Grandfather raises voice for choir

Eric Elvery is looking forward to participating in the Pemulwuy! National Male Voice Festival 2011.
Eric Elvery is looking forward to participating in the Pemulwuy! National Male Voice Festival 2011. Max Fleet BUNPEM

ERIC Elvery has always enjoyed singing, but knows it will be an interesting experience when he joins a choir of more than 500 other men this weekend.

The 79-year-old will be taking part in Pemulwuy! National Male Voice Festival in Brisbane from tomorrow to Monday which will see boys and men from every Australian state in one of the largest all-male choirs perform at QPAC's concert hall.

The event will be extra special for Mr Elvery, as he will performs alongside his son Malcolm and grandson Daniel.

“My grandson in Brisbane is in the Birralee Boy's Choir,” Mr Elvery said.

“The singers were all asked to bring along their fathers and grandfathers.”

Pemulwuy, from whom the festival takes its name, was an Aboriginal warrior and the finale piece tells of his story of great strength and courage.

The concert features Brisbane's ABC Classic FM choir of the year, The Birralee Blokes, the Vocal Consort from Victoria and members of the Gondwanda Children's National Indigenous Choir.

The logistics involved in bringing such a large choir together from across the country has been simple.

Mr Elvery said he had received the music and a CD with his part of the songs on it.

The First Bass singer has been busy practicing before the first rehearsal tomorrow, and is looking forward to the experience of singing in such a large group.

But Mr Elvery is no stranger to choirs.

“My introduction to choir work was at West School (in Bundaberg) in the 1940s.

“We had the combined schools choirs' concert for war funds.”

Mr Elvery said he always loved singing in church.

“I got involved in the church choir and have competed in eisteddfods with the church choir,” he said.

Still a member of the Uniting Church choir, Mr Elvery also was a member of the Bundaberg town choir in the 1950s, which later became the Orpheus Singers.

Topics:  brisbane bundaberg choir

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