Bendigo Youth Choir set for civic ceremony

THE Bendigo Youth Choir could soon add civic ceremony to its growing list of accomplishments of late.

Choir president Mandy Cooper said the City of Greater Bendigo approached her about holding the ceremony to recognise the choir’s three silver medal placings at the World Choir Games in Cincinnati this month.

Ms Cooper said they were still in talks with a council representative this week but a date would be announced in coming days.

Meanwhile, choir members have settled back into life as they knew it before their 14-day whirlwind tour of the United States.

For sisters Bianca and Lauren Kelly, the highlight of the trip was not the games event but performing on stage at Disneyland.

“It’s something that people rarely get a chance to do,” Bianca said.

But the gravity of the situation failed to sink in until the choir took to the stage, the 21-year-old said.

“It just felt like any performance, the kind we usually do,” she said.

“When we actually walked out onto the stage, that’s when we saw all the people gathered around.

“It’s something I’ll never forget.”

Lauren, 17, said a day trip to Alcatraz prison came a close second.

For many choir members the trip was their first time overseas. Ashleigh Masters, 14, was one.

“I have been on a plane before but never one that big – it was exhilarating!” she said.

The year 9 Weeroona College student said being awarded three silver medals in each of the Youth, Sacred and Folklore sections was one of her proudest achievements.

“I just couldn’t believe we were getting that kind of recognition,” she said. “The awards ceremony was just fantastic. We were all screaming and had such a good time.”

Since returning to Bendigo, the 32-piece choir has been commended by both local and state government alike.

In a letter, Victorian Premier Ted Ballieu and MP Wendy Lovell congratulated the choir on their achievement, which they called a testament to the talent and dedication of their team.

“The World Choir Competition is a significant international event and an opportunity to showcase the artistic energy, skills and diversity of Victoria’s youth, and the Bendigo Youth Choir has done Bendigo and all of Victoria proud,” they said.

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