"Dorothea McKellar's century old poem still holds true today as ever”
Some songs hold tremendous meaning! The song we are learning this week at Melbourne Contemporary Choir Macleod and next week at MCC Carlton and Kew is one such song. The image shown here is the original print of the music I played as a youngster when I sang in a children's choir that my mum directed at the time - it's even got my name written on the front cover! We were producing a performance for the 'Centenary of Federation' in 1988 and this is one of the songs we discovered at the time at the local music store down on the Mornington Peninsula. Remember when you used to go to the music store to look for music instead of downloading the digital PDF print? This was one of those song discoveries. Written by a husband and wife team going by the name of Mr and Mrs Music - Hatch and Trent. This song featured every night at the close of the Chanel 7 broadcast (before TV ran all night). Jacky Trent sang a solo version of this song set in the Australian Outback. The words are derived from a poem by Dorothea McKellar who first penned the poem at the tender age of 16 using the working title "Core of My Heart". It was latter published after several revisions with the now familiar title "My Country. Over the years I have rummaged through my music box and pulled out scores to play at the piano, and this one in particular seems to be timeless. There is an SAB arrangement in existence out there but is a little dated and the harmonies actually don't do the tune justice. Jackie Trent has since passed away but had an iconic voice, but I was fortunate enough to have communication with Tony Hatch recently who has had a tremendous career in the music industry and brushed shoulders with A grade celebrities, presidents etc. Now residing in the UK it was really lovely to hear from him and his interest in our rediscovery and plans for a cover of his song. He described some of the history of the setting for McKellars poem. At the time he paid 50% of royalties to the McKellar foundation which was welcomed by the family who indicated that it was very generous of the writer to recognise her work in this way, particularly with so many unauthorised versions circulating at the time. The poem is now in the public domain but the lyrics are timeless speaking of the writers longing for her home country. Written at a time when she was separated by distance from her 'opal hearted country'. I would encourage you to read the full poem here.
"I love a sunburnt country,
The words are timeless and resonate so much with me - I leapt at the opportunity to breath new life into this piece with a fresh SATB arrangement MCCHOIR commissioned from our long time collaborator and musician extraordinaire Jared Haschek. In true 'Jared style' he has enriched the song with beautiful contemporary chord structures - alto's and tenors are going to relish this arrangement when committed to memory. The arrangement has really brought the song into a space where it will be appreciated by a new generation, who are yet to discover the poem and the somewhat familiar tune. Hatch has selected verses which lend themselves to a musical treatment and provided us with a memorable hook and stirring chorus. Jared has added some musical tension in sections of the song with careful chord structures in lines such as "her beauty and her terror"
Here's a little snippet of the new arrangement to whet your appetite. I can't wait to record this with the whole choir.
"An opal-hearted country,
I'm so excited to teach this tune at Melbourne Contemporary and think it will have huge potential for us as a choir. Somewhat different from our regular pop repertoire, I think the writers have written this tune that will transcend traditional generational boundaries so often associated with popular music.
Incidentally next year marks the Centenary Celebration for Qantas who famously recorded "I still call Australia Home" with the Australian Children's Choir - flying them all over the world to record the TV advertisement using the famous tune by Peter Allen. I think 'My Country' is perhaps a prequel to this other iconic, much loved Australian tune. I'm really hopeful that our cover of the song might find a place in the Quantas centenary celebrations next year. My ultimate dream would be for us to shoot a music video of the song in the outback with the choir. We are so fortunate at Melbourne Contemporary to have the opportunity to sing so many new and original tunes, and this is our first commissioned re-arrangement of an Australian work. Both the lyrics and tune have been written by Australian's and now this new arrangement follows suit with and Australian arranger and choir to perform it.
"Core of my heart, my country!
We will definitely record this one and plans are underway for Jared to arrange this with a beautiful string setting which we plan to record at The Base Recording Studios here in Melbourne.
Many an afternoon was spent as a young boy with my feet up at the piano after school, banging out this tune on the ivories and Jared has just done an amazing job of honouring the original work, yet tastefully giving it depth and feeling with this arrangement for four part harmony. I would really love to record this with an icon Aussie star like John Farnham or Silvie Palladino (there I go again, dreaming out loud!)
