Melbourne High School

Paul was invited by Bob Stewart and Curtis Bayliss to compose a new work for massed choir and orchestra for the 2012 graduation of Melbourne High School. The school has a proud history of singing which is part of the tradition within the curriculum. The student population represents varying beliefs from all over the world, including Sikh, Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist and Christian. It is indeed a melting pot of cultures.

Paul wanted to create a work that was a positive men’s chant song that reflected the cultural diversity of the school, the unified appreciation of the opportunity to live in Australia and the chance to attend a school like Melbourne High.

Paul looked at various poems about anxiety and self doubt, as he wanted to find one and re-write it to give boys a sense of hope and empowerment. After working with the boys he chose Élévation by Charles Baudelaire (1857). This is the final text.

Over rivers, over valleys, over mountains, sky and sea

Beyond the sun, beyond the air and the limits of the sphere

Flying in the face of fate, far away from all the haze

Illumination fills the spaces in the air

Beyond frustration and fear that weighs on my dream

Defiantly spreading my wings I fly far away

All the wonder in the silence I seek and the places I will reach

And the higher that I climb so much more I will find

The World Premier conducted by Bob Stewart and Curtis Bayliss with Paul playing percussion with the Indian drummers.