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Posted on: September 6, 2012
Pacific Whale Foundation Donates Free Whalewatch Cruise to Vienna Boys’ Choir
They’re both famous for their singing. The Vienna Boys' Choir is an enduring symbol of Europe, a group that has been singing for audiences for 500 years. The humpback whales of Hervey Bay are also famous for their mysterious and melodic songs.
Thanks to a free whalewatch cruise provided by Pacific Whale Foundation, the 32 boys who are touring Australia as part of the Vienna Boys Choir will have a chance to go whalewatching in Hervey Bay, to meet the humpback whales and listen to their unforgettable, haunting songs.
The Vienna Boys’ Choir will embark on their whalewatch with Pacific Whale Foundation on Monday, September 10, departing from Urangan Harbour on Pacific Whale Foundation’s vessel, Explorer. The whalewatching expedition will be led by Pacific Whale Foundation’s certified marine naturalists and researchers, who will interpret the whales’ behaviors for the boys and teach them about whale research.
“The boys requested a rest day in Hervey Bay, with the main reason being they are all dead keen to go whale watching in Hervey Bay,” reports Robbie Cornelius, Marketing & Development Coordinator of Tourism Fraser Coast, which helped to organize the choir’s activities.
“We are delighted to host them on our whalewatch cruise and to share with them the extraordinary experience of watching the whales in one of the world’s best whalewatch spots,” says Greg Kaufman, founder and Executive Director of Pacific Whale Foundation.
During the whalewatch cruise, hydrophones will be deployed to transmit the underwater songs of humpback whales in the area to the speakers onboard the vessel. “Only male humpback whales sing, and on Monday, we’ll have an all-male group of choristers to appreciate their plaintive songs,” says Kaufman.
The boys will learn about whale songs during a presentation by Pacific Whale Foundation’s naturalists. “Whale songs may sound like barnyard sounds to some, but they are actually complex songs comprised of notes and phrases that can last up to 20 minutes,” says Kaufman. “A male may sing for hours, repeating the song over and over.”
According to Kaufman, all of the male humpback whales in a population sing the same song. However, that song changes over time, with all the males in the population making the change. It is not clear why humpback whales sing.
The Vienna Boys’ Choir will be performing in Sydney on September 9. After whalewatching in Hervey Bay, they will travel to Maryborough to perform on at 7:30 pm on September 11 at the Brolga Theatre & Convention Centre. They will be performing a new work by acclaimed composer Elena Kats-Chernin. The program also includes an eclectic selection of the choir's own choral repertoire. Tickets and information may be found at www.brolgatheatre.org
According to the Brolga Theatre & Convention Center, the Vienna Boys' Choir has worked with some of history's most notable composers and conductors including Claudio Abbado, Leonard Bernstein, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Herbert von Karajan, Riccardo Muti and Sir George Solti. “Together with members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the Vienna State Opera Chorus, the Vienna Boys Choir maintains the tradition of the imperial musicians,” the site reports. “They provide the music for the Sunday Mass in Vienna's Imperial Chapel, as they have done since 1498.”
The Vienna Boys' Choir has taken part in opera performances at the Vienna State Opera, the Vienna Volksoper and the Salzburg Festival. They also sing popular music, and can be heard on soundtracks for major motion pictures in the United States, Japan and Europe.
The overall choir includes 100 boys between the ages of ten and fourteen, divided into four touring choirs. The four choirs give about 300 concerts and performances each year, delighting nearly half a million people in Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas with their music.
“I’ve read that each boy sings in around 80 performances per year, spending about 11 weeks of the academic year on tour,” says Kaufman. “Pacific Whale Foundation is happy to give them this unique opportunity to relax and enjoy a fun day of watching the whales of Hervey Bay.”
The choir is a private, not-for-profit organization, as is Pacific Whale Foundation.
Pacific Whale Foundation offers the only whalewatching cruise in Hervey Bay that's based on 25 years of whale studies right here in the Bay's beautiful sheltered waters. Pacific Whale Foundation researchers pioneered benign whale research in Australia in 1984 and began whale studies in Hervey Bay in 1987. All profits from Pacific Whale Foundation’s whalewatches support the organisation’s whale research, public education and conservation programs in Australia.
Pacific Whale Foundation’s whalewatch cruises are offered daily. Whale sightings are guaranteed or you go again free. Special mates’ rates are offered for guests residing in the postal code areas of 4650, 4655 and 4659.
To learn more about Pacific Whale Foundation's whalewatch cruises in Australia, please visit www.pacificwhale.com.au or free call 1800 454 310. In Hervey Bay, please call 07 419 46851 or visit Pacific Whale Foundation’s Ocean Store at Shop 6 Tourist Terminal, Buccaneer Drive, Urangan.