New Choral Works in 2023

Voices of Birralee is very proud of its commissioning projects that provide new choral music for Australian choirs. We engage both established and emerging composers and poets and through building a relationship with them create music that tells stories of our land and its people. We are very grateful to all those who donate to this special part of our mission.

#WeToo - Sally Whitwell

Commissioned for the Pemulwuy! National Male Voice Festival 2023. #WeToo is about drawing on our collective experience and knowledge to make the right decisions for the future of our world.

This piece was world premiered by the massed Youth and Adult Strands at the 2023 Pemulwuy! Festival.

The Watch-Fire - Luke Byrne

Commissioned for the Pemulwuy! National Male Voice Festival 2023. Luke studied the poetry of William Butler Yeats in high school and was always drawn to the melancholy and mystery of his work. When searching for a text to be sung by a male youth choir he stumbled upon an unpublished poem of Yeats’ that had only been unearthed after his death.

This piece was world premiered by the Youth Strand A, as part of the 2023 Pemulwuy! Festival.

Let Your Journey Begin - Paul Jarman

Commissioned for the Pemulwuy! National Male Voice Festival 2023. This is an exciting co-commission between the Pemulwuy Festival and Dulwich College International, China. It is inspired by some of the recent projects Paul has been working on, all that involve adventure, risk, comradeship and perseverance. Paul's new work for the festival is inspired by what it takes to dream up this kind of adventure and then to turn that dream into a reality.

This piece was world premiered by the 2023 Pemulwuy! Festival's Treble Strand.


Leave a Light On - arr. Emma Dean

Commissioned for the Pemulwuy! National Male Voice Festival 2023. This piece is an arrangement of British singer-songwriter, Tom Walker's - Leave a Light On.

This piece was world premiered by the Birralee Blokes at the 2023 Pemulwuy! Festival.

Let Your Song Be Delicate - Will Brown

Commissioned for the Pemulwuy! National Male Voice Festival 2023. Let Your Song Be Delicate’ is a poem Will was recommended to set music to. He was struck by the beauty of its tender imagery. It is this tenderness that is reflected in the word setting and melodic choices in the piece as well as in the piano.

This piece was world premiered by the Birralee Blokes and The Vocal Concert at the 2023 Pemulwuy! Festival.

Café on the Terrace, 10pm - Dr Carl Crossin OAM

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Commissioned by Clare Finlayson for Resonance of Birralee and Paul Holley as part of their Van Gogh Project.

"When I first saw a reproduction of van Gogh’s Café on the Terrace, I was captivated by its vibrant colours – especially the yellows and blues. I felt drawn into the painting by the warmth and companionship of the scene depicted. When Clare Finlayson commissioned me to be part of the Birralee Choirs ‘Van Gogh Project’, it felt right, therefore, that I should choose this painting as my inspiration". - Carl Crossin

This piece was world premiered by Resonance of Birralee at their 'Friends From Away' concert series in 2023.




See Better, Peter Ingram

‘See Better’ is based on a story shared by Jagera man Ben Wilson, who explains that Spring Hill, Brisbane was traditionally a gathering place for First Nations people from Southeast Queensland. The lyrics of this song celebrate this special, even sacred, location and urge us all to come together to learn from each other and to share our stories with each other.

This piece was world premiered by the Adult Strand at the 2023 Pemulwuy! Festival and conducted by Peter Ingram himself.

Official partners of Voices of Birralee

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Voices of Birralee acknowledges the Traditional Owners of this country and recognise their continuing connection the land, water and culture. In our organisation, we recognise the Turrbal and Jagera Peoples as the traditional custodians of Meanjin land. We pay our respects to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, and to their Elders past, present and emerging.