OUS Canberra - May morning celebrations

Alumni came together in the Australian capital to mark the coming of spring at OUS Canberra’s May morning celebrations.

Around 70 Oxonians and performers sipped champagne and tucked into croissants as they watched the spectacle.

Canberra’s equivalent to Magdalen Tower and the River Cherwell is the Carillon on Aspen Island on Lake Burley Griffin, where alumni gathered to take part in celebrations.

The event featured a wonderful juxtaposition of the choir followed by the enthusiastic Morris dancing of the Surly Griffins.

The group are a mixed morris dancing team who perform a mix of traditional and modern Border and Cotswold morris.

OUS Canberra started the event, usually held on the first Sunday in May, in 2011.

The Canberra origin owes much to Dr Jonathan Powles, who, when studying for his DPhil at Magdalen on Stravinsky, became very familiar with the Oxford tradition.

Jonathan, Music Director of The Australian National University Choral Society (SCUNA), ensured a choir to replicate some of the Oxford musical settings.

While Jonathan Powles is taking up a new position as Pro Vice Chancellor at the University of New England, he hopes to return each year to lead the choir in what is now becoming a firm Canberra tradition.

Cambridge graduates are even known to attend!

Colin Steele – Secretary, OUS Canberra