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Fitting tribute to the ANZACs in form of song by alumni of CQUni's Conservatorium

Published:14 April 2020

'Folks Like Us' is made up of L-R Kathleen Campbell, Sarah Rozekrans and Brendan Smith. PHOTO by Thomas Dobbins.

After years of traversing the musical world as individuals, three graduates of CQUniversity's Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music have formed a beautiful collaboration in the form of an acoustic trio, Folks Like Us.

One of the newly-released songs by the trio of Brendan Smith, Sarah Rozekrans and Kathleen Campbell  - We Remember - is inspired by the ANZACs and is a fitting tribute to them at this time of year.

Songwriter Brendan explains that he was contemplating what it would feel like nowadays "if war was suddenly announced and how we might face it differently".

"The questions I mainly asked, reflected in the song, were whether we remember what generations previous had to say about war; what sacrifices would we be willing to make; and how are we impacted by our involvement in wars previous?"  Brendan says.

Brendan, Sarah and Kathleen met as first-year Bachelor of Music students at the CQCM in Mackay.

They all studied classical music, with Sarah on piano, Kathleen singing opera and Brendan studying violin and composition.

An instant friendship was born when the trio discovered they had much in common - a love of music, a desire to travel and a good sense of humour.

Brendan has performed at folk music festivals in regional Sweden (alongside traditional fiddle groups and as a soloist). He has also musically directed musicals and concerts, as well as specialising in music and media education in Australian and European schools. His playing style is best characterised by an eclectic mix of flavours from the Celtic traditions of Australian folk music and the rich and lively Scandinavian fiddle tradition.

Sarah went on to study education and became a secondary music teacher. Based in London in 2012-13, she was the musical director and performer for OzCabaret. The cabaret troupe performed to sell-out shows at the Adelaide Fringe, Edinburgh Fringe, Amsterdam Fringe, Eindhoven ‘Best of The Fest’ and London’s Food and Wine Festival. Sarah is now an associate lecturer of music at the CQCM.

As an experienced choral conductor, vocal coach, musical director and performer, Kathleen is integral to the Mackay arts community. A multi-instrumentalist with a soaring voice, she performs as a wedding harpist throughout the Whitsundays and as a singer/guitarist for toddlers and adults.

As Folks are Us, the three CQCM graduates endeavour to celebrate life and friendship through honest, musical story-telling. More details are via Facebook @FolksLikeUs.au .