Celebrating the Season!
Our customary Christmas Party was a lavish affair with yummy treats supplied by the many talented cooks among us. Held in the hall in which we rehearse, our view was picture perfect and added to the ‘ambience’. The Christmas trivia from our MC (Anne) was both amusing and enlightening and the party pieces made us laugh and sing – a befitting way to end another great year!
And with the Care and Share Group
Donned with ‘gay apparel’, we entertained the warm and generous Care and Share Group at Isabella Plains and again sang in the foyer of the Canberra Hospital as part of the Christmas Choir Festival organised by the Canberra Hospital Foundation. A good excuse to be jolly!
‘All together’ at the High Court ! – October 19
The High Court performance will go down as one of our best concerts to date. All the extra rehearsal time was worth it as we sang really well. Not an easy task following the spectacular Hughes Community Choir whose energy and passion was a delight to see.
We also sang with gusto and purpose and to a man, delivered the message, by example, that singing is one of the best things you can do both for your ‘heart’ and your ‘soul’! The audience response was warm and generous and we provided a very good balance for the overall concert. A fantastic achievement for us all!
Canberra Southern Cross Club – 2014 Annual Community Grants Luncheon
Adrienne and Les represented our group at this year’s Community Grant Luncheon and Katy Gallagher would have been very impressed by their wardrobe co-ordination! They were also seen from afar deep in conversation whilst enjoying the sumptuous lunch courtesy of the Club.
The following excerpt is the result of a telephone interview. It is on the Club’s website and covers the essence of what was said:
The Heart and Soul Singers choir will use its grant to continue providing entertainment and friendship to its members and audiences. Manager Janelle Burns said the Canberra Southern Cross Club grant was the over 50s choir’s only form of financial assistance and it provided the opportunity for the group to thrive.
“We’re focused on singing but also on companionship, which is very important for people as they get older. It makes you feel good,” she said.
“We were knocked sideways when we received the first grant and we feel very privileged to have been included again as a recipient.”
Five years strong, continued funding and Chrissie Shaw as our full time Director!
So as we blow out our five candles and head towards our first decade, we have much to celebrate.
An early birthday present
Again we are the proud recipient of a Community Grant from the Canberra Southern Cross Club. We wish to thank the Club for their on-going support for all the community groups. This support enables all of us to continue to give back to our collective communities.
A new Director
A wonderful way to begin our new year of singing together! After her first set of workshops, Chrissie decided to make herself available as our full time director. An offer, as they say, ‘too good to refuse’! She has many years of musical experience which has already had a positive effect on both our confidence and collective sound and her sense of fun makes us smile even more. Chrissie also has a body of varied songs at her disposal and our repertoire is going to be richer for it.
A new direction
The first ‘Heart and Soul Community Sing’ proved to be one of our most successful gigs for the Tuggeranong 55 Plus Club. It was terrific to see everyone singing along to the selection of Beatles songs, proving you are never too old to ‘rock n roll’! As we often out number our audience, it was fun to have a larger and active one. The projection of the words worked really well and is something we can incorporate in our future gigs at the centre –
ABBA here we come………
So, with great music, good friends and sound direction, our future looks bright indeed
– let us eat cake!
Guest Director – Term 2
Chrissie will conduct two four week workshops during the term and brings with her a wealth of experience. She has been musical director of several community choirs, performed for many theatre companies, and has produced several independent shows.
We have worked with Chrissie before and are looking forward to her return – she is great fun and her lightness of spirit is very infectious!
YMCA Senior Sports Carnival – Wednesday 9 April 2014
The carnival promotes the health and well-being of Canberra’s older citizens who reside in age care facilities or attend age day care programs. It is an annual event which provides an Olympic like atmosphere, with an opening ceremony, local celebrities and dignitaries, medals, entertainment and morning tea.
There were 19 participating teams this year and the dome was filled with colour and a buzz of excitement as the Canberra City Pipes and Drummers lead the Banner Parade. We sang two songs and the National Anthem before the games were declared officially open by Maureen Cane.
A wonderful event to be part of, encouraging all to ‘stay active in body and mind and to never lose that competitive spirit’!
The Banner Parade
inspiring for everyone including the organizer!
Connect and Participate Expo – 29 March 2014
Old Bus Depot Kingston
Publicising our group has always been challenging and to date we have mainly relied on word of mouth and the occasional newspaper advertisement.
The Inaugural Connect and Participation Expo provided us with a different avenue to advertise who we are and what we offer. It was a very well organised event, well set out and inviting for all who came. Our table had prime position just near the entrance and we were delighted to have so many lovely visitors. The bookmarks, almost hot of the press, were a perfect way to advertise our details and helped to give our display that ‘professional’ look!
Seniors Week – 16 – 23 March 2014
‘Let the Good Times Roll’ was the theme for this year’s Seniors Week and we as a ‘senior group’ did our best.
To begin the week, we threw our hat in the ring again and opened our rehearsal to one and all – ‘Sing, Laugh, Enjoy!’ – as part of the activities participation program.
