STUDENTS from St Michael’s Collegiate will be jet-setting to France this month to represent Australia through song at the Anzac Day Dawn Service at Villers-Bretonneux in northern France.
Departing on 17 April, the 33-member choir, which comprises grade seven-to-12 girls and participants from The Hutchins School, will be joined by the Australian Defence Force Band.
Collegiate head of expressive arts Anne Morgan, who wrote the formal submission to the Department of Veterans’ Affair in 2012, said the honour of being selected as official tour representatives was an “amazing opportunity” for the students.
Mrs Morgan said the choir had been rehearsing twice a week after school since the beginning of term in the lead up to the event.
“For some students, this trip is the beginning of repeat journeys,” she said.
“We have a number of girls who have relatives who were buried in parts of Belgium after World War I, so this has inspired them to undertake their own research about their family history.
“Many of the students have never even been outside of Australia, so just being able to see this history in front of them will be remarkable.”
Mrs Morgan will be accompanying the students on the trip along with Collegiate history and English teacher Jenny Jones and Hutchins head of music Robert Stewart.
Collegiate school principal Robyn Kronenberg will attend the Anzac Day commemorations as a visitor.
“Youth interest in the area of war history is increasingly popular, hence the girls’ keen desire to represent Australia at this event,” Ms Kronenberg said.
“It gives them an opportunity to feel a level of connectedness to an historical event of such significance.
“Collegiate is indeed honoured to have been awarded this privilege.”
The combined choir will also perform concerts in a variety of locations in France and Belgium before heading back home on 4 May.