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Maisie's Choir and Kitchen Band a Big Hit

After just one session, Maisie’s Choir and the Kitchen Band, looks set to be a hit with the over 60’s of Yass Valley.

The project, supported by the Office for Ageing’s Regional Creative Ageing Fund aims to provide a place for singers and musicians – good, bad or in between – aged over 60 to come together, sing a few songs and learn some new musical skills along the way.

Regional Arts Boards throughout the state applied to Regional Arts NSW (RANSW) for the $50,000 from the fund to pilot creative ageing projects in regional NSW.

Southern Tablelands Arts (STARTS) was successful in gaining $15,000 funding for the Maisie’s Choir and Kitchen Band project.

Other partners in the STARTS project include Goulburn Regional Conservatorium, Yass Valley U3A, Yass Valley Men’s Shed, Yass Valley Council, NSW Family and Community Services, Yass Valley Aged Care And University of Canberra.

An enthusiastic group of eight – four men and four women – drawn from Yass and Upper Lachlan came together on a gorgeous summer morning and according to STARTS Communications Coordinator, Giselle Newbury, the quality of the vocals was beyond expectation.

Choir leader, Jane Edwards,took the group through some warm up exercises for body and voice and then it was into the first song.

‘The sound was amazing. We know too that we will have people from Boorowa at the next get together next Tuesday which means three local government areas will be represented,’ Giselle said.

The group has brain stormed ideas for other songs for the choir to learn and were pleased that at last there is an active choir available for members of the community to join in.

Already, other opportunities for the singers and musicians have arisen, with one attendee bringing along a tenor recorder that she plays at Renaissance Dancing.

The group will meet each Tuesday from 10am to noon at the Yass Valley Senior Citizen’s Club, Rossi Street, Yass. Sessions are free and morning tea is provided.

Here’s a sample from the newest choir in town.

For further information phone Giselle at STARTS on 02 4821 7028.

Other projects funded through this initiative include:

Eastern Riverina Arts  – Bold: selfies by oldies. A photographic project that will see ten people aged over 60 from Coolamon Shire work with an artistic team to create an exhibition of creative self-portraits that will playfully subvert the audience’s perceptions of ageing and Western Riverina. Bold is an initiative of ERA in partnership with North East Riverina Rural Counselling Services, Murrumbidgee Medicare Local Healthy Coolamon Project, Coolamon Shire Council and the National Portrait Gallery.

Western Riverina Arts – For Prosperity’s sake. Western Riverina Arts is partnering with Leeton community groups (RSL, Rotary, CWA and others) to run a creative Oral History Self-Publishing project for seniors, managed by artistic facilitator Louise Cooper. Louise will run interview sessions with local seniors, and also intergenerational schools-based art workshops. The final outcome will be launched at a public exhibition and screening.

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