Suellen's soldier tribute
THE small spark of an idea smouldering in the back of her head has led to Bundaberg-born soprano Suellen Cusack featuring as one of the stars of an album in honour of fallen soldiers.
Having heard stories of her Great Uncle Ted's efforts as an officer in the air force, Cusack had always thought of doing a tribute to the soldiers.
Cusack's co-star in Scotland the Brave and former Ten Tenor Gregory Moore also had a similar idea.
"We decided that we wanted to sing together as a tribute," she said.
From there the pieces fell into place after a friend played them Requiem for Soldier, the theme from TV mini-series Band of Brothers
"It's just such a beautiful piece of music," Cusack said.
"We fell in love with it straight away."
The piece is uniquely personal with a picture of Cusack's great uncle featured among wartime photos used in the film clip.
"It really made it much more personal for me and my family," she said.
The piece has become the title track to a new compilation CD which has been released to help commemorate Anzac Day.
The album's launch marks the start of an incredibly busy period for Cusack, a former Bundaberg Player, Orpheus Singer and member of the Bundaberg Youth Choir.
"I am in my final year of study at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music," she said.
"In May I will move to Sydney to record my debut album."
Cusack, who took a break to spend Easter with her Bundaberg family, said the album would feature songs which she had loved growing up.
"My mum loved old musicals, like Kiss Me Kate and Gene Kelly movies," she said.
"I think sometimes that was the only time she got a bit of quiet when she sat us down in front of those."
Cusack said the album would also feature opera tracks as well as musical theatre pieces.
The young singer said she had enjoyed her time out in Bundaberg and had hoped to perform here again soon.
"It's always nice to come home and be with family," she said.
"I came back last year and performed in The Crushing," she said.
"It was a very beautiful experience to come home and work with the Orpheus Singers and the Youth Choir.
Cusack said it had been humbling during one of the performances when the Youth Choir was forced to sit outside because the choir seats were taken up by audience members.
"When you have worked really hard for something it's nice to have that acknowledged in your home town," she said.
Requiem for a Solider is available at Dymocks Bundaberg or can be downloaded on iTunes.