The kookaburras will have some strong competition when the Australian Boys Choir visit Wilpena Pound Resort’s gum tree lined amphitheatre this September.
The choir – consisting of 28 young voices - will perform ‘Big Mountain Wilpena Pound’, a song written by Adnyamathanha Elder Buck (Barry) McKenzie, celebrating the iconic landscape of the Ikara-Flinders Ranges and Wilpena Pound.
“Big Mountain Wilpena Pound was written by my uncle because he missed the place when he went away to work as a shearer,” says Mick McKenzie, nephew of Buck McKenzie and tour guide at Wilpena Pound Resort.
“I’ll make sure my father comes along to the community day. It will be really nice for him to see his brothers’ song still living and being sung by the young kids.”
The choir will also perform a number of other songs from their repertoire for guests on Saturday, 30 September as part of a community day at the resort, where guests can also enjoy a full day of pop-up market stalls, boomerang making exhibitions and storytelling in the Yura Ngarwarla language to complement the choir’s appearance.
“It is a real honour for the boys to perform ‘Big Mountain Wilpena Pound’ in the presence of the traditional owners in a truly special place in Australia’s heartland – it will be an experience they will carry with them for a lifetime,” said Dr Ann-Maree Graham, The Australian Boys Choir Tours Leader.
During their stay, the boys will be immersed in the local Aboriginal culture with a Welcome to Country – an evening ceremony welcoming guests to the area in Yura Ngarwarla, the language of the Adnyamathanha people – involving traditional songs and stories; and a Cultural Cookout with the Adnyamathanha people cooking a whole kangaroo in an underground oven.
“Our aim is to showcase the diverse culture of the Aboriginal people to all our guests here at Wilpena Pound Resort, and to have the opportunity to bring together this experience with the Australian Boys Choir is a great example of tourism and education combining in a positive and unique way,” said Pauline McKenzie, Wilpena Pound Resort Director and Traditional Owner.