As we drew closer to the end of tour, the final event was the Gala Concert, which was to be performed in front of delegates of the 6th Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions at the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation.
Our group arrived to the venue late Thursday morning and immediately got to work with rehearsals to prepare for the big event, including allowing the national TV station to rehearse their ‘shots’.
Just before the concert, our choristers decided to do a lap of the building to present gifts to other choirs we’d befriended. Gifts included Aussie themed pencils, koala keychains, Tim Tams and CDs.
No one was more excited than the Italians who reacted emphatically to the gifts. And soon the word spread that we had little koala keychains, so other choristers came to our dressing room politely asking for one.
Soon we were ushered to the stage to begin the concert, awaiting ‘go-time’ for when the delegates would finish their earlier conference to be treated to some music.
And then it all happened and went pretty well we feel – but see for yourself!
There was a sense of great excitement when the concert finished as it had been a full-on week to get the music performance ready.
After the concert, we caught a bus from our hotel to the city where we went to Baiterek Tower to catch Astana from another angle and at night.
On Friday we had a slow morning packing and getting organised for the trip home.
We enjoyed our final meal together in Kazakhstan before heading to the Astana Airport in the afternoon.
It was a huge week of singing, eating and exploring such a quirky place and we feel very grateful for the opportunity provided by the Astana – Voice of The World organisers, and to Voices of Birralee for this and many opportunities we’ve been provided over the years.
A special thank you to our conductor, Paul Holley OAM for being our fearless leader, preparing our little choir for this occassion, while providing morale and musical support on the ground in Astana.
And thank you to our supporters at home! We can’t wait to share the next adventure with you.