Day 8: The last post

At 1am we were on the bus. "Now, everyone double check - red scarves, Birralee badges, poppies, trench coats, beanies!" our tour manager Sue requested as we scrambled to do the quadruple check. Surprisingly upbeat for so early in the morning, we were all ready for the half hour or so trip to the Australian National Memorial,... Continue Reading →

Day 7: Rest day, and exploration.

The countdown is almost over - it is Anzac Day tomorrow! We enjoyed a rest day today (Sunday), where we opted to chill out, or set off and explore more of the region. A number of us took it as an opportunity to discover the Somme. Our first stop was the 1st Australian Division Memorial in Pozières. This is one of... Continue Reading →

Day 6: One and a half more sleeps…

After a massive Friday with rehearsals and the Grand Anzac Concert, we were set to face another big day today, this time at The Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux. We arrived at VB just before 9am, ready for all types of weather and found our place on the stage, next to the Royal Australian Air Force band.... Continue Reading →

Day 5: Dawn Service rehearsal and mateship

" penguins!" one of the choristers whispered with haste. We were at the end of the Grand Anzac Concert tonight. It was a massive community effort with various choirs, soloists, and an orchestra, to commemorate WW1. We discovered last night, during our rehearsal, how chilly Notre Dame Amiens can get - it was at least 30... Continue Reading →

Day 4: Official rehearsal mode!

We have now set foot at one of the locations which will be a huge part of Anzac Day, the Digger Memorial, Bullecourt. We set off early this morning to the town, not far from Amiens, for the official rehearsal. Travelling on the bus, we were further exposed to the beauty of the region, with its lush... Continue Reading →

Day 2: Our first overseas performance

"Paul...are we seriously performing in there?" a number of choristers asked our conductor after a reconnaissance mission in the lead-up to today's performance. We were quite in awe...if not overwhelmed to be performing in the magnificent L'église de la Madeleine. There was nothing not to love; reverberation for days, friendly locals dropping in to enjoy our... Continue Reading →

Day 1: ‘Louvre-ing’ Paris!

We're in France! It's beautiful, it's freezing - and it's brilliant. We are ready for an epic week as our Anzac Commemoration Choir gets ready to fulfil its commitment to the Department of Veterans' Affairs for next Monday's Anzac Day services on the Western Front. But for now, we have some time for a little bit of... Continue Reading →

Setting off for Anzac Day 2016.

Excited to send our next ensemble of choristers to the Western Front for Anzac Day, we took a moment at our Anzac Commemoration Choir's Dedication Service and Concert in early April to reflect on what this opportunity means to us all at Birralee. "Last year I was honoured to be chosen for this special opportunity to represent our country.... Continue Reading →

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