4: Final day in Austria

Today marked the first of many concert days for our lovely tourers!

BBV started the day with a concert at the Bischöfliches Gymnasium, where both groups shared their wonderful music, finishing with a combined finale of “You, Me and the Wide Open Sky.” The concert was live streamed on the Voices of Birralee Facebook page if you still want to see it!

After the concert, our choristers split into groups and were each taken on a private tour by some student volunteers from the school. Rochelle’s group ventured to the Doppelwendeltreppe, or Double Staircase, whilst Ally and Justine’s group visited the Murinsel and enjoyed the views of Graz from the roof of the K&O shopping centre.

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Blokes meanwhile started the day early at 7:30am, and straightaway met to travel to the Theaterservice Graz factory. This is a very large workshop where a variety of multi-functional stages for opera houses and theatre shows are made. We were shown around the various rooms for sculpting large props, the silicon moulding rooms and the large spaces used for painting backdrops and furniture creation.

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After this, we travelled to where BBV visited yesterday, the Schlossberg. We walked around and admired the stunning views from above Graz, and then made our descent by the infamous Schlossberg Slide – even Mr Holley went down!

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BBV and Blokes then joined together for an impromptu sing at the Graz Cathedral, featuring “Danny Boy” and “Lauliku Lapsepõli”, both of which sounded beautiful in the acoustic of the ancient building, especially surrounded by the baroque and rococo architecture.

We then walked to the City Hall for a Civic Reception with a City Council member on behalf of the Mayor of Graz. Blokes sang a rousing rendition of “Sesere Eeye” whilst BBV gave a fine performance of Ruth McCall’s “Waltzing Matilda”. The singers then had an opportunity to check out the City Hall balcony for some prime photo opportunities before being treated to a scrumptious Austrian lunch, with roasted vegetables, chicken rissoles and schnitzel.

Whilst the choristers had some free time to explore and shop, the artistic staff went to present a Repertoire Reading Session for some local conductors with some music from Australian composers including Annie Kwok, Dan Walker, Paul Jarman and our very own Blokes Assistant Conductor Will Brown.

To finish the day, our local hosting Graz choirs and Voices of Birralee ensembles collaborated in a hugely successful evening concert in the Minoriten Hall. Special mention must be given to Flora, our guest violinist who performed the poignant piece “Tell My Father” with the Blokes. Such an eclectic array of music delighted the audience.

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Tomorrow Birralee heads to Croatia for the first time! We are all incredibly excited, but a little sad to be parting with our new Graz friends and host families. Onto the next adventure.

We invite you to keep following our journey of this epic Europe tour!

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