3. Birralee takes its songs from school to stadium

In our final blog, we start at Day 5, Wednesday 25 September! Today the apartments groups enjoyed another easy morning. Many only had a light breakfast as we were free to explore the CBD and quay of Perth and find somewhere nice for brunch! Hay St Mall proved a popular eating destination! Some groups met up and explored some vintage op shops, with some even having a ride on the carousel at Elizabeth Quay!

At midday, the Singers and artistic staff left Mont Clare apartments for Trinity College, this time to rehearse with the Grade 6 boys ensemble. Assistant Conductor Lou Wall and our Singers taught these boys the movements to Katherine Ruhle’s The Great Emu Warand the Malaysian piece Wau Bulan! This was a fun and busy rehearsal as we were to perform these pieces that same day!

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At 2:15pm, in the Cultural Centre building at the College, a crowd of Birralee parents and Trinity students gathered for an intimate performance given by the Singers! The boys seemed to love watching us – especially the entertaining If I Only Had A Brain and the poignant Peace Song. Right at the end, the Grade 6 Trinity singers joined us for an energetic performance of Ruhle’s work, captivating the audience!

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In our downtime before the final Birralee concert of the tour, the Singers’ were guided across the Matagarup Bridge to a fun, sandy playground! A short flying fox, interactive instruments, soft grass and slides delighted the kids until it was time to return to Trinity College. We collaborated once more with the College’s vocal students at the ‘Learning Journey’ event, where parents were invited into classrooms to see what their children had been learning. The crowd especially enjoyed Wau Bulan – congratulations to the Trinity boys for remembering and executing all the dance movements! Once again, a huge thank you to Ann Clarke and all the Trinity staff for hosting us!

Our final day of the tour, Thursday, began with everyone’s favourite tasks – packing and cleaning! We checked out of the lovely Mont Clare apartments, stored our luggage in a back room, and walked to the Optus Stadium. Passing over the Matagarup Bridge once again, we enjoyed the fresh air and perfect weather!

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After some photo opportunities at the Stadium entrance, we separated into two groups and were led around the Stadium to explore its many rooms, levels and views! This included the change rooms of the Freemantle Dockers, the AFL players’ ice baths, practice rooms, strategy rooms and viewing the field itself from the top level of the stadium. As a thank you to our lovely guides, we sang a short excerpt from Peace Song.

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Back down on the ground level, the Singers enjoyed a healthy and tasty lunch at the City Views Café. The staff of this facility commented to us how lovely it was to hear our young people communicate with kindness and respect and use manners!  As a symbol of our gratitude to the service staff of the Café, we once again performed an excerpt of Peace Song, moving one lady to tears! To blow off our excess energy before the flight, the Singers’ once again hit the playgrounds surrounding the Stadium!

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Eventually, it was time to leave. Walking back to Mont Clare, we all collected our luggage, boarded our bus one final time – huge thanks to our driver Denny for his help and services on this tour – and checked in to the domestic Virgin terminal at Perth airport. Arriving back to Brisbane at a late hour, just after midnight, I am sure each chorister (and staff member!) will be having a well-deserved sleep in!

Another successful tour completed! We must acknowledge the assistance of our older BBV helpers – thank you all! A MASSIVE thanks to our touring staff parents Bronwyn, Julia, Claire, Linda, Tryslan and Carolyn! To Jo and Ruth, for their efforts in ensuring many of the details around food organisation – thank you! Of course, to our artistic staff Ally Dunk and Joshua Clifford (Senior Music Assistants extraordinaire), Justine Favell (our talented accompanist), Lou Wall (amazing Assistant Conductor) and the brilliant Julie Christiansen (Conductor/Artistic Director).

Until next time,

Joshua Clifford and Ally Dunk

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