His wife, Liz, is directing a choir of volunteers from all walks of life:
Rather than having a choir made up of ‘just’ homeless people, or ‘just’ employees or ‘just’ school boys’, this choir, Sydney Sings, mixes them all up. So you have homeless people, CEOs, students, lawyers, refugees, people with varying disabilities, non English speaking people, backpackers, retirees, eccentric artists, families, old people, young people etc.
Not only that, but it’s actually open to anybody. No audition required. Just bring your enthusiasm and your love of music…even if it simply comes from humming along to the radio in the shower!…You don’t even need to be able to sing or to read music.
The social inclusion aspect of this project is pretty amazing, simple and relatively inexpensive. I hope this catches on in other places. The documentary might help make that happen so it is worth considering donating to help them finish up!
Creativity Australia’s acclaimed With One Voice choir social inclusion and community wellbeing programs aim to recognise each unique voice. The choir programs are unique in that they deliberately builds social capital. They bring together people of all ages and from all walks of life, building bridges of understanding across socioeconomic, cultural, religious, generational and linguistic barriers in the pursuit of harmony.
The program deliberately brings together migrants, the unemployed, those with disabilities and disadvantage, and general citizens and workers seeking to unlock their creative potential and make a difference. The programs build bridges of understanding across all areas of society… from asylum seekers to CEOs of organisations.
The choirs provide important opportunities to develop networks for friendship, mentoring, belonging and employment. Participants develop leadership potential, build self esteem, communication and creative skills. They also learn how to work as a team. When many diverse voices come together as “one voice” on a regular basis, the outcomes are transformational. This has already led to members gaining employment through improved self esteem, contacts and skills developed through the programs.