Although not quite as successful as last year, the morning was a relaxed one with an African lullaby and a Sonny and Cher classic being added to our repertoire. Living up to our slogan for the rehearsal, we sang a lot, laughed way too much and certainly enjoyed the morning. And, the yummy treats brought to share were an added bonus!
Calvary Retirement Village – Friday 21 March
The returned visit to the village was not a planned one, but we were more than happy to fill in when illness struck.
Complete with green gloves, our intrepid group of ten took the audience on a quick trip around the globe, singing songs from all over the world.
Being Seniors Week it was an ideal opportunity to reinforce the value of singing and how good it is for you.
The audience were invited to join us at any stage during our performance and we were delighted when many of them did. It was a very happy and relaxed performance proving that sometimes it can be an advantage to sing at short notice!
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Celebrating the end of the Centenary Year
Final Musical Offering New Years Eve – Calvary Retirement Village
We have enjoyed taking part in the Musical Offering Centenary Project during the year so it seemed only fitting to put our collective hands up to be one of the performers at the final offering on New Year’s Eve at the Calvary Retirement Village.
It was an opportunity to again don our sparkly hats and sing what has become a staple in our repertoire ‘Canberra is calling to you’. It was also a great way to review a busy year in song and help celebrate the centenary for one last time!
Last day of term – Performance and Party!
Our Santa Hats, Halos and Reindeer ears (and of course Leo’s Christmas Tree!) were mandatory for our last day of term when we performed in the foyer as part of the Canberra Hospital Foundations Christmas Choir Festival. Our passing audience grinned while we sang with gusto ‘What shall we do with a Tipsy Santa?’ with some staying for a song or two. We had a lot of fun and appreciated being part of such a worthwhile event.After the performance, we celebrated at the Burns Club with our annual Christmas Party. As always, the food was yummy, and the company relaxed enough to sing the odd song or two, much to the delight of our fellow diners.
And then it was just ‘tu tu’ much – an excellent end to busy day!
2013 – September – Farewell Lynne
Last term we farewelled our Director Lynne Bentley who has been with us for three years. Lynne’s life is an extremely busy one especially as President of the Llewellyn Choir. As this commitment draws to a close, she has decided to look to a future that is a little less hectic. Spoiling her grandchildren and months of discovering the delights of Europe with her husband Noel being on her new agenda!
Lynne has been very generous during her time with us and our collective sound has improved enormously under her tuition. Our repertoire has been enriched with some beautiful and varied songs she has introduced which we will continue to enjoy singing.
We thank Lynne for her contribution to our growth as a choir and we wish her much happiness along the road less travelled! And we hope that she drops in for the occasional ‘Legato Lunch’.
2013 – August – An Early Birthday Present
Our Birthday week celebrations began when two of our ‘Kathy’s’ (one with a K and one with a C) were our representatives at the Canberra Southern Cross Club Community Grant Distribution Luncheon.
Our sincere thanks go to the Club as we were again one of the lucky 89 recipients to receive funding. To be included among so many hardworking organisations is very humbling and their generosity will enable us to purchase microphones for both our rehearsals and our performances.
2013 – Our Fourth Birthday – Time for Cake!
We have been singing Happy Birthday to Canberra all year as part of the many Centenary Celebrations but now it was time to sing it to ourselves!
Our regular Legato Lunch became a ‘calorie chow down’ as we munched though the yummy treats that everyone had contributed. The candles were extinguished in the normal fashion and we are on way to half a decade!
And they said we would never last!
We sang our own musical homage to Canberra with songs celebrating our multicultural Community, our history and our landmarks. Our audience were encouraged to join us during the performance and they did so with gusto!
A fitting way to end our fourth year of highlighting the benefits and joy of singing!
2013 – May 19 – An Unforgettable Evening
As a community choir, we don’t often perform outside our demographic but the friendly invitation from AIDS Action Council to participate in the Candlelight Memorial was one we could not refuse.
The venue was the Gandel Hall at the National Gallery. An impressive space not only because of its acoustical value but for the vista beyond the full length windows. We were asked to sing African songs and sang following a heartfelt speech about AIDS in Africa from Her Excellency Ms Koleka Mqulwana, the South African High Commissioner. Our choice of three songs included the South African Hymn Siyahumba which brought smiles of recognition from Ms Mqulwana as the poignant quilt images were projected on a screen behind us.
The evening unfolded with stories of personal journeys; the highly celebrated ‘Qwire’ voices filled the room with their beautiful clear sound and the cold night air was braved as everyone placed a candle in remembrance.
An evening that was an honour to share and one that none of us will forget.
Our party mood continued during the first term and we took every opportunity to be involved in celebrating the centenary.
The Musical Offering
A gift from the community to honour Canberra’s one-hundredth birthday and organised by local musical identities, it part of the official Celebrations Program. It can take place wherever you are, appearing in different musical guises every day during Canberra’s centenary year.
