FACS Successful Applicants
The group in this ABC news article are one of our Sing Your Age Grant recipients. Well worth a read!
You can also find the article in the Canterbury-Bankstown Torch online version:
Congratulations to the 30 Successful Applicants
of the Sing Your Age program 2017!
The Australian National Choral Association has been engaged by the NSW Department of Family & Community Services (FACS) to deliver Sing Your Age, a project part of the NSW Ageing Strategy 2016 – 2020.
The Sing Your Age is a project, offering grants to support the creation of new singing groups for older people, or the inclusion of older people in existing singing groups throughout NSW.
The creative arts is a key contributor to healthy and active ageing. Participation in singing programs and choirs provide older people the opportunity to stay active and connect with their communities.
ANCA congratulates all these grant recipients and wishes them well in their programs. We also thank those who were not successful for taking the time to apply. We wish all groups joyous singing!
These listings are according to the Organisation (Project Name) as supplied by applicants.
Arts North West Inc (Cool Choir), Glenn Innes
Cool Choir will be created through a series of professionally-facilitated community choir workshops during 2018, held in a local hall in the small village of Deepwater, Northern Tablelands of New South Wales. Deepwater's population is only *435 people, with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people making up 4.8% of the population.
This project has been developed by the local community and is driven by two local women who aim to provide a safe, inclusive, relaxed and welcoming space for the people of Deepwater and surrounds (including nearby townships of Glen Innes and Tenterfield) to explore the many health benefits of group singing, generating new levels of community support and social connection.
Arts OutWest (Central West Sings), Bathurst
Arts OutWest will work in partnership with Bathurst Seymour Centre ( a day care centre providing social support and respite for people who are frail aged, people with dementia, older people and their carers) to create regular singing sessions with people including older people who use the cetnre, carers and staff. This new choir will link with other events in Bathurst's choral calendar and will combine on several occasions with another community choir, Sounds Live who regularly perform at community events.
Beating Time (Beating Time Outreach), Mosman
We are a seniors choir with participants from all over Sydney. We've been rehearsing at the Dougherty Centre, Chatswood for over twenty years. Our members are mostly in the age group 75+, one member 92. We are multi-racial and include some disabled members. Apart from enjoying our rehearsals, we also travel to perform for seniors in retirement villages and nursing homes. We are absolutely convinced of the physical and mental benefits of singing in a group and are committed to continue the choir's viability into the future. For that reason we are keen to encourage recent retirees to join the choir at the time when they are considering their future retirement activities.
Carmen Cordon Hernandez (Sing Your Age Inner West), Bexley
The project has been designed for individuals who live in the inner west suburbs of Sydney and feel isolated and have suffered from various health issues. The project intends to improve health through choir practice. The program will comprise of one day a week where the community members meet in a group to socialise, practice and learn about different musical genres.
Information will be provided about 'Five Ways to Wellbeing' that is the SSWAHS mental health wellbeing framework.
Christian Community Aid Services Inc (Senior Song Birds), Eastwood
CCA plans to create two new singing groups for our Chinese speaking seniors. We would also expand our current English speaking group to encourage older participants to join by providing transport. This choir would also act as mentors for developing the singing groups for our Chinese speaking clients. Participants come mostly from the Ryde and Parramatta LGA's. The groups will sing a large variety of genres as chosen by the participants. All the Chinese clients will be over the age of 65 and attend a social group we hold. We often invite singers and groups to come and run sing a longs with the group, they have now expressed an interest to formalise a group.
Clarence Valley Conservatorium (Wooli Community Choir), Grafton
An accessible, inclusive community choir is being formed to create an opportunity for any residents of Wooli, Minnie Water, Diggers Camp and Pillar Valley to come together to sing. The repertoire will be wide ranging to cater for a diverse community, embracing all age groups, cultural backgrounds and minority groups including LGBTI and those with a disability or chronic illness. Choir members will be asked to contribute suggestions/requests to ensure that the repertoire is meeting the needs of all members. Rehearsals will take place in the village of Wooli.
Clarence Valley Conservatorium (Forget Me Not Choir), Grafton
Forget Me Not Choir is a new initiative of the Clarence Valley Conservatorium for community members suffering from Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease. Participants would be drawn from all over the Clarence Valley local government area and would focus on singing as music therapy, using familiar songs to bring enjoyment to participants.
