Chets team safely returned from Melbourne yesterday – back to freezing temperatures and work but at least the sun shone for us on our first day back. Long flight home but helped by discovering the pool and showers at Singapore airport en route.

Thanks to all for an amazing trip and especially to all Purcell and Chets pupils and staff – brilliant musicians and company one and all. let planning for the next TCR commence! Well, maybe not until next week…


Spent our last full day at Victoria College, a specialist music school in Melbourne city centre. Great day, composition session in the morning when Frankie and Stephen showed works which were on a screen for the audience to see and were played and discussed. Lunchtime concert given by both schools and then keyboard, string and WW masterclasses in the afternoon.

All the students had an evening out with their host families, whilst Sarah and Nick hit the town with Geoff and Rhonda! Great dinner in an outside restaurant and a drink in one of the hundreds of roof top bars. This morning is brilliant sunshine whilst we pack to leave. Hard to believe the Aussie adventure is ending – it’s been an amazing trip and huge congrats to all the Chets and Purcell crews who did so brilliantly.

Back to the UK and our day jobs – look forward to sharing memories and photos in the weeks ahead. Farewell for now from the Chets team.

Chets in Melbourne continued.

Thursday was our day in Westbourne college. Huge and spacious campus. The students all attended lessons with their hosts for the first 2 periods of the day (double Maths for Frankie!!), and then re-acquainted themselves with their instruments after a few days off. We then participated in string groups, band and choir rehearsals before giving a lunchtime concert.

More ensemble activities in the afternoon before we all headed back to the Hayhow’s for a BBQ. The students all helped out with the cooking (Stevie B especially impressing with the meat tongs) and had a great evening.

Last day tomorrow – it seems to have gone quickly and yet we also seem to have been here for a long time – good combination. One more update tomorrow before we leave on Saturday.

Chets in Melbourne

Sightseeing day in Melbourne city. We took the train to the city with Geoff Hayhow as our tour guide. Weather a bit grey and chilly but we had a great time exploring a fascinating city. It’s a mix of modern high rise and lots of narrow lanes crammed with shops and cafes, very continental in feel. We travelled around on the extensive tram network and between us saw much of the central distriact as well as St Kilda’s beach, numerous shops and the Percy Grainger museum! Sarah and Nick also took in the view of the city from top of the Eureka tower, the highest building in the southern hemisphere.

All the students returned to their host families for the evening. Back to work mode tomorrow with a day at Westbourne Grammar School where we are doing workshops and a concert.

Chets group arrive in Melbourne!

We made the most of our 48 hours in Sydney, finishing our time there with a ride around the city on the monorail stopping off at Darling Harbour to look around, and then we walked all the way across the famous harbour bridge and back. Stunning city – we all felt very lucky to have had the chance to visit.

Then we flew the short hop to Melbourne and met up with Geoff Hayhow at the airport. Drove out to their place and all the students were collected by their host families. Felt very strange with everyone heading off in different directions after over a fortnight together but all new and good experiences.

Brilliant to see Geoff and Rhonda again and looking forward to spending our final few days in Australia with them. More tomorrow.

Chets in Sydney Day 2

Chets in Sydney!!:))

Great day seeing the city and the famous landmarks. Took the ferry to Manly beach and spent a couple of hours on the ocean front there, then back to the city and a bit of time at Circular Quay and the Rocks. Then back to our apartments to change before visiting the Sydney Conservatoire. Had a tour round and listened to the rehearsal for a world premier of a piece for violin and small ensemble. Then to the Opera House for a fantastic performance of Don Giovanni. A pinch yourself to believe you were there evening!

Tomorrow a few more hours sightseeing before flying on to Melbourne. More from there!!


Chets group said farewell to Purcell group this morning and flew to Sydney. Nice views from the air although lots of turbulence.
Found our apartments in the city which are great and we then walked to Sydney tower, the highest building in the city, and took the lift to the top. Fab views as the sky darkened and the city lights came on. Also a lightening show from distant storms.
Walked back to Chinatown and had a great meal with compulsory use of chopsticks!
Only one broken piece of crockery which was good going.
Looking forward to sightseeing day tomorrow, with visit to Sydney conservatoire late afternoon and then Don Giovanni in the opera house:)
Hope Purcell group have safe trip back and Catherine too of course. Missing you!
Can’t upload photos from here but will do so when in Melbourne later in the week. Nick and Sarah. Gday!!

Day 11 from the other side…

The group not involved in the CHOGM Youth Forum closing ceremony went on a fabulous day trip to Yanchep National Park, about an hour’s drive north of Perth city. This was a great opportunity for all involved to see something of the bushland and indigenous wildlife. The Chets staff hired a minibus for the day and we all set off up Waneroo Road in search of koalas and kangaroos! We were all delighted to see a beautiful day begin to emerge out of a fairly grey start as we ventured northwards and by the time we arrived at Yanchep, the weather was warm and sunny.

We headed straight for koala boardwalk, where 11 koalas are to be found – usually asleep up trees (a diet of purely eucalyptus leaves contains no carbohydrate so they have zero energy and sleep for 20-21 hours a day!), although Mr Oliver managed to film an unusually active little chap darting up a tree!

After a leisurely picnic by the lake taking in the wonderful array of colourful birds all around, we headed over to the crystal caves and had a great guided tour through the glistening caverns only discovered relatively recently as the native aboriginal Nyoongar people believed that evil spirits dwelt in caves and therefore left them well alone.

The 3pm koala talk drew us back over to the boardwalk and Bruce (!) our ranger was informative and entertaining – a few gross koala facts thrown in! We then walked around the wetlands trail, a bush walk which took us through some extraordinary native landscapes, in which we saw snakes and spiders and a very friendly grey kangaroo!

At the end of the trail we found the green area by the lake where we had earlier had our picnic overtaken with families of kangaroos, including several who had joeys in their pouches and a very little fellow clearly only just up to hopping!

On our way home we took a detour over to the ocean at Burns beach and spent half an hour or so until sunset enjoying the white beach and coast path alongside the shore.

We got back just in time for takeaway pizza and Singaporean entertainment – all much-needed after a brilliant long day out!

Pictures on the way…