We have had more than 2,000 members of the Voices of Birralee journey since our humble beginnings 20 years ago! And as part of our anniversary celebrations, we are shining a spotlight on our alumni, finding out where they are now, and how their Voices of Birralee experience has enriched their musical and social development.
This series starts with Brisbane performer Daniel Smerdon who was a chorister with the Birralee Blokes from 2004 – 2012 and with Resonance of Birralee from 2008 – 2013
Daniel, thanks for being involved! Tell us what you are up to now?
“I’m working right now with Opera Queensland and as a freelance performer having just finished a Masters of Music Studies. I’m in the middle of applying for a Higher Degree Research Program at the Queensland Conservatorium.”
You were part of Voices of Birralee for almost 10 years! What did you get from your time with us?
“My time with Birralee was very fruitful and thoroughly enjoyable. It provided opportunities for national and international exposure and performing in some of the world’s finest landmarks alongside some incredibly gifted choral groups.
“From a personal perspective, it taught me the value of determination, work ethic, while building a sense of team and family and I have made some life long friends as a result.”
What is your greatest memory?
“There are so many to choose from, however if I have to choose one, it would be in 2012 which marked my final year with the Birralee Blokes. We toured the gorgeous West Coast of Canada to participate in the International Choral Kathaumixw, alongside thousands of the world’s finest choristers over the course of a week.
“We were very fortunate to be named Choir of the World and I was extremely fortunate to win the Senior Vocal Solo Prize. The feeling was indescribable and the tour was incredibly fun and a huge success. (A story documenting the ensemble’s win can be read here).
“The experience of winning the ABC Choir of the Year Competition in 2006 comes a very close second as a highlight.”