Coffs City Choir Inc. (An Invitation To Sing), Coffs Harbour
We are a community choir and we would like to be able to extend an invitation to all local citizens, (from Woolgoolga in the north, to and including Sawtell in the south, and out to Nana Glen in the west), aged over 55 to join our choir. Our goal is to double our choir membership, (currently 25). This grant would enable us to run advertising that targets older citizens and tells them about our choir and the wonderful benefits of singing. We have targeted to run some intensive advertising/marketing in December and in the beginning of the new year so that participants can start new music with the existing choir.
Gundagai Community Choir, South Gundagai
Our singing group is based in the rural town of Gundagai, New South Wales. Our local choir membership is predominantly older persons, but in 2017 we had 5 memberships for children aged under 16 years. With these new memberships the energy and outlook of our choir is beginning to change in a positive way. Our musical genre is varied with a wide repertoire of songs including traditional Australian ballads, old English ballads, popular culture and hymns. As we are a community choir the target group is all members of our Gundagai community who enjoy singing. Our singing group is an inclusive group that uses singing as an opportunity to develop friendships and social interaction in our community.
Kogarah Community Services Inc. (Music, our universal language), Kogarah
Kogarah Community Services is a dynamic organisation committed to creating strong connections through quality aged care services, childcare services and innovative and long lasting community engagement programs.
Music, our universal language program, intends to engage seniors (65 years old and over) from any background who are living in the St George Area. As per the last census numbers, St. George area shows to be one of the most culturally diverse in Sydney. Music is one of the biggest elements in peoples' lives and one way to express themselves.
The “Music, our universal language” Program, aims to provide the elderly with a social activity to cut isolation and loneliness, help them to feel part of our community and interact with the others.
Ku-Ring-Gai Male Choir Inc, Pymble
The Ku-Ring-Gai Male Choir was formed in 1946 by servicemen returning from WWII who saw the choir as a way to build on and extend the camaraderie they had developed during their service. The choir currently has just over 50 members with a Musical Director and an Accompanist. The plan is to extend the choir by over the coming months.
The Choir performs around the northern suburbs of Sydney, mainly in retirement villages and nursing homes. Its audiences cover the full range of age groups. The choir's repertoire is eclectic and includes classical, operatic, spiritual and popular pieces. We see this program as providing a significant benefit to older people, in particular the new choir members themselves.
Lane Cove Choristers (Sing for Life), Lane Cove
We are an existing senior ladies choir. We have been singing for over 20 years. Currently we have 15 members, including our volunteer conductor and accompanist (both professionals). Our average age is 75 years. We have been partially supported for many years by our local Lane Cove Council as they recognise our service to elderly people in the community - both for ourselves as seniors, and to our audiences, local nursing homes, senior day centres, rehab. hospitals - where we provide, not only entertainment, but also 'therapy' in the form of musical involvement and participation for people with dementia and other disabilities. We constantly advertise our Choir in local papers and through Council affiliated seniors services, to both increase our membership and find venues to service).
Lavoce Community Choir Incorporated (LaVoce: Singing for Fun in Lane Cove), Lane Cove
We are a community choir based in Lane Cove that meets and rehearses in the Living and Learning Centre each Tuesday apart from in the School Holidays. To give focus to the year’s rehearsals and to motivate the choir, we hold a number of free concerts each year in the Living and Learning Centre or in The Lane Cove Library. We sing, in two parts, a range of songs from popular musicals, negro spirituals, pop songs and evergreens. We have 31 registered members of both sexes and all ages. We are continually trying to recruit new members and are very keen to attract older members as we feel there are many out there in our community who would love to sing with us.
Leura Singers, Wentworth Falls
We are a community SATB choir specialising in classical & sacred music. Located in Leura NSW we undertake 2 public concerts per year with one being a benefit concert in aid of a local charity. We do not require auditions so membership is open to anyone but some music skills would be helpful. We meet every Thursday evening during school terms in the Leura Uniting Church. Our members pay $10 per week to cover ongoing costs.
Linnet Choir of Sydney Incorporated (Sing for Enjoyment), Avoca Beach
The program's music comprises a variation of musical, jazz, sacred and vocal arrangements for female voices. The program is located in Epping at the Presbyterian Church and we meet weekly. Participants travel from afar as Arcadia, Kirribilli, Hunters Hill and Toongabbie and those living within 15km of Epping. Our Choir welcomes all age groups. Currently we have 20 participants and we aim to increase our numbers.
