“Being a solo performer is amazing”, says opera singer, Louise –“but singing with the community choir is my absolute passion”. Louise is an opera singer and composer, and loves to perform. But her greatest joy is in singing as part of a community.
“Music is my passion in life. I love to sing, to perform, and to write music. I’ve recently begun my own business, singing in people’s homes for private events and fundraisers. I love it – there’s a real intimacy to it and a chance to connect with a small audience. But I also love a crowd. A highlight for me this year was singing at the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations, and I am absolutely thrilled to be invited to be the soloist at the upcoming Brisbane Sings1.
But even though I love being the upfront performer, my absolute passion is singing with With One
Voice Brisbane, a community choir. My husband, Stefan, and I first walked through the doors 2 years ago. It was our anniversary, and we were giving ourselves a “week of treats” – going along to experience the community choir was one of them. We absolutely loved it and haven’t missed a night since.
It’s a choir, but it’s a community first of all. Up to 100 people come and sing –people from all walks of life. We have doctors, lawyers, homeless people, people with disabilities, brand new immigrants who can’t speak English, but seem to find their way to our door – even people who can’t sing in tune. Everybody is welcoming and welcomed. And the sound of all those voices is absolutely incredible. After choir practice we share a meal. It’s like a big family, and it extends far beyond the boundaries of singing. If anyone needs help, they just need to shout out – the choir has a Wish List, and Louise is the Wish Fairy. People just write their wish on the list, such as “I need a lift home, driving lessons, help to make flyers”, and members of the WOVB community step up to help. It’s everything a community should be, and the energy when we sing is amazing.
We sing for the sheer joy of it, and how good it makes us feel. We’re also happy to perform at public or private events. We are honoured to sing regularly at events for The Forgotten Australians3. We also sang at an event recently for refugees, and as we heard their stories, we felt we wanted to do something tangible as well, so members of the choir made teddy bears for children in refugee camps and sent them over.
And I’d like to give a shout-out for our conductor, Cath Mundy. She just brings the joy with her, and is amazing at doing arrangements and composing.
I could keep going – you can tell I love it. Come along and join in – you’ll be so welcome!
Editors note: Thanks so much, Louise, for sharing your passion and joy in music with us. Louise can be contacted at email@example.com.
1 Brisbane Sings is a celebration of community singing with massed choirs from all over Brisbane, filling the stage at QPAC. (http://www.brisbanesings.com.au/).
2With One Voice Brisbane meets every Wednesday evening under the Brisbane Town Hall (the security guards can direct you). Just turn up, and stay for a free meal afterwards, or check out their Facebook page Withonevoicebrisbane.
3Those who experienced institutional or other out-of-home care as children and young people in the last century in Australia, many of whom suffered physical, emotional and/or sexual abuse while in ‘care’. http://www.forgottenaustralians.org.au/