27 September 2018
Leading Aircraftman Barbara Graham can’t wait to perform in her home town next week as a vocalist in the Royal New Zealand Air Force Band’s annual concert.
This year the band’s popular Air Force in Concert has been moved to the larger Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington, which also provides improved acoustics on previous venues.
Leading Aircraftman Graham, who attended Onslow College and Victoria University, joined the band as a vocalist two years ago.
“The band offers so many performance opportunities, many of which aren’t available to most vocalists, such as the services and ceremonies,” she said.
“It’s also a pleasure to be able to perform so often with a big band, which, again, most singers don’t get.”
Like the other members in the 65-member band, Leading Aircraftman Graham is a Reservist, which means she doesn’t have day-to-day duties with the RNZAF.
“When I’m involved in a concert or ceremony, I will have rehearsals ahead of the time, then perform on the day,” she said.
This year’s Air Force in Concert will feature a range of musical styles, from John Williams to John Farnham and from Sousa to Puccini.
Leading Aircraftman Graham will share vocal duties with Stephanie Paris, while talented piper Flight Sergeant Murray Mansfield will get the feet stomping with some Celtic melodies and the band’s Drumline are promising dramatic innovation on last year’s electrifying performance.
Not long after the Wellington concert Leading Aircraftman Graham will be going to France with the band, for the commemoration of the liberation of Le Quesnoy in France.
“I was fortunate to get to travel to France and Belgium three times last year – for Anzac commemorations, the Battle of Messines, and Battle of Passchendaele,” she said.
“These are incredible contingents to be a part of, because you have a chance to visit some of these sites of supreme sacrifice, and remember the men and women who served for New Zealand in the First World War.
“It can be quite harrowing but this year’s trip will be slightly different in that it is a celebration of a triumph, rather than loss of life. Le Quesnoy was a wonderful place to visit when I was there for Anzac in 2017, so I’m looking forward to returning and spending time with the very welcoming residents.”
When not performing with the band Leading Aircraftman Graham spends time with her husband and 7-month-old son, sings professionally and works as an editor.
The Air Force in Concert will be held in the Michael Fowler Centre on Saturday, 6 October at 2:30pm. Tickets from Ticketmaster.