Day 3: Arriving to Amiens & Fouilloy

Welcome back to the blog! Before we get started, some special info to take note:  "Australia Remembers: Armistice Day France Service" will be broadcast on the ABC at 9.42pm on Sunday 11 November (Brisbane time). Also, there'll be a story on Channel Ten Eyewitness News at 5pm today which will include Voices of Birralee (Friday... Continue Reading →

Day 5 & 6 – Culture & concerts

After lunch on Day 5 we arrived at Astana Ballet to sound check for the next day's concert where each choir would perform individually. It was a long session but we filled the time eating local junk food and playing many games of Uno and working out which rules were 'house' rules vs 'actual' rules.... Continue Reading →

Day 3 – 4: Rehearsals & concerts begin!

We're settling into our new surrounds well, with day three beginning with a massed choir rehearsal for Thursday's gala concert at the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation. There’s a fair bit of repertoire to get through and it seems like the concert will be quite a big deal with the President of Kazakhstan to attend. It... Continue Reading →

Day 1 – 2: Welcome to Kazakhstan!

Kazakhstan wasn't on many of our choristers' travel lists prior to a special invitation from the International Choir Festival: Astana, Voice of the World, a few months ago. So, a small group of choristers, with conductor Paul Holley, embarked on the journey at noon on Wednesday for an epic flight plan from Brisbane to Astana.... Continue Reading →

Day 7: Singing for the soldiers of Hamel

The choristers' last day on Wednesday began with an early start as the group were on the road to The Australian Corps Memorial, Le Hamel, France, for the Centenary of the Battle of Hamel commemorative service. After a week of discovering this region's relevance to WW1 and learning of the battles, particularly, the Battle of... Continue Reading →

Day 5: On site rehearsals begin at Le Hamel

Today the choristers began their day with a visit to the Sir John Monash Centre, which sits behind the Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux. The site presented a phenomenal recount of the stories, horror and fate of Australian soldiers who fought in WWI and the many battles fought on the Western Front. There were two quotes... Continue Reading →

Day 3: Arriving to Bailleul

On Day 3 our choristers hit the road from Paris. It was a day of exploration and discovery, before meeting the beautiful people of Bailleul. The first destination was the Armistice Museum in Compiègne, where the Armistice which ended World War One was signed on 11 November, 1918, in a railway car paused on its tracks... Continue Reading →

Day two: Sightseeing in Paris

Our choristers enjoyed a leisurely Day Two (Friday), playing tourists and exploring Paris in the 30 degree heat! Some of the choristers ventured to the gardens, Jardins du Luxembourg, the modern art galleries of Centre Georges Pompidou, and the second largest church in Paris, Church of Saint-Sulpice. Others journeyed to the palace of Versailles, which was... Continue Reading →

Day One – Reuniting in Paris!

Voices of Birralee's Western Front Centenary Choir (for the Battle of Hamel) has arrived in Paris, ready for a week of touring and performing to many French communities. As tourer Em Salmon explains, Day One in Paris with a performance at the Arc de Triomphe was quite a way to begin! "The morning started off... Continue Reading →

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