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(generated from captions) when the sacred and secular meet. Christmas in Australia is a time wouldn't be the festive season. Without carols and hymns, it just we meet three very different choirs, So, in this programme, in their own special way. all singing for Christmas Hark The Herald Angels Sing) (Choir sing spontaneous combusting carolling. We are currently It's a new Australian technique. We go into a pub and sing and have some champagne. Hark The Herald Angels Sing) (Continue singing ? I am wrapped up ? I am tied up. ? Christmas is very important to me the birth of Jesus, because it is about I would not have salvation today. because without Jesus, and a cheater too ? The devil is a liar ? You don't know how he comes to you how you run around ? You better be careful or he will turn you down. ? ? Be a little careful ? Silent night, holy night. ? that speaks of the peace. Silent Night, for me, is the carol There's something about those words to the very soul. that just can penetrate it's alright, everything is alright. Just allow you to feel, you know, ? Jesus, Lord at thy birth. ? We're running 20 minutes behind. Can someone go and get Shay? is the musical director Michelle Leonard based in Sydney's inner west. of the Leichhardt Espresso Chorus, They're in rehearsal most popular open-air performances - for one of Sydney's Carols On Norton, the week before Christmas. staged on Leichhardt's main street, ? Oh, come, all ye faithful ? Joyful and triumphant ? Oh, come ye... ? has an obligation Any musician or any artist into the world. to put beauty and hope That's what I believe my role is. is through music. And the vehicle I choose ? O come, let us adore Him... ? without having to frame it And we can perform in an overtly religious way. of making great music. It's just that joy ? ..Christ the Lord. ? it's a lovely vehicle And at Christmas, a lot of goodwill at that time. because you have ever, they'll sing then. And if people are going to sing just around the corner, (Jingle Bells plays) With Christmas in the heart of the city, the shopping frenzy is in full swing. another choir is busily rehearsing, In their midst, alive. keeping the spirit of Christmas We've got lots of work to do, today. Great to see you all. How's the Christmas shopping going? Hands up, those who've finished. Everyone finished? you Christmas rebels, you. Well done, One, two, three, four. One, two. the Salvation Army's music director. Graeme Press is in the business end of town, He's preparing his choir to sing at Martin Place. One and two and three. to the city's homeless and needy, Every year, the Salvos reach out in the spirit of Christmas. inviting them to share (Sing Song Of Joy) bringing those people into our mix, A choir gives us the opportunity of into our group of people. where we bring people in And so, we've had choirs rehab programmes. from some of our drug and alcohol Get people in to sing. in a choir for a long time, if ever. They've probably never sung some of these songs of Christmas, And they come in and they sing the songs that mean something to us, that experience with them. with us, and we share ? Sing, sing a song of joy ? For men shall love each other ? That day will dawn just as sure ? As hearts that are pure ? Are hearts set free ? No man must stand alone before him. ? ? With outstretched hands because they're old, We don't sing the old carols we sing them because they're great. ? Ah joy, oh... ? of Blacktown, In Sydney's western suburb is also warming up. the Harvest Gospel Flavour Choir made up of African refugees, It's a church choir and in the lead-up to Christmas, their first big public performance. they're preparing for (All sing) is at the centre of every song. For these men, faith Because I'm a Christian means a lot to me and celebrating Jesus I wouldn't have had salvation today. because without Jesus, to celebrate His birth, So, whenever the time comes and I am zealous about it. I am happy ? Glory, glory, glory... ? in refugee camps in West Africa. Jeremiah spent 15 years he taught himself to sing in church. With little else to do, ? ..When the saints go marching in ? Glory, glory, glory... ? We always grew up going to church. the evening, we would have devotion. So, whether we were in tents in And we would start to sing, would worship and pray a way for a better future, and hope that God is going to make although we are in a refugee camp. ? ..Glory hallelujah ? Glory hallelujah... ? is we do a cappella But our main thing we do so that people can hear the voices. There is no instrument, nothing. that God has given you. So that's singing with your tongue (Choir practice) Can you get your hands like this? Wiggle them. Who's got hot hands? Sticky hands? local primary school children. Every Christmas, Michelle recruits have joined her ensemble This year, 70 youngsters in Leichhardt. for the upcoming carol festival ? Ave, Ave... ? But it's a typical Sydney summer everyone's feeling the heat. and with only three days left to go, It's hot. Today is feral. And they wilt like little flowers. You know - 'I'm tired.' and they're very responsive. They're really good said you've got to be muscly angels? Do you remember, last week, when I You can't be, like, ditzy. traditional carols, As well as teaching original songs, Michelle has commissioned of Christmas in Australia. to capture the unique flavour what can you hear? ? What can you see, ? Does Santa fill the air? port and sea ? For the mountain creek, ? Bring this time of year... ? I really feel extremely strongly of time with these children, that if I have a short amount that I should be working with the best composers and arrangers that I can find, to give them a meaningful musical experience that will translate into something that they will always remember. You can do it with your eyes closed, Holly. ? Here we go. ? (Kids practice song) Well done! Let's go, let's sing. And - ? Joy to the world... ? For their part, the Salvos enjoy singing the familiar songs of Christmas. The basis of their musical repertoire for over 120 years. Graeme understands the pulling power of music to draw people in. ? And heaven and nature sing. ? Ladies and gentlemen, can you sing 'reigns' a fraction longer in the first phrase? ? Joy to the world ? The saviour reigns. ? Fraction longer. Just gives us a little bit of... There is a danger, particularly with the Salvation Army, where we carol all the time and there's this image of Salvation Army people carolling, playing carols very badly under a lamp post every year, and we can do that. We can do bad carols. ? And wonders of his love... ? But for me, I just love the fact that we want to do the carols and do them well. That was terrible. Like the Salvos, Michelle takes her choir out to the people, to spread their version of goodwill, and share the sheer joy of music. ? Oh come ye, oh come ye ? To Bethlehem We've been doing this for about eight years. We just stop people and sing around them, we'll go into shops.

