Singing in tongues
Royal Australian Air Force Band vocalist Leading Aircraftwoman Chloe Bruer-Jones has a talent for national anthems.
CAPTION: Royal Australian Air Force musician Leading Aircraftwoman Chloe Bruer-Jones sings the French national anthem during a commemoration service at the French Cemetery in Gallipoli. Story by Lieutenant Geoff Long. Photo by Corporal Madhur Chitnis.
Not only was she called on to sing the Australian national anthem at the dawn service in Gallipoli this year, but she also sang the Turkish and French anthems at a service to honour the fallen of those countries.
And, if needed, she can also do a competent rendition of the New Zealand and Irish national anthems in Te Reo Māori and Gaelic respectively.
Leading Aircraftwoman Bruer-Jones comes from a family of musicians – her mum, a violinist with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra; her father, a music teacher of woodwind and brass instruments; and her twin sister, a composer, cellist and choir singer in Adelaide.
Her own experience singing in other languages started with an Adelaide school choir trip to the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
“It was tough at first, but we had a good teacher, and we went on to win the choral competition in Estonia,” Leading Aircraftwoman Bruer-Jones said.
Since joining Royal Australian Air Force as a vocalist, Leading Aircraftwoman Bruer-Jones has set targets for learning other nation’s national anthems.
“I gave myself a goal of learning those anthems that I might need,” she said.
“Once you get your head around certain vowel sounds, it does get easier the more languages you learn.”
While listening to different renditions online to start with, she later sought out experts and native speakers via the Defence School of Languages for advice and fine-tuning.
Leading Aircraftwoman Bruer-Jones studied musical theatre at university in Ballarat, which she said gave her the versatility that transfers well to her role with the RAAF band and Defence.
This year was her first time in Gallipoli, an experience she described as both amazing and intense.
“It’s a proud moment to be here wearing the uniform and representing the country at the place where the Anzac story first started,” she said.