Day 13

It’s hard to believe that today is our last day here, we’ve had so much fun, met so many people, taken part in far to many events to recal all of them and learnt so much from everyone.

Today has been fairly relaxed but still filled with fun and excitement.

This morning the young musicians headed off to Fremantle for didgeridoo lessons! They were all given the chance to try out this amazing instrument, whilst it’s not native to the west coast of Australia, it was still great fun!

Sharda Pattasar and friends performed on the Community Stage in the Commonwealth people’s space a real honour for them and they lived up to it spectacularly! They have been great fun to meet and we really hope to meet up with them all again soon!

Pete Banks had to take the PA back to Ashton Admor who had kindly hired it to us over the last week. Before running around the town looking after various groups of our ROSL soloists who were practising for the CHoGM Church service on Sunday morning which all the dignitaries will be attending.

In the evening, Peter Banks and Yelian He had arranged for the whole group to head down to the next door hotel to perform for their guests (in exchange for a good evening and some food!) However, as you may be seeing on the news, Qantas airlines have completely grounded every flight available and so the hotel was packed with camera crews (looking for tearful, sorrowful passengers no doubt!) and other stranded members of the public who had the chance to hear some fantastic impromptu performances from our young musicians, potentially performing together for the last time!

Our young musicians are now packing ready for their onward journey and watching a film all together! We’ve had a really fantastic week and there are so many different events that we’ve enjoyed! Some of our many highlights have included…

  • Trinity College
    • Meeting their young musicians at their BBQ on the first night
    • Performing to their juniors and year 8’s
    • Bringing together a string ensemble
    • Playing with their Jazz band!
    • Yelian He learning to play the drums!
  • Performing at Willerton Senior High
  • Visiting Fremantle
  • Performing all together at the Youth Forum Closing Ceremony
  • Learning from all the international musicians present!
    • Joseph Aquilina (Malta)
    • Cecilia De Maria (Malta)
    • Les Neish (UK)
    • Yelian He (Australia)
    • Sri Mahligai (Singapore)
    • Sharda Patasar and Friends (Trinidad and Tobago)
  • Les Neish’s Carnival of Venice
  • Visiting wildlife parks
  • Getting to know new friends
  • Learning about aboriginal culture
  • Performing as part of the Song for Perth services
  • Unveiling the tree of life sculpture
  • The Royal Over-Seas League dinner
  • Meeting the Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago
  • Being a part of the Carers day at the Princess Margaret children’s Hospital
  • Yelian He’s Julie – o
  • The Concerto from Yelian He with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra
  • Card Games into the night!!!
  • Mr Banks’ brilliant driving skills
  • The trip to Kalamunda
    • Meeting Tony and Faith
    • Being introduced to the Australian outback by Tony
    • Visiting the Kalamunda History Centre
    • Performing at the Kalamunda Performing Arts Centre to a full house
  • Performing at City Gate Hotel for stranded passengers!
This list is by certainly not exhaustive and there are so many more things that individuals have done, and small groups have taken part in!!

Tomorrow the onward journey commences for the group, Chethams are off to Sydney and Melbourne, Purcell are heading back to London and on Sunday Cecilia De Maria and Joseph Aquilina are both heading home with Sharda Patasar and our ROSL soloists are continuing their tours of Australia on Sunday.

Whilst I have a chance…

This will most likely be my final major diary post, I hope you’ve enjoyed my ramblings or found them in some way useful!! Thankyou for reading and do check back for the final pictures and fundraising events when we return to the UK!

Many thanks & Goodnight

Peter

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Day 10

Having been on Perth for 10 days and carrying out nearly 20 events so far it is amazing that the whole group has not yet been split up. Today however was a time for us to show off our logistical expertise! With 4 events not only back to back or overlapping but at the same time!

Early in the morning the Royal Over-Seas League soloists had a chance to rehearse for a new composition by one of the young musicians. There was also time for some of our young musicians to rehearse items and prepare for the next few days ahead!

