Gloucester singers to honour Dr G Yunupingu

Members of the Gloucester Public School choir rehearse Australian Aboriginal musician Dr G Yunupingu’s song “Bȁpa”, sung in Yolngu language, ahead of a major Australia Day performance.

Members of the school choir have been given the opportunity to join around 500 singers from school and community choirs in the annual ‘Salute to Australia’ on Sydney Harbour.

“We are really excited to be part of the official Australia Day celebrations,” GPS principal Leanne Wakefield said. 

“27 of our choir members will be representing our school on board the Young Endeavour tall ship along with myself, and teachers, Susie McLeod and Rod Maggs.”

GHS will be the only choir aboard the tall ship which will be docked right in front of the Sydney Opera House during the performance.

Australia Day Council of NSW choose GPS for the position to highlight them as a regional choir that is willing to travel to Sydney, giving the students a special opportunity that they wouldn’t normally get to experience.

“Music has the power to unite people and this experience will be a fabulous experience,” Mrs Wakefield said. 

Australia Day Council of NSW creative director John Foreman said singers will be stationed around Sydney Harbour on January 26, 2018 as part of the 21-gun ceremonial military salute.

“This will be a particularly special performance, with the choirs singing Bȁpa by the late Dr G Yunupingu in Yolngu language,” Mr Foreman said.

“It’s a wonderful way to honour the legacy of a celebrated and greatly missed Australian artist.”

Composed by the world-renowned Australian Aboriginal singer, who passed away earlier this year, “Bȁpa” – which means ‘father’ in Yolngu – is a soulful tribute to the artist’s own father.

In addition to “Bȁpa”, the singers will also perform iconic Aussie song I Am Australian before leading the crowds in a rendition of the national anthem.

Along with GPS singers on the Young Endeavour tall ship, other choirs will perform from various locations around Sydney Harbour including on board the HMAS Canberra, as well as stages near Hickson Road and the Overseas Passenger Terminal.

The Salute to Australia, which will be received by the Governor of New South Wales, General David Hurley, is just one of many spectacular performances scheduled for Australia Day 2018.