Defence Family Matters : December 2015
DFM 21 December2015 CHOIR STRIKES A CHORD A lot’s happened since we caught up with the Australian Military Wives Choir last year. The choir has expanded from Richmond and Canberra to also include singers in Adelaide, Holsworthy (“Sydney South”), Brisbane and Townsville. Belinda Radnidge is part of the Canberra choir and said one of their recent highlights was singing for the Partners of Veterans Association at Admiralty House in Sydney at an event hosted by the Governor-General. Sydney and Canberra singers also combined to sing for Centenarians at Government House in Sydney earlier this month. “We all feel so lucky to have these opportunities,” Belinda said. A little less formal was the “flash mob” performance by the Canberra branch in a major shopping centre. “We had two talented members accompany us on flute and violin and it was staged as spontaneous singing in response to their busking,” Belinda said. MIA GINNIVAN “It certainly took shoppers by surprise.” The choir’s first national conference was also held in October, culminating in a performance at the Australian War Memorial. One of the participants was Penni Roden from Townsville. The Townsville group started in September last year and like the other choirs is open to all women with close links to serving personnel — partners, wives, mothers, and even Defence members. Penni said no one is ever “not good enough” to be part of the singing action. “Our motto is first we sing for our hearts, second we sing for our voices, third we sing for others.” Penni said her group was mindful that not all members can attend every choir meeting. “Defence life is often unpredictable — partners spend a lot of time away, often have to leave on short notice and it’s not always easy to find a babysitter,” Penni said. “Life happens and choir is part of life, so when ladies can come, we are always glad to see them.”n www.amwchoir.com Townsville members rehearse: (l-r) Roslyn Barratt, Townsville musical director Penni Roden, Bronwyn Wotton, Sandy Fixter and accompanist Jeanine Tegg. Photo courtesy Northern Services Courier.