I decided to join a choir as I felt I needed a bit of motivation. My life is a little bit rough at the moment, I decided to look for something to do. I wanted to add a bit of soul and positivity in my life.
I searched online and came across the With One Voice choirs and decided to give it a go! Everyone was helpful and made me feel very welcomed. Kym Dillon our conductor is so great, he has so much energy and makes the singing fun.
Just being a part of this group of people, people from all walks of life is refreshing. Some work, some don’t, some are going through tough times like myself. It’s just so nice to be a part of a group every Tuesday night, I look forward to it every week. I just love all the singing, it makes me feel happy and it’s my highlight.
I joined Ashburton’s With One Voice choir about three years ago as I wanted something of my own to do.
My husband Jon and I used to be involved with square dancing. We are both in wheelchairs, and once our classes stopped, Jon began going to able-bodied classes just to enjoy the music.
Personally, this wasn’t enough for me, and I went looking for another activity. That’s when I found With One Voice Ashburton.
Six months later, Jon joined me. We both really enjoy singing and have always been involved with music in some way, and now singing is something we are working at improving. We never took ourselves as singers, but our conductor, Kym, is very talented, and he is extremely inclusive and fun.
Since January this year, I have been volunteering at the Ashburton choir. I take care of memberships, attendances, and I also manage the database. This month, we have already had seven newcomers – and four of them have already become members!
I encourage anyone to come and give it a go! Just do it! The community within the choir is so kind and supportive, and we really do have a lot of fun!
Beth’s courage, keen sense of humour and incomparable love of life inspires us every week.
Beth was born with cerebral palsy and is one of With One Voice Melbourne’s original participants.
Peter: “Beth, why do you come to choir?”
Beth: “Freedom, independence and a sense of belonging. Because I feel like I don’t belong anywhere else. I do belong here. At choir no one sees my wheelchair. They see me, as a person.”
In 2014, Beth achieved two lifelong dreams: standing up for the first time, which she did at a choir rehearsal, and landing her first job. The job was at the Royal Melbourne Show, thanks to SKILLED.
“Beth welcomed show-goers with her incomparable enthusiasm and loved the job so much she extended her working hours,” said Delphine Cassidy from SKILLED.
“Both show-goers and co-workers were inspired by Beth’s passion for life and friendliness.”
The day before my first rehearsal for With One Voice, I had been searching the internet for things to do on the weekend when an advertisement popped up. I’d been searching for a community choir for about three months prior and couldn’t find anything that matched what I was looking for.
I joined because I love to sing and there are limited opportunities to sing with others in everyday life. I LOVE to sing, it makes me so happy to sing with others, with no pressures or competitiveness, but just singing for fun and support.
I loved meeting so many different people, hearing their stories, connecting, and witnessing some amazing musical talents.
Photograph by Hayley Marrs.
I have been looking for some way to give back to the community and I have found it in my much-loved community choir.
It is really good therapy for me to meet so many different and wonderful people – people who are homeless or who have a disability or who are recovering from depression and other illnesses. People who have businesses and big jobs and office workers…
I was born in Sri Lanka and lived in a small village. During college in India I used to take my guitar and go out to the lake to sing songs by myself.
I have always been passionate about music and sing a lot – in those days it was Tom Jones, Englebert Humperdinck and The Beatles. I still do a great rendition of Please Release Me!
After a strict Catholic upbringing I left college in my early 20s and went travelling around India. I spent several years living in an ashram in Rishikesh and learnt yoga and meditation from spiritual leaders.
I also walked through the Himalayas, sleeping in temples and meditating lots, and taught English to young monks in a Buddhist monastery.
In 1989 I met and married Deb in Goa, where I was teaching yoga and meditation, and moved to Australia. We have two beautiful children, Alex and India Rose.
I absolutely love being part of With One Voice Sydney.
I have met so many people from all walks of life. Even my daughter’s school principal comes to choir! Every Tuesday I look forward to seeing my friends and singing together and bringing happiness to us all.
I talk to the other participants and they have gone through so many hard things in their lives. Their stories really move me.
Singing is something that comes from the heart – it is good for the soul! You don’t have to have a good voice. It comes naturally. Singing with my friends makes me feel very happy.
At choir I’m in a different world, completely. It’s amazing.