The Performing Choir hit the road yet again in 2017 for the NBCA’s annual tour in the September school holidays. This tour was a little closer to home – across regional Victoria and New South Wales – but still far enough away to make for a memorable road-trip of performance and discovery. The tour bus meandered to key stops along the journey, covering many clicks to Corowa, Temora, Orange, Young, Morundah, Wagga Wagga and Corryong. Some of these regional towns boast some gorgeous and historical venues in which to perform, such as The Oddfellows Hall in Corowa. Built in the nineteenth century and used during public meetings where people and politicians met to discuss, debate and move resolutions on the issue of Federation, this faithfully restored timber hall offered a beautiful acoustic to boot. The Morundah Opera Paradise Palladium was another standout performance venue – a prominent building in the centre of Morundah, a town boasting a population of 76. The land originally housed a plastic tunnel pig pen. When the pigs moved out the space was used for markets and events that over time began to attract attention further afield than the shire of Morundah. The community raised funds to replace the plastic tunnel – the frame, the roof, the walls appearing in that order. The use of corrugated iron maintains the ‘look’ of the original Pig Shed with the acoustic being improved by lining the inside walls with assorted old wooden doors – quirky, fabulous and it works! The boys had eight days on the road, with seven concerts and only one day off – however, there were plenty of activities between performances; a visit to a working sheep farm, including hand feeding lambs, a photo shoot in the canola fields in Temora, hands on chocolate making at Corowa, a history lesson and tour of the Junee Liquorice factory, a day spent at the Dubbo Western Plains Zoo, and a stop off at the Cowra Japanese Gardens and Cultural Centre featuring a comprehensive display on the ‘Cowra Breakout’ during World War 2. A particular ‘sight-seeing’ highlight for many of the boys was the guided tour of the Temora Aviation Museum which just happened to be hosting the da Vinci Exhibition at the time. The tour group returned with a sense of pride and priceless moments they’ll remember for a lifetime. The NBCA extends its thanks and gratitude to all tour hosts and families, choristers’ families for allowing their sons to tour, and to the artistic and administration staff involved.
One Temora audience member was heard to say . . . “It was an experience that I will never forget…an incredibly moving musical experience.”