Volunteers are an incredible asset to many community organisations, and for Voices of Birralee, this is no exception.
We would not achieve what we do without our passionate volunteers – they provide a valuable human resource, while using their skills and experience to enhance our activities. They help us build and enrich our Birralee community by bringing their personality and vibrancy to our programs. There are always lots of laughs and fun to be had with our volunteers and we, as an organisation, are truly grateful for their involvement.
- Being a part of our executive, public fund and the Harley Mead Legacy committees
- Choir managers
- Choir librarians
- Choir uniform managers
- Assisting with supervision roles for our younger choirs at large events
- Front of house at concerts – selling tickets, raffle tickets, CDs, assisting at the door, ushering
- Stage management, including choir wrangling
- Collating the sheet music and start up packs for the start of our Birralee year
- Stuffing information packs for major festivals e.g., Pemulwuy
- Working bees at the Birralee venue including sorting the uniform shop
- Being involved in fundraising initiatives – donating as well as approaching organisations for support
- Transporting choir risers and instruments to concerts
- Photography and videography at our concerts
- Providing canteen / catering at concerts / festivals
- Making the 500 poppies for our Pemulwuy festival
- Tour supervisors and all that goes with being a part of a touring team
In the above roles (and likely more!), our volunteers make such a difference, not just to our choristers’ experiences, but also to our conductors’. Katherine Ruhle, conductor of our youngest ensemble, the Birralee Piccolos explains:
“I couldn’t do my job without volunteers – they are fantastic! I love that I can focus on the children and their singing while the volunteers quietly look after administration, encourage a tired child to join in, give a thumbs up to a child who is trying their best, clean up the floor when a water bottle is accidentally spilt and are there to answer questions from parents. And you should hear their voices – amazing! We are so lucky in Piccolos to have such lovely singers support our choir – it means that we can sing in canon and do part work at a very young age. ”
So, who are some (of our many) valuable volunteers?
I am one of the managers of the Birralee Blokes. I became a volunteer when my son Anthony started in 2007.
“I currently volunteer as BBV’s librarian. I feel privileged to assist the Artistic Team to do what they do best in providing incredible choral training and inspirational musical experiences. Birralee is an organisation with a voice and heart with values that resonate with my family’s. Having Ellen in Voices and James in Blokes has allowed me to see first hand the thought, effort and genuine care for the choristers’ musical development and wellbeing that Julie, Jenny, Paul and Kate continuously provide. The nice thing about volunteering is that everyone brings something different – from organisational, communication or first aid skills, to a willingness to listen and kindness, to an ability to supply a safety pin when someone’s pants have split just as they are about to go on stage! There is a great sense of teamwork and camaraderie, with lots of laughs and friendships made. As a well established organisation, there are many well thought out protocols and mentoring systems to help volunteers navigate tours and tasks. For me, to travel with these incredible young people along their musical journey is very rewarding. Away from Birralee I work full-time as a Practice Manager at our family psychiatric practice and in my spare time, I love spending time with my family, long walks, painting, illustrating and reading.”
I became a volunteer in 2008 when my eldest daughter Shelby was involved in the then, Birralee Southside Singers, when the previous manager stepped down.
Why do you volunteer and what do you enjoy about being involved with Birralee?
Given I’m not from a musical background, I wasn’t sure if volunteering for Birralee would be the right fit for me. I have absolutely loved my time with the Piccolos each week and I’m looking forward to continuing on next year (if you’ll have me!).