AMWChoir Conference Wrap Up

by Claire Mason


Can you believe it's been over 3 weeks since our conference?  How time flies.  It's safe to say that the conference was a roaring success! 

Members of the National Committee and volunteers were hard at work all day setting up the space, getting food ready, and making everything beautiful.  We kicked off on Friday evening with food and chat, as our delegates started arriving from around Canberra and around the country.  It was quite a buzz to welcome the members from other choirs, most of whom we knew only by name, or not at all. 

All set up, and ready to get started!

All set up, and ready to get started!

We were very pleased that our patron, Gitte Binskin, was able to attend for the opening of the conference.  It was quite a treat to see her face when she was presented with one of our lovely hats as a gift - I think we all agreed she looked very stylish!  But of course, it wasn't all chat!  Cath had big plans for us, so we soon got down to singing, singing, and singing some more, before we wrapped up with a quick supper and went home to bed.

Just a little bit of food to keep us going...

Just a little bit of food to keep us going...

Saturday dawned cloudy, and many of us spent the day anxiously peeping up at the sky, worried for our performance at the Australian War Memorial that afternoon.  Well, when we had a chance!  The National Committee and regional choir Music Directors and Coordinators all met in the morning, then we had the great fun of our Annual General Meeting with all the members.  Well, perhaps fun isn't quite the right word, but as AGMs go, we think we made it as fun as possible!  A new National Committee was voted in, then it was back to singing!  We enjoyed a Jingle Bell Rock Off between the Altos and Sopranos (there's still hot debate as to who won...) and continued learning our new Goodbye song. 

Jingle Bell Rock Off!

Jingle Bell Rock Off!

All too soon it was time to get ready to leave for the Australian War Memorial.  Everyone smartened up in their uniform, hats and scarves, and headed off.  Sure enough, the rain came!  We took refuge in the gallery and still had a wonderful time singing for the visitors, and staying on to lead the National Anthem for the Last Post Ceremony.  Our incoming and outgoing National Presidents and National Music Director also took a moment to lay a wreath before the ceremony.  It was a very special event in a very special place, and every one of us felt the weight and honour of the occasion. 

Ready to sing at the Australian War Memorial.

Ready to sing at the Australian War Memorial.

We were lucky to have a number of people recording us - if you haven't yet, check out the videos on our YouTube channel!

That was the official close of the conference, but many of the delegates kicked on afterwards for dinner.  Nothing like extending the fun as long as possible!  We eventually all said goodbye to new friends and old.  Naturally, we have lots of ideas for next year already...