One of our leadership team, Linda had first peak at this new arrangement and attended MCCHOIR Carlton Mon, MCGOSPEL Tues, MCCHOIR Kew Wed, and then came last Thursday to MCCHOIR Macleod, because she thought she may get a chance to sing it (sorry Linda). We are definitely looking at it this week!
"But then the grey clouds gather,
Its been a good 30 years since I performed this song as a kid in a children's choir and I can't wait to produce an amazing music video of it with all of our 100+ singers, I'm sure we can find a spot with some amazing old gums and make this really special project together.
The original poem was first published in 1908 so this year these words celebrate their 111th birthday - it's only fitting that the 'Choir of Choice for Contemporary Singers' give it a birthday present i think. It's quite remarkable how those words penned over a century ago still hold just as true today and they did then, and I believe will resonate with Australians once again with this new rendition of 'My Country.'
Melbourne Contemporary Choir
A group of 12 talented performers gathered in the early hours of the weekend in Abbotsford, coffee in hand to lay down some gospel deliciousness! The name Kirk Franklin is synonymous with gospel music with a string of awards, hit albums, movie appearances and a faithful following. It’s hard to go past one of his most popular tunes “Hosanna” on a playlist and so it seemed a perfect project for the new kid on the block, MCGOSPEL to take on.
As things slow down on the work front and you ready yourself for the Christmas Season this music video is a great one to pull out the headphones for and listen and watch in all it’s 4K glory. This new group will be headed up by Melbourne’s own pop sensation “Sean Donehue” who says gospel is one of his greatest musical influences. What a perfect match for Melbourne Contemporary Choir to take on this dynamic powerhouse vocalist to lead this fresh emerging group based in Melbourne. Sean’s vocals are featured alongside MCYOUTH lead and local talent Alinta Burnell who together really bring this high energy tune to life.
Check out the video on YouTube here ...
MCGOSPEL will officially drop early 2019 and we are taking expressions of interest for singers, for what promises to be a vibrant new ensemble. Sean has been raving about the new epic work by Snoop Dogg entitled “Bible of Love” and I have it on loop on my phone at the moment too. This 33 track album features some of the top names in gospel has also been adapted for stage in a new off Broadway musical. It wouldn’t surprise me if some of these tunes become a much loved part of the MCGOSPEL repertoire.
I caught up with Sean at Zen Den in Eltham to talk about his plans for the group. This music video is the first project from the group to promote the upcoming open auditions in the new year. Sean attended Eltham Secondary college, a leading specialty music school in Victoria and is a recent graduate of the Australian Institute of Music (AIM). In fact it was at one of the AIM showcases where I heard Sean and his band perform and I knew that I just had to work with this guy.
Sean was the featured artist at our live concert with MCCHOIR earlier this year and will appear in the live recording of the show, for a planned release in 2019.
MCGOSPEL is open to artists from a variety of backgrounds - so if gospel floats your boat register for our launch party in January and be a part of this new gospel movement in Melbourne. We are particularly looking for Tenors and Basses to compliment a growing list of talented female vocalists. Click below to register your interest and we’ll send you a complimentary ticket to our launch party.
MCCHOIR Executive Director
Here's an update to the parking situation at and around the venue:
Members of MCCHOIR were super excited to perform with the hugely talented Robin Johnson from The Voice, Australia at the Geelong Football Club ‘Carji Geeves’ Best and Fairest award night at Crown Palladium. The group backed up Rob with a phenomenal cover of Imagine Dragon’s “Whatever it Takes”.
Here’s what Rob had to say about the night.
The Geelong Cats Carji Greeve’s Medal Awards night at Crown Palladium was really one to remember for me.
I'm so glad I got to be a part of it with you all. I love when everything just falls into place! Everyone had the time of their life and the evening was just a massive success.
My producer and I were well impressed by your own drive and dedication. Managing a team requires such true leadership skills you have in spades!
You and the MCCHOIR gang really made the experience so enjoyable for me. You're all such lovely warm fun people as if sounding great just wasn't enough!
Much love everyone!
