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Rome Reports

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Two of Australia's oldest choirs bring taste of country to Eternal City

As if the excitement of embarking on a two-week European concert tour wouldn't suffice, the students from two of Australia's oldest schools couldn't contain themselves once they found out their country's embassies in Rome had requested a special performance

Musician, St. Catherine's

“I was like, 'That's insane. That's incredible.' I'm just so thankful that we have the opportunity. We're pretty lucky.”

Musician, Cranbrook

“I was incredibly excited, obviously. We had an information evening, and everyone there was just blown away with the opportunities we'd be getting on this tour. To actually be here, to have it realized after all these months of hard work is quite amazing.”

These high school musicians from the suburbs of Sydney performed in the chapel at Domus Australia for around 100 people, including representatives from the Australian Embassies to the Holy See and Italy and other special guests. Traditional Australian compositions and Christmas carols were mixed among those of other nations, showcasing the joint-band's choir as well as string and wind ensembles. 

Although both Cranbrook and St. Catherine's were founded in the Anglican faith, their music directors took notice of the ongoing collaboration between the embassy and the Catholic Church

Director of Music, Cranbrook

“We all agreed to do this concert because we thought it was a fantastic opportunity to build links between what we're doing here in Sydney and also the work that the Australian Embassy to the Holy See is doing here in Italy in the Vatican. We always try to build a global perspective into our students' learning.”

The men saw this concert, and the tour in general, as a chance to enrich these schools' respective missions. 

Director of Music, St. Catherine's

“We're visiting some of the world's great cities. Cities where the ancient sits next to the modern. Something we just don't see in Sydney. We're hoping it'll inspire them for the future and that it will give them the confidence as well that they can really achieve things in life.”

The excitement won't end after this or a few other concerts in Rome. The musicians' global perspectives will be further molded during visits to Florence, Venice, Slovenia and Vienna.