21 March 2013
21 March 2013
The University of the Sunshine Coast’s new choir group, USC Singers, is bringing the inner baritones, altos and wannabe singers out of the community and on to campus.
The group, led by USC Lecturer in Secondary Education and Professional Learning and part-time conductor Dr Janet Wyvill, already has more than 50 members aged 17 to 70 who are keen to test out their vocal chords.
Dr Wyvill said everyone is welcome at USC Singers including staff, students and members of the community, especially those who think they can’t sing or have been told that in the past.
“If you can speak, you can sing,” she said. “The only pre-requisite is a passion for singing. The rest I can teach.
“I want everyone who is passionate about singing to come along. The whole point of the choir is for it to be community-focused and inclusive. There are no auditions. It is open to all and completely free.”
With rehearsals held in USC’s Art Gallery and plans to conduct in-house and community performances over the next six months, the USC Singers’ repertoire will soon include works like Mozart’s Ave Vernum Corpos, Faure’s Sanctus (from Requiem), Bach’s Jesu Joy of Man's desiring (in German), Gershwin’s Clap Yo' Hands and Goodman’s “Sing Sing Sing”.
USC Singers member Wendy Tonks, 68, of Buderim said she was thrilled to be part of a choir group which welcomed community members.
“It is hard to find groups such as USC Singers, which not only organise choir practices and performances, but open the door to the community to be involved as well,” she said. I love singing. It’s something you can do regardless of age and I plan on singing my heart out.”
Dr Wyvill said the group had doubled since its initial launch earlier in the year and she expected participant numbers to continue to grow.
“We have members from a broad range of backgrounds - from the most passionate choir-goers to novices. But one thing they all share is a love of singing,” she said. “As more than 40 per cent of our members are novices when it comes to reading music, we also offer free weekly musicianship (music sheet reading) classes as well.”
USC Singers hold rehearsals every Wednesday night from 5-7pm at the USC Art Gallery. All welcome. For details contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 5456 5162.
— Jessica Halls