Brisbane Birralee Voices
Voices of Birralee is a children’s community choir organization that has performed at venues around the world. Voices of Birralee is based in Brisbane, Australia. It gives young people the opportunity to participate in an internationally regarded community choir.
The choir was founded in 1995 by Julie Christiansen OAM. It now has around 500 members from Queensland. The choirs sing Australian and international repertoire and rehearse once a week. Entry to the choirs is auditioned.
The organization has released ten CDs: 'So Far' (Resonance only), 'Towards Infinity' (Blokes only), 'Sing We Now of Christmas', 'Among Friends', 'World Full of Colour', 'Can You Hear Me?', 'Within Reach!', 'Come To The Music', 'A Live Anniversary Concert' (2005) and 'Walls Come Tumblin' Down' (Blokes only).
Voices of Birralee has four main conductors Paul Holley, Julie Christiansen, Rebecca Thomas and Jennifer Teh. The choir's Principal Accompanist is Justine Favell, and the other two main Accompanists are Kylie Los and Brendan Murtagh .
Julie Christiansen is the organisation's artistic director. She has been a conductor for over 25 years and chose to start the then "Brisbane Birralee Voices" to allow gifted singers in Southeast Queensland to perform to their full potential. The organisation runs six choirs, although there are two of each of the three younger ones, who rehearse on different days, and come together for performances. Each member is placed in a choir according to age and skill after an audition. These are: The Birralee Piccolos, The Birralee Kids, The Birralee Singers, Brisbane Birralee Voices, The Birralee Blokes and Resonance of Birralee.
The Birralee Blokes, directed by Paul Holley, is the choir for men or boys whose voices have changed and allows young men to continue singing through this change. The Birralee Blokes won the ABC Choir of the Year 2006, and Choir of the World in the Powell River International Choral Kathaumixw in 2012.
The choirs have performed at events such as World Vision International Children’s Choir Festival 2004–Korea. At this event the choir was shown on free-to-air television once a day for a seven-day period. At this event the choir was invited, along with choirs from around the world, to represent Australia and the South Pacific. In 2005 the choir performed at the Pacific International Children’s Choir, or Piccfest, being the guest choir.
Other venues the choir has performed at are The Cathedral of St Stephen, Brisbane’s Concert Series, hosting the Dresden Philharmonic Kinderchor, An Evening with President Clinton, Australian of the Year Awards, World of Children’s Choirs International Festival - Vancouver, Brisbane City Council Carols in King George Square and Brisbane Riverstage, Brisbane Lord Mayor's Christmas Carols, with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra at BCEC, QPAC and other venues, at the Old Museum, Government House, City Hall and many venues in and around Brisbane.
- The Birralee Blokes won the ABC Classic FM Choir of the Year award in 2006.
- Brisbane Birralee Voices won all six categories in the annual Winter Sonata, in Prague, 2010.
- The Birralee Blokes won Choir of the World in the Powell River International Choral Kathaumixw in 2012
The choirs have toured to locations including the United States of America, Canada, Singapore, Korea, Tasmania, New Zealand, England, Austria, Germany, Czech Republic and Italy. Brisbane Birralee Voices, with director Julie Christiansen, is the organization's most renowned vocal group. This choir tours every two years. In 2005 they performed at Piccfest and in 2006 they participated in Songs of Sanctuary (Karl Jenkins) in Melbourne during the Commonwealth Games.
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