City Voices wasn’t certain  if its Slam Messiah would be able to go ahead. It had been battered by COVID and illness, causing a sizeable number of its members to have to withdraw from its performance. Borrowing members from Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, who had performed the seasonal classic just a week before, and with a last minute soloist swap out, it decided to forge on. Thankfully so.

Playing alongside the choir, the Slam Messiah ensemble featured brothers Suraj and Sagar Nagaraj on violin, with violist Jonathan Karanikas and cellist Nazli Sendurgut. Joining the strings were Samuel Giddy on a continuo organ and oboist Frank Giraldo, who stunned in his solo sections.

Slam Messiah

River City Voices. Photo © Grant Leslie.

At times, the ensemble could fall a bit thin – in a venue with flattened acoustics, parts engaging individual sections of the choir would sometimes get buried – though this would undoubtably be a product of a choir fractured...