Wendy Returns & Concert 26th January

Hello lovely Mainesong Choir

Some of you may know that I have already returned to Australia, and am settling back into Castlemaine to begin the new year. I am home earlier than expected but have had an amazing time, and perhaps fortuitously AS….

We (Mainesong) have been asked to sing with Corker Orchestra,
on Australia Day, 26th January!

I’m sorry it’s come up so quickly, but I have said yes, and will now gather available voices for the choir. This event is the yearly ceremony to officially welcome new citizens in this country.

I know that you have been having a wonderful time with Scott again, while I’ve been away. I can’t wait to hear what you’ve been doing. Scott and I have spoken and, given this event is coming up, he is happy for me to resume taking the choir for rehearsals on 13th/20th January, as you were expecting, and then early Feb. as we originally planned.

This event which is taking place with much respect to positive changes in respectful attitudes towards our First Nation history. I feel that the inclusion of our community musical groups will be a wonderful spirit to add to the occasion and continue to build bridges for these these positive changes. We have a powerful voice. It was lovely to be asked.

Janey has been liaising with the council and has written this for us, on my request, to help describe the morning’s occassion.

‘The celebration of Australia Day has long been one of contention with the early Europeans claiming ownership in 1788 of “Terra nullius” – nobody’s land. In fact Australia has been occupied by indigenous people for some 65,000 years which predates human settlement of Europe and the Americas.

The Australia Day event held here in Castlemaine celebrates the induction of new Australian citizens but also includes traditions which are and always have been very important to our First Nation people. These include “Welcome to Country” where custodians invite other groups onto their traditional land. This ceremony is lead by an elder, in our case Uncle Rick Nelson who is a Jaara Jaara man from the Dja Djawurrung language group. A smoking ceremony then follows which has cleansing properties and the ability to ward off bad spirits.

The song which will be sung by the MaineSong choir and accompanied by Corker Orchestra is “I am Australian”. This song acknowledges so much about Australia from our First Nation people to convicts, pioneer women, poets and artists and the diversity of our climate, geography and of course cultures.’

I have been working hard on an arrangement for the song, ‘I am Australian’, which was requested by the organisers, to be performed by the choir and orchestra. We will also sing another song, which I’m still contemplating. We will need to learn the words off by heart if possible, so check out one of the recordings available on utube. Perhaps Simon might put it online. I will send lyrics. There is an extra verse to most recordings, I have decided to include.

By the way, I would be happy to expand the choir for this performance if you would like to invite anyone who is interested. They will need to attend both rehearsals though, if possible.

I will need to confirm voices asap. The music will not be difficult and learnable by reading the lyrics.

Times & Dates

Event: Sunday, January 26th
Time: 9.00am, for 9.45am performance
Place: Victory Park
Rehearsals: 13th and 20th January, 7.45-9.45pm,
Rehearsal Venue: Campbell’s Creek Community Centre

Please confirm your participation with an email to me, thanks.