St Kilda Sings

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By: Jo Smith

 

Why do we love St Kilda?

Ask people in the street and most are guaranteed to tell you ‘it’s the vibrant and diverse community.”

Well imagine all the colours of St Kilda’s community…singing.

Say hello to With One Voice St Kilda- a community choir that meets at the Salvos Chapel every Monday night.

Tania de Jong, founder of not-for-profit Creativity Australia has started 13 choirs around Australia, including in St Kilda.

“It’s a place for people to find their voice in life not just their singing voice.

“Something special happens when people come together to sing,” says de Jong,

The With One Voice program inspires people from all nationalities and ages to sing side-by-side as a community.

“We have CEO’s from banks and people with severe disabilities coming together to do something they love. Choir is especially good for people with anxiety, depression or those experiencing a struggle in their life,” says de Jong.

Age, race, language, religion, disability and disadvantage fade away.

De Jong says she finds one lady particularly inspiring.

“Beth has cerebral palsy, she makes such a lot of effort to attend choir every week and when I see her I catch myself, whatever struggle I’ve had personally goes out the window, it’s amazing to be around her.”

Choir leader Jolene Moran inspires the choir to get the most out their voices and is one of the main reasons people keep coming back to week after week.

One choir member said, “She’s just so joyful and happy and makes everybody feel welcome.”

Another choir member, Jane, has been in With One Voice St Kilda from the beginning.

“I remember when there were only four or seven people attending – that was four years ago – now it’s more like forty,” Jane told St Kilda News.

Helen has been coming to the choir for six months.

“When I started choir, I was suffering from homelessness and I found this choir so welcoming. It’s been really good place for me to come and deal with my emotions.

“I have people who really support me and I see people come who start out being really shy and they begin to open up and then you see them shine.

I’m no longer homeless but I still love coming to choir. It’s a special place.

I miss it when we have our breaks, music is my therapy, I get a lot out of it,” Helen exclaimed.

Creativity Australia also has a ‘wish list’ that’s shared online among all member choirs. It’s a place for people to offer their services or to ask for some help; perhaps some career coaching or even just help moving house.

In St Kilda Sings people have received crockery for a new home, transportation to and from choir and help recording and writing music; but there are no limits to what a wish can do once it’s out there.

After choir, everyone is welcome for tea and cake and that’s when people really get to know each other.

St Kilda Sings meets every Monday during term time and they’d love you to come along.

 

Time: 6.15pm

Venue: The Salvos Chapel, 12b Chapel St, St Kilda.

For more information visit www.creativityaustralia.org.au/choirs/st-kilda/

 

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