They Went With Songs

Noted local composer, Larry Hills, created an emotionally charged choral work titled They Went With Songs as a major part of the ANZAC centenary commemorations in South Gippsland. Ninety singers from three choirs, 14 musicians and three years in the making, They Went with Songs was a massive undertaking.

This musical event provided a profound insight into the thoughts and emotions of country boys in 1914, who were launched from their peaceful farms and daredevil teenage adventures into a world they could not have imagined.

Suddenly faced with real anxiety and dread, missing their mothers and longing for their sweethearts, thoughts and emotions cascade through their minds as they take us on their journey through the unimaginable horrors of the war and grow, too quickly, into men.

And those who come home reveal the images that never leave them.

Every soldier was someone’s child.

Told in their own words, set to powerful music, They Went With Songs was an exceptional opportunity to get close to these boys and be enlightened further about why we honour them on ANZAC Day.

The cantata featured the combined voices of the Bass Coast Chorale, Prom Coast Singers, South Gippsland Singers, a South Gippsland orchestral ensemble and a ‘Soldiers chorus’.

The performance also incorporated an exhibition of historical images.

Wonthaggi Town Hall – Friday 24 April, 7.30pm

Mesley Hall, Leongatha – Saturday 25 April, 7.30pm
This event formed part of the Lyric Theatre 50th Anniversary performance series.

Foster War Memorial Arts Centre – Sunday 26 April, 3.30pm
This event was part of the Prom Coast Seachange Festival program.

The Leongatha and Foster performances included The Catafalque Party, a play about passing on the ANZAC story to the next generations, written and directed by Foster playwright, Edwin Coad.