? Oh come, let us adore him ? Christ, the lord. ? That was gorgeous. ? Oh ? Star of wonder, star of light ? Star with royal beauty bright ? Westward leading, still proceeding ? Guide us with thy perfect light. ? Wonderful. ? Good King Wenceslas looked out ? On the feast of Stephen ? When the snow lay round about ? Deep and crisp and even ? Brightly shone the moon that night ? Though the frost was cruel ? When a poor man came in sight ? Gath'ring winter fuel. ? ? Go tell it on the mountain ? Over the hills and everywhere ? Go tell it on the mountain ? That Jesus Christ is born. ? Don't forget, don't forget that note. As Christmas looms, Jeremiah's group has one last rehearsal. ? Go tell it on the mountain ? Go tell it on the ? Ooh. ? ? Over the hills and Yes, yes, it's up. Stay up. ? Go tell it on the mountain ? Over the hills and everywhere. ? Tomorrow, they'll be performing at a combined churches' Christmas spectacular in Sydney's outer west. They'll be singing a medley but have yet to decide which songs they'll have time for. Seven minutes is for us. So, all we have to do, everyone just hold their heads for seven minutes and walk off. It's our seven minutes. Right? At first, I was a little bit nervous like, you know, I hope my guys will all sing well. So, we don't want to lose faith in ourselves. Because we know we can do anything through God, who strengthens us. (Prays) Father in heaven, Lord, we thank you again for this wonderful day you've given us. We thank you, Lord, that you have brought us together here, Lord, and we have done what we can, oh Lord, to... be able to exalt and praise your name. Lord, as we're preparing for a performance, tomorrow, we pray, Father God, that you may give us the confidence, Lord, that we need. Not only the confidence but the passion and the zeal to be able to do it well, Lord. For in Jesus name, we pray. Amen. (Singing a hymn) Alright, thank you, guys. (Choir warms up) It's crunch time too for the Leichhardt Espresso chorus. Go over that way. You in kindy or year one? With just 24 hours to go, it's the kids' only chance to practice with the orchestra. It always feels like you're pushing a hell of a lot of bodies uphill and you feel this enormous time pressure, to do a two hour concert in three hours rehearsal. (Choir practices) So, it's now just delivering something that is beyond what people would expect from a non-auditioned community choir. And it's a volunteer organisation. This is our gift, you know, for Christmas to our community. The best possible musical gift. ? In excelsis deo ? Hallelujah ? Gloria, gloria. ? Yes! Well done. Thank you very much for playing. I really look forward to seeing you. Enjoy the opportunity. If you feel like you are going to feel faint or ill or any of those things, during the concert, please sit down on your spot, do not try and leave that stage during a piece. If a small child wets themselves on your feet, just keep smiling. (Laughter) 'Cause it's happened before and it'll happen again. The excitement, you see. It's all terribly exciting. (All sing) ? Oh come all ye faithful ? Joyful and triumphant ? Oh come ye, oh come ye ? To Bethlehem... ? December is a time when most people are tired. The end of the year. It's been, for many people, it's been a long year. I love the way people are during this time. I love the community feel of life at Christmas time. It's actually connecting with people. ? ...Christ the Lord. ? This is going to be wonderful. I sense everyone wanting to sing. ? Christ by highest heaven adored ? Christ the everlasting Lord ? Late in time, behold him come ? Offspring of a virgin's womb ? Veiled in flesh the Godhead see... ? I believe the spiritual nature of the words and the music transcends, it goes beyond our human mind. And so the music side, the vibe, the artistic side, that penetrates - I think that can speak volumes. ? ..Glory to the newborn king. ? ? Go tell it on the mountain ? Over the hills and... ? It's showtime for the men of the Harvest Gospel Flavour. It's not only a time to rejoice in their faith, it's a time to celebrate how far they've come. This Christmas is going to be different from Christmas in Africa. Especially the way we were in a refugee camp. The difference here is that we have freedom, and we are happy. ? ..That Jesus Christ is born ? I am rumpled ? I am tired ? Yeah ? I an tangled up in the spirit ? And I feel it in my soul ? Now, the world can do me ? No harm ? Got to stand up ? For your right ? And you'll be standing up ? Against a wrong ? Tell me how you're gonna ever stop ? From being weak ? Unless you make your mind up ? To be strong ? 'Cause you got to do right ? It won't be long now ? It won't be long. ? ? Amazing Grace ? How sweet the sound... ? It has to do with your emotion and you communicating with God, especially with worship songs. Just like you are emptying yourself and allowing God to work in you. It's like you are linking the congregation to God because God loves worship. ? ..But now am found ? Was blind ? But now ? I see ? Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound ? That saved a wretch like me ? I once was lost but now am found ? Was blind, but now, I see ? Ba bum bum (Harmonise) ? It's so high ? So high... (Cheering) ? So low you can't get under it.? We try to sing it from the heart. Because we believe Jesus is our saviour. Wherever we talk to people, we want to encourage them and invite them to be part of our crew. (Orchestra warms up) I think the Leichhardt Espresso Chorus has an obligation to show people a sense of generosity of spirit and the capacity of people working together towards a positive goal. (Choir sing) And when you sing and you sing well, you'll get a natural adrenaline rush. ? Gloria in excelsis ? Gloria, gloria ? In excelsis deo ? Gloria, gloria ? Gloria in excelsis deo ? Hallelujah

