Most of us like to sing, whether it’s in your imagination, or in the shower. Perhaps it’s a soft hum along with the radio, or at the top of your voice on a mountain in Austria. Of course, the situations in which you can sing are endless. But for two young hill’s choristers there’s one of particular importance; the Australian Youth Choir.
Through hard work and sheer talent, 10 year old Indiah Bould from Nairne and 13 year old James Maiolo, formerly of Cuddlee Creek, were accepted into the Australian Youth Choir (AYC). Both are Soprano-2 singers and the only South Australians to be selected. The Managing Director of the AYC, Julie McKenna, said that during the auditions, they were looking for the “ear” and “voice” to be in tune. She said the listening aspect is important because the singer needs to work within a group, rather than a big voice that stands out.
Indiah and James went with the AYC on their tour of Europe with fifty-one other choristers from all over Australia. The trip was fully funded by the families involved, which meant that Indiah and James had to work hard to help raise enough money for this lifetime opportunity.
The two week adventure began on the 25th of May when they arrived in France. In Paris, they sang at the Notre Dame Cathedral, Disneyland and the Arc de Triomphe, then on to Belgium and the Australian Ambassador’s residence in Amsterdam. Next was the UK where they sang at Canterbury Cathedral, Winchester and in London, at St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Australian High Commission. James said that on some days they performed in three different places. It sounds gruelling, but he said, “it was really thrilling and a highlight was meeting so many new people”.
Conductor, George Ellis and Julie McKenna, accompanied the children. Everyone agreed that singing in St. Paul’s Cathedral was one of the highlights as the acoustics were outstanding. Julie said,“they sang Howard Goodall’s version of ‘The Lord is My Shepherd’, and it was just beautiful. The song lived for 5 or 6 seconds after they’d finished”. Indiah’s solo performance at St. Paul’s Cathedral was also very special and one she’ll never forget.
In Paris, the choir were asked to join the “honour march” up the Champs de Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe, an honour which they accepted. They performed under the Arc de Triomphe for the sixtieth anniversary commemoration of the battle of Denmark in which French and other Allied Troops fought. They sang the French National anthem so well that onlookers thought they were actually French school children. This belief was soon dispelled when they also sang Waltzing Matilda to the attentive crowd.
Congratulations to Indiah and James for their achievements with the AYC. To view photos of the trip and to find out more about the Australian Youth Choir and the Australian Dance Theatre, please visit www.niypaa.com.au.
The Australian Youth Choir in front of the Villers Brettenoux Town Hall, the Somme, France.