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Sing Australia’s 100 Voices celebrating the first 100 men

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Some of the members of the Sing Australia choir: Back: Anne Williams, John Williams, Tess Neil, Marianne Kennedy, Fiona Watson. Front: Marilyn Kent (conductor), Heather Tellis, Carolyn Priddle (Sing Australia Leader) and Rosalie Turner.

Sing Australia’s 100 Voices celebrating the first 100 men to enlist from Ballarat in the First World War 100 VOICES from Sing Australia Ballarat and Sing Australia North Ballarat will come together at the Anzac Centenary celebrations to commemorate the men and women who fought in the First World War. Each singer will wear a poppy and carry the names of the first 100 men who enlisted from the Ballarat District.

Sing Australia conductor Marilyn Kent will carry the name of Lieutenant Colonel William K Bolton from the 8th Battalion, the first person who enlisted on the 17 August 1914. Sing Australia Leader Carolyn Priddle will carry the name of Lieutenant Stanley H Kinsman the 5th Battalion, the second soldier to enlist. Fiona Watson feels privileged to be carrying the name of soldier Jack Watson. While no relation it has given her a strong sense of connection to her own father of the same name.

Carolyn Priddle said that “music from the trenches” has an enduring quality that has remained powerful down through the ages. Last Monday Federation University’s Performing Arts students joined Sing Australia’s weekly rehearsal at the Ballaarat Mechanic’s Institute. Together they will be singing some of these well-known WW1 songs at the Gunfire Breakfast at the George Hotel. Following this breakfast Sing Australia will join the Ballarat Municipal Brass Band in the Anzac Day service. Members of the choir have attended band practice. While not professional singers, choir members take very seriously their commitment to singing to the best of their ability. This obviously pays off as the choir is in demand for many civic celebrations, including the recent “Honouring the Avenue”.

Carolyn Priddle said that the singers feel it is a real privilege to be sharing the importance of Anzac Day with younger people, who are keen to understand about a history they have only read about.