Mandarin Singing Club, Waterloo
Mandarin Singing Club is for people who enjoy singing and would like to improve their knowledge and skill on singing. It targets participants from Mandarin speaking background, but can also cater to people who speak English or Cantonese from the whole Sydney region. The musical genre will be popular music and include a repertoire of both Chinese and English songs. This club will organise weekly practice sessions, quarterly social gatherings, occasional professional tutoring, and actively seek out performance opportunities in and for the community.
Manning Valley Neighbourhood Services Inc (Singing for Community Connection), Wingham
Our program will provide opportunities for older people to engage in a structured but fun ‘choir’. Our program will be based at a community hub on our local housing estate which will also allow Aboriginal elders to participate in a familiar and comfortable environment. However, all older community members will be encouraged to join in. A focus will be towards both Australian Indigenous, and other Indigenous songs. The chorus will be facilitated by experienced professional musician/s. At least two community events will be held over a 12 month period which also contributes to community pride and cohesion.
Murrumbidgee Magic Chapter (Professional Development Workshops), Wagga Wagga
The Murrumbidgee Magic Chorus is a female singing group currently consisting of 35 members. The average of the Chorus is 67 year of age. The group has performed since 1995, and specialises in "Sweet Adeline" style choral singing, and competes nationally. Apart from its competition schedule, the Chorus performs at numerous Civic and Community events.
The Chorus has an aim of providing a choral outlet to females of all ages, but with a particular emphasis on mature age groups. The Chorus has a number of members from surrounding towns to Wagga Wagga, and performs at many regional centres. The chorus is a community group, and any lady who enjoys singing can become a member without requiring an audition.
North Ryde Community Aid (Wu Lin Yue Merry Makers), North Ryde
To be held at West Ryde for local and non-local, NRCA will formalise a group of 15-20 mandarin speakers who enjoy singing and develop them into a significant intercultural choir able to deliver a mixed program of Western and traditional Chinese music.
Our community has asked for help to come together as a true choir, in a safe and comfortable environment, so as to express themselves through music and increase their confidence and wellbeing which will reduce social isolation, build quality relationships and build better connections within the community.
Springwood Neighbourhood Centre Cooperative Ltd (Sing to the Mountains), Springwood
Our program will establish three new community singing groups targeting a diverse range participants aged over 65 in the Blue Mountains area, including people with dementia. All will be located in accessible venues - a Community Centre, an Aged Care facility and a Community Hub. Groups will be professionally conducted and supported by a team of volunteers from at least four existing choirs - one of which is currently run by Springwood Neighbourhood Centre Cooperative. Music will be provided in accessible formats and transport will be provided where required.
Stocklands Village Voices (Village Voices), Forster
Village Voices is a group of seniors, most of whom reside in Golden Ponds Resort. They meet weekly at the Resort and sing for enjoyment & to entertain other residents. The choir was formed over 5 years ago with a accompanist & choir master, both volunteers. It is fully funded by the participants however we have recently lost our accompanist and need funds to hire a pianist. The choir stages a concert each year which assists in covering costs of music etc. and this is greatly enjoyed by residents, and friends. It would be a great disappointment to have to cease this due to lack of an accompanist. The choir also performs on occasion at a local Nursing Home .
The NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (Reconnecting and Healing After Trauma and Transition) Choir, Carramar
RAHATT is an established group of Assyrian/Chaldean women (60-80 years old). They meet every Friday at STARTTS Carramar as part of a group intervention targeting issues related to trauma, anxiety, depression, PTSD as well as grief and loss. They have expressed their interest in forming a choir as they believe this would be a great avenue for the management of stress, social inclusion, community involvement, social interaction and the promotion of their culture through singing and music. RAHATT is also a word meaning 'rest' in Arabic and singing is an avenue through which they could achieve this.
PAX Publishing (The Rosellas), Panania
The establishment of a community choir primarily for older people in the South West of Sydney, which will give a public performance at the end of the project. The proposal is to provide a weekly 60 - 75 minute group singing experience for local residents during daylight hours and during school terms (approximately 40 sessions). The repertoire chosen will reflect the diversity of people who live in the area, with a focus on group involvement and a fun experience for all participants. The intention is to facilitate community singing and provide opportunities for people to connect, socially and artistically.
NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (Spanish Speaking Choir), Carramar
The Spanish Speaking Choir addresses the issue of social isolation, mental health and lack of physical activities amongst Spanish speaking populations living in Sydney's western suburbs. The Choir is made of older people from Central and Latin America forced flee in exile during the 1970's and 80s because of civil unrest. The Choir meets once per week, makes a number of public performances each year and undertakes social excursions each quarter.
Mitchell Conservatorium Inc (How To Read Music), Bathurst
Regularly older persons wish to join the Allegri Singers Choir. However often those persons have a good singing voice, but are unable to read music. This limits considerably their ability to sing classical works of music, and they are dependent upon learning by ear, which has its limitations. The aim of the Program is to provide an avenue to learn how to read music, and that this will greatly facilitate participation in choral works, such as "The Messiah". Allegri Singers are a Bathurst based choir of some 30 members, but we regularly combine with choirs from Orange, Mudgee and surrounds.
Raise the Roof Choir, The Channon
Raise the Roof Choirs meet weekly for two hours in four locations: Uki, The Channon (Lismore electorate), Suffolk Park, and Brunswick Heads (Ballina electorate). Two are daytime and two are evening sessions. We sing uplifting gospel, bluegrass and folk songs in harmony, some with guitar, some acapella, and enjoy a refreshment break and community announcements for around 20 minutes in each session.
Four years ago I began a side project with my partner called Sing the Camino. We take people on walking singing tours in Spain, which has inspired many of our Raise the Roof members to train up to walking 220km over 11 days on the Camino Trail in Spain.
Shoalhaven Neighbourhood Services Inc (Happy Sounds - Uplifting lives through singing), Nowra
The program aims to help reduce social isolation and provide an uplifting experience for people with dementia and their carers, believing that people with dementia who participate in regular singing sessions show improvement in wellbeing and daily function. In the Shoalhaven region, there is a higher proportion of seniors, empty nesters and retirees than elsewhere in NSW, more than is usual in a regional population. With the involvement of many experienced community leaders and volunteers, we are very confident of delivering a strong, meaningful and beneficial program. Our target group is primarily people with dementia and their carers, including aboriginal people, LGBTI, CALD, people with disability. The music will have wide-ranging appeal, to those in the older age bracket, with ongoing consultation with participants as to content.
Sydney Welsh Choir Inc (Good Life Chorus), Northmead
Good Life Chorus will be an inclusive community singing group aimed particularly at people still in their own homes who are living with early-to-mid-stage dementia, and their carers and supporters. While the group will be open to any adult with or without a dementia diagnosis, the support of people with dementia and their carers will be the primary focus. The primary aims are: to provide a safe, joyful environment for people with dementia and their carers and supporters to sing and socialize; to decrease their isolation; increase their quality of life; provide them with the opportunity to tap into old musical memories; and provide support and networking opportunities with others in the same situation.
U3A Goulburn Mulwaree Inc (Shower Singers), Goulburn
To create "Shower Singers" groups in multiple locations including, but not restricted to, Goulburn and Gunning. "Shower Singers" would be open to all adults, use arrangements of popular and folk songs, targeting older adults as per the aims of University of the Third Age - lifelong learning. Part of the promotional activity will be to attempt to identify qualified volunteer choir leaders to establish "Shower Singer" groups in other villages, such as Marulan, Taralga, Bungonia and Crookwell. Promotional performances at the villages will include sing-along segments to allow audience participation and encourage would-be choristers. Goulburn Mulwaree U3A currently has two choirs - Partners in Song, a piano accompanied group based in Goulburn; and Alfresco Jubilo, an a capella auditioned vocal ensemble.
Young Regional School of Music In (Boundless Song), Young
Simply put, we aim to bring the wonderful, demonstrable benefits of communal singing to those in our community who currently have difficulty accessing it. As a Regional Conservatorium of Music, we have the expertise, staff, compliance systems and experience to deliver programs and as an organisation dedicated to maximising access to music programs we are also well-placed to identify service gaps and put forward viable and considered solutions. Boundless Song is an example of this. We are also dedicated to seeing the project continue beyond the funding period and with 26 staff and 33 years of steady growth behind us, we can back that up.