After lunch, some of the young musicians departed to work with Perth modern school, just up the road from our apartments. The rest of the group left for Fremantle to rehearse for the closing ceremony of the commonwealth youth forum. Our Trinidad group taught the group a piece and 14 musicians will be performing it together during the closing ceremony of the CYF tomorrow afternoon.

At around 1 this morning (Perth time!) Alison Cox was woken by an official asking if the Trinidad group could play for the prime minister at a function tonight! So, the band went off this evening with myself (as technician) and met the Prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago, who was an amazing person. It was a real honour to meet the prime minister she had such presence and spoke brilliantly.

The ROSL Soloists were also in action tonight with some of our young musicians at the ROSL gala dinner, the young musicians were invited to the Royal Over-Seas League CHoGM Dinner. There were also some lucky ones who are able to take evening off!!!!

Pictures of today will follow soon…

Tomorrow looks like it

Day 9

We’ve spent the day doing a wide variety of different things! The morning we walked to St Margaret’s Children’s Hospital to take part in their carers day.

The day was a real eye opener and very moving. It started with one carer describing her journey, which was very moving and really opened our eyes to how important it is to look after everyone involved not just those that are most obviously in need.

After the talks the group performed a couple of very short items. Our Maltese contingent, Joseph Aquilina and Cecilia De Maria, both performed beautifully before the day moved into the main carers day exhibition area. This was where our Trinidad and Singaporean groups both performed. It was the first day that we have been able to use the PA from Ashton Admor to its max and it worked fantastically well. Both groups were really pleased with the result and the buzz in the room created by these two amazing groups was incredible.

Whilst the two groups were playing the young musicians from Chethams and Purcell went to play to the Children’s Wards. This has generated so many memories not only for the children on the wards but also our young musicians who have been reliving the moments that they’ve had with the children ever since.

After walking back, the evening consisted of one of the most important events on the tour, the Commonwealth Festival Gala Concert with the Western Australia Symphony Orchestra.

The young musicians were invited to the pre concert reception and were also invited to perform for the VIP guests. The concert itself included our ROSL soloist Yelian He who performed Haydn’s second Cello concerto, which was also broadcast live nationally on ABC classic FM!

Tomorrow the young musicians are heading to Perth Modern school whilst the soloists are going to be collaborating with our Singaporeans on a large-scale joint piece to be performed later in the week…

New arrivals …

On day 5 I blogged that Maltese Tenor, Joseph Aquilina, had arrived I thought I would take this opportunity to introduce all the members of the team who have arrive with us so far!

We of course have the Chethams and Purcell Schools of music, the biggest and oldest specialist music schools in the UK. Chethams is based in Manchester and Purcell just outside North London. Both schools have sent 6 – 7 pupils aged 16 – 18 to perform to and encourage young musicians in Australia.

The combined teams of Purcell and Chethams Schools

Joining the schools are two Royal Over-Seas League soloists, Les Neish and Yelian He who have been with us since we arrived. Les Neish is an international Tuba soloists and has joined us whilst he has joined us whilst he is touring Australia and New Zealand for 5 weeks! Yelian He has flown out as part of a 3 week tour of Australia, originally from Melbourne he is currently a post graduate student at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. Yelian will be performing the Haydn Cello Concerto with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra as part of the Commonwealth festival

Joseph Aquilina

We are also very lucky to be joined by two Maltese musicians, one old friend who was on the original Commonwealth Resounds tour as a Purcell School pupil. Cecelia De Maria rejoins the team as a harp soloist and two days ago we were also joined by the celebrated Maltese Joseph Aquilina

Joseph is a world-renowned Tenor soloist and notably has performed for the Commonwealth Heads of Government before when it was in Malta where he sang to many dignitaries from around the World.

Joseph has also recorded for major international record labels and has championed the work of many Maltese Soloists. We are especially pleased to be joined by him and would like to thank the Maltese Government for supporting him whilst he is out in Australia.

We are due to be joined very shortly by more musicians from Singapore and from Trinidad. The Commonwealth Resounds is managing to bring together musicians from all over the World to share musical ideas and experiences!