Media release from Creativity Australia:

We have just awarded seed funding to start up new With One Voice choir programs to 5 organisations around Australia and we are thrilled to let you know that a local Kyneton group were one of the 5 successful applicants.

Carly Visscher, applied for the grant on behalf of Cobaw Community Health. Cobaw already provides a broad range of programs and services to the Macedon Ranges and surrounding communities and thought the With One Voice choir model would be a great asset to sit within their Community Connections program . Carly’s application caught the eye of the judging panel as her passion for improving her community through song resonated perfectly with the Creativity Australia ethos.

The funding is to help set up a With One Voice community choir in Kyneton with the aim of building supportive networks that empower participants to connect to a brighter future. The choir will promote social cohesion by being fully inclusive and will look to address some of the complex social issues communities face. Everyone will be welcome to join regardless of race, age, religion, disability or disadvantage.

“Whilst overall the Macedon Ranges Shire is recognised as an area of relatively high socio-economic advantage, the area also has one of the highest rates of suicide in Victoria. As a community health service we seek opportunities like the With One Voice Choir to create opportunities for increased community connection and belonging” says Carly.

In addition to meeting weekly to rehearse, the choir also shares supper together and implements a ‘Wish List’ initiative whereby choir members can request or grant wishes to one another.

Nathan Lange, Program Manager from Creativity Australia said “We were extremely impressed by the planning and research that went into their proposal. They fully understood and aligned with the With One Voice ethos of inclusivity and using singing to bring communities together. We are very much looking forward to working with Carly and her team”.

Their launch will be at 7 pm on Wednesday March 27th with weekly Wednesday evening rehearsals beginning the following week. The launch and rehearsals will take place at The Mechanics Institute in Kyneton and the choir will be named With One Voice Central Victoria.

Gabriel Macura, an internationally acclaimed singer and musician in her own right, will conduct the group. Community members are encouraged to turn up for a rehearsal, no bookings and no auditions required.

The committee will now engage with a 12 month mentoring program which is offered by Creativity Australia to help assist in the set-up and ongoing success of the choir.