Parkes Community Choir will sing French national anthem at France v Western Rams game

NATIONAL ANTHEM: The Parkes Community Choir has learnt the French national anthem to sing at Wednesday night's rugby league game between the French and Western Rams. Photo: Jenny Kingham
NATIONAL ANTHEM: The Parkes Community Choir has learnt the French national anthem to sing at Wednesday night's rugby league game between the French and Western Rams. Photo: Jenny Kingham

Just one year after forming the Parkes Community Choir, little did these volunteers expect to be learning the French national anthem for a special occasion right here in Parkes.

The choir has been asked to perform the French national anthem ahead of Wednesday night's showdown between the visiting French Chanticleers rugby league side and the Western Rams at Jock Colley Field.

And it's an invitation the group was more than willing to accept.

For the last six to seven weeks, the choir has been busily learning the anthem and the correct pronunciations - some turning to You Tube videos to help them practice during their break in the school holidays.

They have also utilised the expertise of retired Parkes High School language teacher Liz Matthews, who taught French.

The choir had one lesson with Liz early in their rehearsals - she returned weeks later to see how they were going and choir committee member Kerrie Peden said they were given the thumbs up.

"It's going very well... We're very excited," Kerrie said.

"We're hoping the French team will sing along with us because we don't think too many people will know the French anthem."

Kerrie said how choir members had adapted to learning a song in another language was amazing.

"They're amazing, some of our member had learnt French at school and it came back to them," she said.

"So those members have also been helping the rest of us, we're all helping each other."

About 34 choir members have put their names down to sing - they'll also be singing the Australian national anthem.

It all takes place prior to the 7pm kick-off on Wednesday, October 30, about 6.52pm.

Story continues after photo gallery.

The Chanticleers arrived in Parkes on Sunday and have been busy interacting with communities in the Parkes Shire and Forbes.

Parkes hosted a civic reception to welcome the visitors to Australia and the shire, which also allowed them time to mingle with representatives from the Western Rams.

Their jam-packed schedule continues on Tuesday with French players heading to Parkes High School for French cooking and language classes from 9.30am.

The French players will help coach at the NRL Development Small Schools Rugby League gala day at Jock Colley Field from 10.30am, before joining Parkes RSL Sub Branch members and ex-servicemen and women for lunch at the Parkes Services Club at 12pm.

The team will head to Manildra at 4pm for 'Bonjour Manildra!' for wine tasting and cheese platters at Twisted River Wines.

And an open training session on Jock Colley Field at 7pm will see the French team finalise preparations to square-off with Western Rams.

Game day on Wednesday features an almost full-day's program of rugby league action.

The day will begin with a morning tea with Currajong Disability Services at Lions Park at 10am.

The following is the day's program at Pioneer Oval:

3.30pm - Gates open - Pioneer Oval, admission $10 adults, $5 pensioners, 15 years and under gold coin donation.

3.55pm - Woodbridge v Wiradjuri Goannas under 15s - Western Women

4.55pm - Orange Vipers v Wiradjuri Goannas Opens - Western Women

6.10pm - Junior league games - Parkes Marist Blue v Parkes Marist Red

6.52pm - Parkes Community Choir to perform National Anthems

7pm - Kick-off Western Rams v France

7.45pm - HT - Parkes Marist minis v Red Bend minis

8.45pm - Approx. Presentation of Trophy to winning team and Steve "Bear" Hall Memorial medal for man of the match