Why Birralee ventures regionally!

As our Brisbane Birralee Voices (BBV) ensemble gets set for its tour to regional New South Wales next week, we thought we’d talk about why tours into regional Australian towns are so important, while reflecting on some of the highlights over the years.

Next week 50 choristers aged from 12 – 17, will perform in towns including Murwillumbah, Mullumbimby and Hastings Point, en route to the Bellingen Music Festival. The concerts will include joining with local choirs in various communities, with some busking in the streets of Bellingen.


It’s going to be a lot of fun, and a great chance for our young choristers to further their musical development through working with other choirs, such as the Murwillumbah Philharmonic Choir and the Chillingham Voices, while performing alongside the Bellingen Youth Orchestra and the Acacia Quartet. We’ll also get to work with Paul Jarman who is the festival’s Composer-in-Residence.

The concerts are from 20 – 24 September, and you can check out the details via our Facebook event page.

For BBV, the regional tours over the years have taken the choir to many locations in the eastern states of Australia, including Port Macquarie for the 2010 ANCA National Choralfest, to various regional centres of QLD for Q150 Songbridge and Queensland Songbridge in 2009 and 2008, while in 2006 and 2010, the choir participated in the Maryborough Music Conference.

(This clip is from the Queensland Songbridge 2008, where Voices of Birralee, along with other participating choirs, sing ‘When Our Voices Join Together’ by Harley Mead.) 

Venturing into these regional towns provides our choristers a break from ‘city life’ to discover the beauty of the regional communities, and we always find the locals incredibly welcoming.

These tours also give our choristers insight into what choirs of their age group are doing, from the repertoire to their quality of performance, while at times we’re bringing some great music to some towns which might not get much of an opportunity to experience the joy of choral music.

Our Birralee Blokes ensemble has also participated in a great deal of regional touring over the years. This time last year they were heading to Western Australia to participate in the Men of Song Festival, Bunbury.

As invited guests, the Blokes worked with the various participating choirs, all the while improving their own performance.

In all of our tours, we ensure we fit in some sight-seeing, as this great clip from Pip Suschinsky shows.

Our younger choir, Birralee Singers (aged 10 – 13) have also had the chance to visit some great locations in Australia. A highlight was last year’s trip to Tasmania where they sang in various cities including Launceston, Hobart and Davenport.

Our choirs have had some wonderful experiences touring Australia, and there are many fantastic tours to come as we continue to provide our choristers opportunities to explore their music as we like to say, ‘beyond the concert hall’.

All the very best to our BBV choristers as they head to NSW and we look forward to sharing the news of their travels!

Do you have a great regional touring memory? Tell us by commenting on this blog, or send us an email with info and pictures to marketing@birralee.org.

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