A choir conductor who knows better than most the transforming power of music will bring his skills to Albury-Wodonga in August.
Jonathon Welch, the founding artistic director of the Choir of Hard Knocks, will lead the region’s choristers in two days of rehearsals, masterclasses and concerts.
Border Choral Voice is a Rotary Club of Albury North fundraising project to support Wewak Street School’s Music-Ability program.
Ticket sales have begun for singers to join the massed choir, which will practise Saturday and Sunday mornings, August 18-19, in the SS&A Albury auditorium and then present a concert each day.
Five masterclasses are also available for individual choirs on Saturday afternoon, with the Murray Conservatorium Choir already booking one slot.
Border Choral Voice committee member Anne Hayward said the Rotary Club of Albury North aimed to raise $20,000 through ticket sales and sponsorship.
“We’re hoping to have at least 150 people in our massed choir each day,” she said.
“You don’t have to be the greatest singer to be in a choir and that’s the beauty of a choir, I think.
“As long as you can hold a tune and you’re conscious of watching the conductor.
“That’s where Jonathon Welch comes in, I think he will put together a fantastic choir.”
Welch founded the Choir of Hard Knocks for people experiencing homelessness and disadvantage in 2006, with the group now in its 12th year.
The regular rehearsals and social contact have helped the singers find new purpose in life, develop more skills and build their confidence.
“You see straight away that these people have become completely different people to what they were when they first started out and I think music does that to you,” Ms Hayward said.
“To me, music lifts your mood, particularly for people who are a little bit down.”
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