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Thanks for a great March! 

Thank you everyone involved in a very successful March and we hope you are looking forward to a break over Easter! 

A recent highlight was the first instalment of the Voices from the Trenches Choral Festival held at St Laurence's College. This event involved three of our ensembles, the Birralee Blokes, Birralee Singers and our Anzac Day Commemoration Choir, along with six Brisbane school choirs honouring our Anzacs through emotive choral music. We are now looking forward to the next concerts, on Sunday 28 May at The Empire Theatre, Toowoomba, with the third concert marking the finale of the Pemulwuy! National Male Voice Festival on Sunday 2 July. Tickets are on sale for both! Read on for further information. 

In other news, our 2017 Anzac Day Commemoration Choir is sounding amazing. Our choristers have been working very hard, led by their dedicated conductor Jenny Moon and accompanist Justine Favell, as they get closer to the main event, Anzac Day on the Western Front, France next month. This choir will have its Dedication Service and Concert this Sunday 2 April and we'd love to see you there. 

Finally, we have decided to base this month's blog on our choral music selection here at Birralee. Over the past 21-plus years we have focused on teaching our choristers age appropriate music to nurture their musicianship and pace of development. In this blog, we gain insight on this subject from our Resonance of Birralee and Birralee Blokes conductor Paul Holley OAM, and our new and passionate Birralee Piccolos conductor Katherine Ruhle. Enjoy! 

Until next time, have a wonderful Easter and we'll see you next term! 

Julie Christiansen OAM
Founder & Artistic Director 
Voices of Birralee   

Enrol to sing with us!


Join us to officially farewell our 2017 Anzac Day Commemoration Choir as they embark on their tour to France.

When: 3pm, Sunday 2 April 2017 
Where: The Great Hall, Brisbane Grammar School 
Tickets: Adults/concession $20 School-aged children $5 (purchase here)

(entry includes post concert afternoon tea).

Please note, all proceeds from the concert go towards our Western Front Anzac Centenary Choir Touring Project
Voices from the Trenches Choral Festival 
With our first Voices from the Trenches concert wrapped, we are getting ready for the next two. This festival is proudly supported by the Queensland Government. 

Join Voices of Birralee's Brisbane Birralee Voices and Birralee Blokes with Toowoomba school and community choirs; Downlands College, Fairholme College, Gabbinbar State School, Middle Ridge State School, Glennie School, Toowoomba Choral Society Youth Choir and Toowoomba Grammar School at the Empire Theatre for an afternoon of incredible music. 

Where: The Empire Theatre, Toowoomba 
When: 3pm, Sunday 28 May 2017
Price: Empire Card Holder $19.50 / Adults $25 / Conc. $19.50 / Child U15. $15 / Groups 10+ $21.50
Tickets: here

This year’s Pemulwuy! finale concert, honours the World War One soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice in The Somme, France. The concert will feature 500 men and boys from across the country, including our Birralee Blokes and Birralee Boys drawn from Birralee's training ensembles. The event is presented in association with QPAC, and is proudly supported by the Queensland Government. 

Where: QPAC's Concert Hall 
When: 6.30pm, Sunday 2 July 2017 
Price: Adult $39.90, Conc. / Student $34.90, Child $29.90, Family $119 (please note, a transaction fee applies) 
Tickets: here 
Cupcake & Cushion Concert: A special Mother's Day tribute featuring our Birralee Piccolos, Kids and Brisbane Birralee Voices will be held at 3pm Sunday 14 May at the Old Museum. Tickets on sale soon. 

Queensland Symphony Orchestra presents its first choral performance for the year, Bach’s B Minor Mass on Saturday 8 April at 7.30pm at QPAC. Stephen Layton, Director of The Choir of Trinity College Cambridge, will join QSO to conduct one of Bach’s greatest creations and one of his last compositions. As a friend of QSO, Voices of Birralee members and friends are invited to enjoy a special offer of 20% off adult tickets. Redeem here
Our valuable volunteers 
Tony Forbes 
Brisbane Birralee Voices Choir Manager (& Photographer)  

What do you do outside Birralee?
I am a Product Manager for The Carbatec Group - An importer and distributor, and with eight stores around AU and NZ, it is the largest retailer of woodworking machinery, handtools and accessories.

What brought you to Birralee? 
Our eldest daughter Shelby was offered a part scholarship in 2008, when she joined what was the Birralee Singers (Southside) choir, with the wonderful Kate Albury waving her arms out front. My wife Michelle took on the role of Choir Manager shortly after and through the process of volunteer osmosis I inherited the role of Librarian, and then Choir Manager as Shelby moved through the Birralee ensembles, and their respective rehearsal locations. Shelby has now moved to Resonance of Birralee and our youngest, Lily, now makes the trip to Bardon. My wife and I share the current position (when she is not looking after the BBV uniforms), as my job at times sees me travelling interstate or overseas for weeks at a time.

