Creativity Australia News
Nerves On A Choir: My First RehearsalMay 14, 2015
My first choir experience
I had no idea what to expect heading into the Sofitel Melbourne on Collins for my first With One Voice choir. I had just landed a gig as an intern for Creativity Australia and assumed I’d be there in an ‘observational’ capacity. That assumption proved to be incorrect. I’d never sung in a choir before, let alone publicly, and was nervous about to be doing so.
As I stood awkwardly wondering what I had got myself into it was suggested I go and join the “boys”. The boys, or the bass section, consisted of six men all much older than me, yet some were years apart from one and other. Summing up the situation I attempted to sneak into the back row unnoticed, but this close knit gang of basses weren’t about to just let anyone in. A tall older man turned and looked at me. He offered me his hand and joyfully asked “do you sing often?” “No, not really,” I said. He smiled before saying, “You have a voice. That’s a start”. (more…)
Top 10 Songs To Sing In The ShowerMay 13, 2015
A Music Buff’s Guide to Singing In the Buff
Not only does everybody sing in the shower, everybody also thinks they sound better in the shower. The reason why we sound better is fairly simple, it’s due to your voice bouncing off the smooth hard tiles and glass surfaces, giving it more power. This makes a regular Joe or Joanne sound as powerful as the late Roy Orbison or as soulful as Adele.
Research into shower singing has provided even more reasons to belt it out first thing in the morning. A Swiss study found singing to have a huge effect on your heart rate, so much so that it can even reduce the risk of heart disease. Swedish neurologist Bjorn Vickhoff said that singing “gives you pretty much the same effect as yoga breathing”.
So what other reasons do you need to realize the beauty of shower singing first thing in the morning? Maybe you’re just stuck for ideas on what to sing next? If that’s so, enjoy 10 songs selected to belt out in a hot shower on a cold morning.
Give Happy, Live Happy: Volunteer WeekMay 13, 2015
Volunteer Week 2015
It’s National Volunteer Week and Creativity Australia’s With One Voice family wants to say a big thank you to our 100 volunteers who support and contribute to the community every week.
Without their ongoing support, the With One Voice choirs wouldn’t be able to operate as successfully as it does and for that, we are truly grateful.
Together, our volunteers and other wonderful team members are helping change the world… one voice at a time. Creativity Australia’s aim is to bridge the gap between people experiencing disadvantage and those more fortunate through the neuro-scientific benefits of community singing, choirs and singing projects. We build supportive networks that help people connect to brighter futures.
Coinciding with Volunteering Australia’s motto this year, our team members share the same value: Give Happy, Live Happy.
Community Choirs Vs. Fight ClubMay 7, 2015
A film blogger’s left-of-field comparison between Fight Club and community singing…
Everybody knows the first rule about Fight Club is: you do not talk about Fight Club. Less are familiar with the second rule of Fight Club: you DO NOT talk about Fight Club. What people do not know is how Fight Club creator Tyler Durden’s rules echo Creativity Australia’s With One Voice choirs. The first rule of the choir is: you do talk about the choir. The second rule of course is: you DEFINITELY DO talk about the choir.
The parallels go further than simply changing an environment from one of exclusivity to one that is wholly inclusive. However, that being said, it must be made very clear that the With One Voice choirs are peaceful gatherings where anyone is welcome!
Food for the soul: supermarket flash mobApril 20, 2015
Some familiar faces appear in this wonderful flash mob at Ritchie’s Mt Eliza!
Thank you, Shaun: celebrating our conductorsApril 16, 2015
After seven years as Principal Conductor of the With One Voice program, we are bidding a fond (yet not final) farewell to the wonderful Shaun Islip.
Shaun said his life has been transformed and enriched immeasurably through his association with Creativity Australia.
“It has been an immense privilege and joy to help shape the community, culture, creativity, music and ethos of this remarkable organisation,” Shaun said.
“It has been a hugely difficult decision to move on after seven fruitful and life-giving years, and I say my farewells with a heavy heart,” he said.
“It is wonderful to welcome, recognise and affirm the new blood, life, energy and skills embodied in my very worthy successor Kym Dillon. His passion, energy and enthusiasm will undoubtedly prove a great catalyst for the forward momentum and future success of Creativity Australia.
“Dearest friends, choir members, staff of Creativity Australia, Tania… you will always hold a huge place in my heart, I will miss you more than I can say. This however is not a final farewell, and I am confident that it will not be too long before our paths cross again.
“Until then dear ones, may you all find new strength in the journey, fresh wind in your sails as you continue to extend hope and encouragement through the joy of song. Thanks from the bottom of my heart for everything.
“Until next time… Siyahamba!
On behalf of the whole With One Voice family, we extend our warmest wishes to Shaun and look forward to seeing him as a guest conductor in the near future.
Kym Dillon, who has been a With One Voice conductor for five years, said he is excited to take all the skills he has gained so far to the next level.
“Working with the wonderful, dedicated choirs of Geelong, Ashburton and Altona Meadows over the years has given me an invaluable insight into the nature of these singing communities, and I have them to thank for the readiness I feel to take on this challenge,” Kym said.
“I’m sincerely looking forward to working with a very talented team of conductors to achieve the best possible outcome we can for the people who sing with us,” he said.
“I look forward to us as a team heightening the sense of community, not just in the the individual choirs but in the program as a whole, and celebrating each individual choir for their particular character.
“Finally, I honestly look forward to doing my utmost to listen to the needs of the choirs, and do my best to serve them as a fellow musician.
“Shaun has been an invaluable leader for the past few years, and I wish him all the best with his future endeavours!”
Just start singing! Karaoke jam open now.March 30, 2015
You’re invited to join an online karaoke jam! Have a listen to the simple tune below and add your voice to the track.
