As a Defence musician we often have opportunities that are unique to our job. In 2012 I walked the Kokoda Trail to perform The Last Post on ANZAC day, in 2014 I returned to PNG to perform a memorial for the 100 year anniversary of the two missing submarines AE1 and AE2, in 2015 I traveled to Afghanistan as the sound engineer for the punk rock band 28 Days and comedy duo Mick Molloy and Will Lehmo. 2016 I have already been to India where we performed to over a million people live at the International Fleet Review and just recently I have been given the opportunity to set sail on one of Australia's biggest war ships HMAS Canberra.
I'm feeling quite anxious and excited about this trip. For starters, this will be my longest trip away from home and I'll be leaving just a few days after my daughters first birthday. I'm certain my daughter's growth whilst I'm away will be quite dramatic. Unfortunately as my wife and I both know and understand, there are times when you have to take opportunities when they are there to be taken despite what you might miss out on at home.
Amongst the angst there is also excitement. I've never been to these destinations before, I've never sailed on a warship before and it is a great group of people I'm travelling with. None of us are yet sure of what sort of ensemble we will be able to put together or even how to play music on a warship but I'm sure we will make some fantastic music along the way.
Practice time is going to be limited and we will be involved with other duties so I will need to find a way to make sure I'm still up to scratch when the time needs be.
Stay tuned and I'll let you know how I go.