Are you musical and if so, explain your background?
No...just NO! I have failed miserably at keyboard, guitar, recorder...and I was asked to hand in my maracas. I sing loudly and with confidence in the car, (baritone with odd soprano solo if you need to know), and bang out a mean rhythm on the steering wheel/center console/door panel. Michelle and I describe ourselves as "inwardly talented" compared to all the Birralee family musical overachievers. In saying that, I absolutely love music, have a great appreciation and admiration of live performance. We have a substantial music collection and I was brought up with music lovers who listened to music from many genres. A flip through my Spotify account will see anything from Led Zeppelin, The Clash and Joy Division, to James Blake, Jack Garrett, Alt-J and Hans Zimmer's amazing soundtracks (and even the odd Birralee concert).

What do you enjoy about working with Birralee? 
Apart from seeing both my children excelling on stage, I love the social aspect of the great BBV volunteer team. My daytime 'real' job can at times be quite tiring and stressful. I find that Tuesday night rehearsal (and of course the many concerts) to be the highlight of the week. We have amazing kids who make an amazing sound, and to see the progression of once (for some) introverted and quiet children, into confident performers (under the guidance of the dedicated Birralee artistic staff) astounds me. Thank you Birralee for what you do for our kids (even if they don't understand or appreciate it!). You have given many of them a gift they will take with them through life - A gift this failed keyboard, guitar, recorder and maraca player couldn't give them!
Our passionate choristers 
Chris Wood, 19, Birralee Blokes

Occupation / Study? I work at a cafe and I am starting my first year of a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Queensland (St Lucia), majoring in Ancient History. 

When did you join Voices of Birralee and why? I first joined about six years ago after performing in Pemulwuy! I loved my experience with Birralee and Paul so much I joined up with the Birralee Blokes and have loved it ever since.

What are your favourite songs in Birralee's repertoire? 
One of my favourites is Down by the Boardwalk. I love jazz and the Blokes do it really well. Another is a Newfoundland folk song called Sarah. We haven't done it for about two years but it still remains one of my favorites.

What do you enjoy about singing with Birralee? I love all the opportunities that I have and the people I meet. I've been to Canada and Perth for tours with Blokes, and I'm looking forward to a few weekend tours coming up this year. I've met a lot of my friends through choir also, which is another great bonus.

Why do you sing and where do you plan on taking your music? I sing because I love music. It is one of my passions in life and it's my getaway from the everyday hassles. I don't know what I am going to do with it in future. I will probably keep it as a hobby alongside my Ancient History degree. For now though, I'm happy to just keep singing with the Blokes and maybe next year I'll join Resonance, we'll see.
Poppy Mug Fundraiser! 

We recently launched a fundraiser with these beautiful Poppy Mugs!

The Ashdene Porcelain Poppy Mugs are made in Australia, with artwork by Jenny K Phillips, Australia's leading botanical artist.

The $15 mugs make great gifts (Mother's Day perhaps?), with proceeds going towards our Western Front Anzac Centenary Choir Touring Project. 

Purchase here, via our online store. 
We've re-launched our Facebook community group allowing our Birralee Members, and those closely connected with our organisation, to buy, swap or sell items that are related to our music interests.

This is a great platform to connect as a community and to sell any unneeded uniforms, or instruments, and lots more. Before posting in the group, please review the terms of use, and view the group

Voices of Birralee has been banking with Bank of Queensland for a number of years and because of this great relationship, our local branch would like to invite Birralee members looking for a new fee free everyday account to get in touch. For every 10 accounts opened, the branch will donate $100 to our Western Front Anzac Centenary Choir touring project! 

The account includes a 
free Visa Debit Card with limited overseas fees attached. Great for those touring next year and beyond to get their travel funds sorted. 

For more information, contact 
Julie Johnson at BOQ, Windsor:
Homezone Centre, Shop 103, 142 Newmarket Road 
(07) 3861 0922  or

On the blog! 

How do our Voices of Birralee conductors select age appropriate music for their ensembles? Read March's blog to find out! 

Book our venue

Our fantastic Bardon spaces are available for hire - perfect for use as meeting spaces or for rehearsals. Check out our options here
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Newsletter - March 2017 

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Voices of Birralee · 57 Carwoola Street · Bardon · Brisbane, Qld 4065 · Australia

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