? Gloria, gloria ? Gloria in excelsis ? Gloria, gloria ? Gloria in excelsis ? Gloria... ? (Cheering) ? What can you see, what can you do ? Sounds of Santa fill the air ? All about see the rainbows at this time of year... ? I don't want it to be McDonalds music. And I see so many people trivialising it. They just want that really commercial version of Christmas. So I want to reconnect this concert and this community with the contemporary interpretations of it, as well, so that it's not trite. (Children continue to sing) ? Hallelujah ? What can you see, what can you hear? ? Gloria in excelsis deo what can you hear ? Gloria in excelsis deo ? Gloria. ? (Cheering) I'm really happy. (Children sing Jingle Bells) Oh look, when we were good, we were very very good. You could see people going, 'That's what it feels like.' This is not something you can buy, it's that feeling between people, that camaraderie, connectiveness that is what Christmas is about. ? Silent night ? Holy night... ? I love the story of Silent Night. The fact it was written by a minister who, his organ broke down, and one night they sat down with a guitar and the two of them just wrote this carol and used it the next morning on Christmas Day. So when you're singing silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright, you're actually trying to sing the calm and peacefulness of Christmas over those people. ? Jesus Christ is here. ? When you look at a performance, what's really important is the heart and what comes from within. And I sense, tonight, in amongst this community of people, a really good sense of just wanting to be here. And I walk away from here tonight with a feeling of Christmas, a feeling of oneness, a feeling of unity a feeling that everything is OK. ? Good tidings we bring to you and your kin ? We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year ? We wish you a Merry Christmas ? And a Happy New Year. ? (Cheering) Closed Captions by CSI . This Program is Captioned


Tonight - three men guilty but

two cleared of plotting to

attack Holsworthy Army Barracks. President Obama's

sweet victory at the end of a

year of defeat. South Coast

fishermen fear marine reserves will send them broke. Ricky

Ponting putting his hand up for the Boxing Day test.

Good evening. Welcome to ABC

News. I'm Siobhan Heanue. convicted three Melbourne men

of planning a terror attack on Sydney's Holsworthy Army Barracks. The court heard

they planned to shoot as many

people as possible until they

themselves were shot. The

trio will be sentenced next

month and are facing long month and are facing long gaol

terms. But as James Bennett

reports, two of their alleged accomplices were acquitted