Your smartphone*, the Smule app and some headphones are all you need!
- Click on the song title ‘We Sing‘
- Click ‘Join Now’
- Follow the prompts
*Your tablet or computer would work too!
Everyone’s welcome, so join us in song!
Peaceful Heart, Warrior SpiritMarch 4, 2015
Creative Universe and Creative Innovation 2015 Asia Pacific are proud to present…
DAN MILLMAN (USA)
PEACEFUL HEART, WARRIOR SPIRIT
A Mindful, Reality-Based Approach to Living
With a special performance by soprano TANIA DE JONG AM from her new CD Heaven on Earth
Sunday 22 March 2 – 5pm
Sofitel Melbourne On Collins, Auditorium
You will learn:
- the secret of self-discipline — how to turn what you know into what you do
- the most realistic way to overcome fear and self-doubt
- what mindfulness really means
- how to live in the present for a simpler, more peaceful life
- how to awaken the warrior spirit within whenever needed
- inner tools to open the hearts of self and others
Bring questions, open mind, and a sense of humour! You will return home with your head in the clouds, and feet on the ground.
Dan Millman’s best-selling classic Way of the Peaceful Warrior has sold millions of copies worldwide, and was released as a film by Universal Pictures in 2006. He is former world champion gymnast, coach, and college professor, has written 16 books published in 29 languages. His classic, Way of the Peaceful Warrior, was released as a film by Universal Pictures in 2007. Dan’s teachings have influenced people from all walks of life. His website: www.peacefulwarrior.com
In the film Peaceful Warrior a young college athlete named Dan Millman met a mysterious old service station attendant he named “Socrates.” After journeys around the world and study with other mentors, Dan developed a new approach to living. This action-packed half-day workshop highlights key facets of a reality-based and refreshing approach to living — with a peaceful heart and a warrior spirit.
The workshop will include a magical, mindful performance by soprano and spiritual journeywoman Tania de Jong AM from her new album, Heaven on Earth. www.taniadejong.com.au
Divinegrace is also proud to support this event. www.divinegrace.com.au
The Results Are In: Swinburne Research ProjectFebruary 27, 2015
In partnership with Swinburne University of Technology’s Centre for Social Impact, and funding support by beyondblue and the Mitchell Institute for Health and Education Policy, Creativity Australia has undertaken an evaluation of the With One Voice Program. This research forms the baseline for a more in-depth independent analysis, potentially to be completed with the assistance of an ARC Linkage Grant.
Click through to read the findings about the impact of the With One Voice program for participants.
Start a choir with NEW MyChoir toolkitFebruary 11, 2015
Do you want to start a community choir?
Or re-energise an existing choir?
You are warmly invited to be part of Creativity Australia’s With One Voice network. Depending on your needs, we can offer quick tips for success, a suite of resources and/or ongoing consultation.
A choir is an amazing way to empower individuals and build supportive communities. With a good toolkit, you can help change the world… one voice at a time. (Plus, it’s just great fun!)
Here are the key things you will need to build a successful choir. Our MyChoir resources will guide you step-by-step!
- local support
MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Social inclusion and giving to others is central to the With One Voice program. To be part of our network, your choir must:
- welcome all people
- have a shared supper
- share the Wish List
Scaling impact: from start-up to sustainabilityFebruary 4, 2015
In March 2015, Creativity Australia’s With One Voice program celebrates it’s sixth birthday. We’re recognised as one of Australia’s top social innovations and more and more people are contacting us wanting to set up social inclusion choirs in their communities (check out our new MyChoir Guide).
To give you some more insight into our vision and challenges, we invite you to browse two fantastic articles from the Stanford Social Innovation Review: Scaling Impact by Jeffrey Bradach and What’s Your Endgame? by Alice Gugelev and Andrew Stern.
These beautifully written articles gives great insight into the challenges we face (shared by virtually all other not-for-profits) and the incredible opportunity we have to contribute to a critical endgame for communities and disadvantaged people.
We would love you to be part of this journey. Ways to help include joining a choir, spreading the word , taking part in Sing for Spring or making a donation. Together, we can change the world… one voice at a time!
Heaven On EarthFebruary 3, 2015
Tania will release her first solo album this month, titled ‘Heaven on Earth’. Working with acclaimed pianist, composer and arranger Joe Chindamo this CD features some of the most heavenly music ever written. It is designed for meditation, relaxation and illumination.
Songs of Love, Light and Angels for relaxation, reflection, meditation and illumination.
Heaven on Earth is a classical spiritual recording bringing together the angelic voice of soprano Tania de Jong with the virtuosic genius of pianist, composer and arranger Joe Chindamo. Also appearing on the album is one of Australia’s most acclaimed violinists Zoe Black and baritone Jonathan Morton. The album has been recorded with some of Australia’s leading musicians.
The album includes originals Heaven on Earth, Rainbow Shower and Peace Om shanti with compositions by Chindamo and lyrics by de Jong. There are also reinventions of some gorgeous standards including Summertime, Somewhere from Westside Story and La Vie en Rose and glorious classical reinventions of some of the greatest symphonies and concertos. The recording features the work of Beethoven, Mozart, Faure, Elgar and Dvorák though not always in the way you may expect.
The songs range from Mozart’s glorious Clarinet Concerto Adagio to Beethoven’s 5th Piano Concerto renamed Bring the Light, Elgar’s majestic Nimrod Variations retitled Light Eternal, Faure’s haunting Pavane as Angel Song and Dvorak’s New World Symphony as the moving spiritual Going Home.
Tania said: “In every piece there is something new that will bring you the music in a way you have not heard it before. The songs are all about journeying beyond the here and now, opening your heart, finding your light, letting it shine, the importance of love and the reminder that there is only this present moment. I hope you find as much light, joy, love and peace in this music as I do.”