Join a Choir
Everyone has a unique voice - your own in-built instrument. Join a choir to sing in harmony, make connections and find your people. It's physically and mentally good for you but it's also just a load of fun. No auditions, no previous experience required. Defy those teachers who told you to stand at the back and mime! Come and sing.
"I didn't know that I had a voice until I joined Mooncatchers. Christina's classes are joyful and at times the experience is euphoric. We tackle songs from many cultures and languages. We are presented with songs which support our values and give hope." - C.S.
Mondays, 10.30am to midday
OWN, Victoria Street, Newtown
(behind the Marlborough Hotel)
Join 25 energetic singers as we raise the roof each Monday with a mix of fun warm-ups and exercises and small songs, leading up to more challenging material. We perform from time to time at community events. Recent gigs include the launch of the research report on older women and homelessness (Customs House), The Fairy Tale Society's annual conference (Don Banks Museum and Newtown Neighbourhood Centre). The choir was featured in a Radio National breakfast segment on returning to singing after COVID.
Mondays, 1pm to 2.30pm
Alf Kay Community Centre
16 Florence St, Eastlakes
A brand new community choir under the auspices of Bayside Council. Come along and be part of making something new. All welcome.
02 9366 3665
North Sydney Community Centre
220 Miller St, North Sydney
Mondays (Term 3) 7.30pm to 9pm
A nine-week term commencing 17 July.
Come and sing the songs of one of our generation’s greatest songwriters, Paul Simon.
With a catalogue of songs spanning more than 60 years, he has written the soundtrack of our lives. Whether you’re an old Simon and Garfunkel fan or curious about his more recent songs, or whether you are keen to sing in harmony or just want to belt out a tune, this choir is for you.
No previous experience required and everyone is welcome. What students have said:
“It’s the highlight of my week.”
“It kept me sane during the pandemic.”
“It’s like a party every week.”
Fiestaville Multicultural Choir
Tuesdays 10am to midday
Marana Auditorium, MacMahon St, Hurstville
Now in its tenth year, Fiestaville Choir is a joyous fixture in the local area, even being celebrated in the Hurstville regional gallery's permanent exhibition. The choir embraces cultural diversity and sings in the many languages spoken by its members: Mandarin, French, Mauritian Creole, Italian, Tagalog, Spanish, Indonesian and more. The choir has undertaken some highly-regarded artistic projects including Amulet (a song and storytelling project with a piece of jewellery as the starting point, with writer PP Cranney), performances at the National Folk Festival (Canberra) and Festival of Voices (Brunswick Heads), a multicultural songbook and a podcast on the joys of ageing.
portraits: Janie Barrett
Sing Your Heart Out
Thursdays 10am to 11.30am
community hall, Shaw St, Bexley North (opp. Gilchrist Park)
SYHO started as a Rockdale Council Seniors' Week project and at the end of the project the singers refused to leave! This vibrant group meets weekly to sing a variety of songs including Henry Lawson poems set to music as well as a good dose of well-known songs. The choir has led some Beatles singalongs for various local festivals which have been enthusiastically attended by Beatles fans all over. The choir recently put together a show called Bound for Botany Bay based on research, personal memories and meeting Elders at La Perouse. The show was performed at the La Perouse Museum and Rockdale Town Hall. Keen to keep exploring the local area, the choir is putting together a show about the beauty and folklore of our local Cooks River.
Sydney Women's Vocal Orchestra
The Sydney Women's Vocal Orchestra (SWVO) formed in 2002
to learn the repertoire published as “Song of Survival” – eighteen pieces of music arranged and rehearsed in secret by the women at Palembang, Sumatra during WWII.
The choir is made up of around 30 singers of varying ages and from different parts of Sydney and the Central Coast of NSW. The choir has performed at community gigs, commemoration services and the 2005 National Folk Festival, Canberra. SWVO
The repertoire is ‘standard classical’ sung to different vowel sounds. The only exception is a song with words, “The Captives’ Hymn”, composed by Margaret Dryburgh during her imprisonment and sung by the original vocal orchestra.
For twenty years SWVO sang at the cenotaph in Martin Place as part of the commemoration of the Fall of Singapore. We now gather to sing from time to time when invited. We sing to ensure that the stories of these women are included in commemorations of war which are often otherwise men's stories.
As a statue of Vivian Bullwinkel is about to be unveiled at the National War Memorial, we plan to dust off our repertoire and perform the music and stories for new audiences.
Bespoke workshops, one-offs, adventures and online choirs
Got an idea for a workshop?
I specialise in working with mixed groups - people from all walks of life who want to sing and connect. I love to bring songs to people that connect them to local places, cultures and histories. I gladly run one-off special workshops, workplace choirs, regular groups and combine travelling to new places and songs.
I have written new songs for all kinds of projects in all kinds of places and can work solo or with groups to create new music.
I sing with trio The Third Voice and together we conduct all manner of singing workshops including on the unique sound of Afro-Cuban songs.
Past miscellaneous choir events I have run include:
Sing Cockatoo (on Cockatoo Island); Sing Dubbo; Sing Canowindra; choir for festivals in Forbes, the National Folk Festival, Cobargo Folk Festival; Singing in Cuba with Cuban choirs (in conjunction with Cuban Adventures); Choir on a Wire (the songs of Leonard Cohen); workshops for Wollemi Commons, Voices from the Waters, Randwick Community Garden, St George Community Housing, St Pius Primary School, Scales of Justice (Legal Aid choir), The Hellenic Choir, Songs From Next Door, Choir Rocks, With One Voice, St Albans Choir, Sydney Trade Union Choir, and many more. In a past life I ran workshops around the country and overseas with Blindman's Holiday as part of Musica Viva's touring programs.
I don't have favourites, but a highlight has definitely been forming a massed choir at the 2010 National Folk Festival - the culmination of working on a National Folk Fellowship. The choir performed a program of new arrangements of songs I unearthed in the National Library of Australia's Oral History and Folklore Archive. One of the songs we performed was by (and with) Uncle Ronnie and Aunty Dyan Summers - Songlines of the Moonbird.