Having thrown our collective hat in the ring, our first ‘offering’ was at St Andrew’s retirement village. Complete with the official banner and Don Aiken’s presence, our performance was greatly enhanced by not only our ‘individual’ party hats, but by our stirring rendition of ‘Canberra’s Calling to You!’ Robyn Archer will be pleased! Bit of fun with the odd chuckle coming from our audience.
55 Plus Club’s Social Sunday
This time the celebration was on our own doorstep at the Tuggeranong Seniors Centre, when Canberra’s Centenary took centre stage at a 55 Plus Club function. We repeated our Birthday program both with sparkly hats and 1930’s repertoire. Our ‘piece da resistance’ however, was the ‘12 months of Centenary’ song. Audience participation was essential and they did not let us down with almost everyone joining in. El Presidente, John Hargreaves lead the champagne toast and ‘our’ Glenys did the honours with the cutting of the specially made Canberra Birthday Cake (she was the only one in the room born in Canberra!). A very pleasant end to a somewhat hectic term!
‘Find your Voice’ Open Morning
It is daunting to join in with any established group but we were fortunate to have five guests spend the morning with us.
Keeping with the centenary celebrations, we took up the challenge thrown down by Robyn Archer, creative director of our birthday’s festivities and we learnt the 1930’s song by Jack Lumsdaine, ‘Canberra’s Calling to You’.
Music has changed a little since the thirties and there was more laughter than singing at one point! The morning was a relaxed and convivial one with a luscious morning tea being provided by many of our group.
This was the first time we have been involved in the activities program and as it was a fun morning, it is one that will be repeated.
Happy 100 birthday, Canberra!
We had the opportunity to share in the Centenary Celebrations at one of Canberra’s Birthday Bashes at the Hughes Shops on the actual day, Tuesday 12th March. An initiative by the owners of the Hughes 201 Degrees Bakery, local suburban shopping centres from all over Canberra were encouraged to be involved in the territory’s biggest party.
Cakes were cut and champagne corks popped in many suburbs to the sound of entertainment from singing groups, classical musicians and groovy local bands. Plus those disgustingly nibble acrobats who tumbled and rolled to the delight of the small crowd.
It was great fun and an excellent way to wish our Nation’s Capital and our home a very
And we couldn’t resist a photo opportunity with Hughes’ famous ‘Shopper’!
2012 – December – Festive Fair for the Final Day of Term
We laughed and cried, sang and chatted until it was time to pull up stumps for yet another year!
2012 – December – Tuggeranong 55 Plus Club’s Christmas Party
Our festive calendar began with a performance for the residents at Brindabella Gardens and culminated in singing for the 55 Plus Club’s Christmas Party at the Tuggeranong Senior Centre. We were given a sumptuous feast for our appearance and there was lots of fun and laughter as we sang some traditional, world music and humourous songs for the season.
2012 – Sunday by the Lake – Inaugural Grandparents Day
We were included in the entertainment programme and sang in the hall at the Tuggeranong Senior Centre, venue chosen by ACT Office of the Aging to celebrate and highlight the value of Grandparents in the community.
The Celtic folk rock group The Borderers were the main music attraction and we were welcomed as part of a Special feature performance. We joined in the choruses of Loch Lomond, You’re my World and Hallelujah Borderers style – inclusive and high energy!
The weather was so spectacular that hats were needed. The experience was invaluable for us and gave our confidence a huge boost!
2012 – August 5 – ‘Winter Warbles to Warm you Up’ – Third Birthday ‘Bash’
What a week of celebration! Cake with candles at Tuesday’s rehearsal followed by a concert for our families and friends on Sunday. The Tuggeranong Seniors Centre provided the perfect venue for the gathering – the weather was generous with the sun streaming into the room providing a light and bright atmosphere. Our audience was much larger than expected and the afternoon was filled with songs, lots of laughter and luscious food.
2012 – August – Community Support Grant – again a wonderful birthday gift
For the third year running, we have been fortunate to have been included again as a recipient of a community support grant awarded by the Canberra Southern Cross Club.
We cannot thank the Club enough for their generous support. The Club supports over 90 small organisations like ourselves and it is very humbling for our group to be considered worthy of the club’s assistance.
Two of our newer members, Kathy and Leo were our representatives at the distribution luncheon and I understand that their table was considered the ‘rowdy’ table as they enthusiastically clapped their fellow recipients when they received their envelopes!
2012 – January – Our New Rehearsal Location
Our year has begun well. We have permanently relocated to the new Tuggeranong Seniors Centre at 101 Cowlishaw St, Greenway and have been made very welcome by the resident Tuggeranong 55 Plus Club.
The room in which we now rehearse is light and bright with a view to die for, but it is the acoustic value of the space that has our director, Lynne, with a perpetual smile on her face!
2010 – October
2010 – August – Birthday Celebrations
Heart and Soul Singers turned 1 year old in August 2010, and of course we had a party, complete with cake. Janelle kept her voice warm with a scarf as she cut the birthday cake!
2010 – August – Community Support Grant
The Canberra Southern Cross Club generously gave The Heart and Soul Singers a Community Support Grant which will be used to award a scholarship to a musical director as well as running workshops.