THE VOICE AUSTRALIA FINALIST
Melbourne contemporary choir are ready to Rock Melbourne with their high energy show MCCHOIR LIVE! that will have you on the edge of you’re seat from the very first note. For one show only, MCCHOIR will be joined by guest artist Sean Donahue and a live 9 piece band under the direction of Jared Haschek.
This year is set to be our biggest and most luxurious show to date with sophisticated arrangements of your favourite tunes including songs from the Broadway hit musical “Dear Evan Hansen” Aretha Franklin, Sam Smith, David Guetta and Pentatonix to name a few. We are very excited that our Guest Artist Sean Donehue will be performing with the choir also.
Sean Donehue is a 20 year old up and coming pop singer/songwriter from Melbourne, Australia. Influenced by Gospel, Soul and R&B he is recognised for his powerhouse vocals and captivating live performances. Having sung for some for some notable acts such as Kaiit, Emily Williams and Köda, Sean is quickly making his mark in the Melbourne music scene.
With performances both nationally and internationally at iconic venues such as The Forum, The Enmore and AAMI Park, as well as staple festivals such as Golden Plains and Strawberry Fields, Sean has well and truly solidified his place in the professional Australian music circuit.
A multi-instrumentalist and Bachelor of Music recipient, Sean has also had the opportunity to support many international acts such as The Internet and Tank And The Bangas, as well as lend his skills to studio singles by Köda and Tempus Sun which received critical acclaim. And with many more high profile projects and performances in the works, Sean Donehue offers an exciting insight into the future of Australian music.
You’re not going to want to miss this dynamic young talent as he during his signature sound to the MCCHOIR live show.
MCCHOIR is really like an extended family for our members and Patricia (pictured above with the choir) was totally surprised when members of the choir rocked up to wish her a Happy Birthday in song. Her guests were treated to a sneak preview of some of our repertoire for our upcoming concert on 27th OCT. Even Rocky the poodle joined in the fun!
From the big stage at venues like Crown Palladium, outdoor stages at Fed Square or in the back yard - MCCHOIR is a place where people become their creative best and a new breed of choir where people find their voice! MCCHOIR has become the ‘Choir of Choice’ for contemporary singer in Melbourne.
Our live show will have some great surprises for our guests and we will also be dropping our new EP “Others” on your favourite digital platforms on the night for download or live streaming.
At MCCHOIR we are really proud of our latest studio recording project featuring original tunes and Melbournes own Rod Davies (John Farnham & TVs Dancing With The Stars) on the title track “Others”.
Our VIP guests at the concert Sat 27th October will enjoy reserved undercover parking, premium seating, gift bag including our new EP and souvenir brochure.
If you can’t wait, you can always hear some of our earlier music on Spotify right now!
There’s still some VIP seats sill available from Eventbrite so secure your seats today for this spectacular event.
Melbourne Contemporary Choir
"Just When we'd started to recover from the last heart wrenching Whitney Houston documentary, another one is arriving to make us cry all over again"
WHITNEY - The Untold Story is an intimate, unflinching portrait of Houston and her family that probes beyond familiar tabloid headlines and sheds new light on the spellbinding trajectory of Houston’s life. Using never-before-seen archival footage, exclusive demo recordings, rare performances, audio archives and original interviews with the people who knew her best, Oscar winning filmmaker Kevin Macdonald unravels the mystery behind “The Voice,” who thrilled millions even as she struggled to make peace with her own troubled past.
WHITNEY — boasts never-before-seen or heard footage and recordings from the singer’s four decade career.
The documentary is coming courtesy of director Kevin Macdonald, who made the Oscar-winning documentary One Day In September in 1999 and Marley in 2012 (about Bob Marley’s life). It follows the story of Whitney’s ascension to fame, how she sold over 200 million records worldwide, and the events that led up to her tragic death in 2012.
The trailer opens with "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" set against home movie footage from her private and public moments. There are also new interviews with her closest family members. Whitney’s mother Cissy remembers her daughter: "Everybody loved her. She was that little girl wishing upon a star, always trying to find her way back home." And we hear from Whitney herself, "People think it’s so damn easy. And it’s not."
‘No but seriously,' you say, "Why is there another Whitney documentary so soon?" Nick Broomfield’s documentary Whitney: Can I Be Me came out in 2017, less than a year ago. But this one, acquired by Miramax in 2016, claims to have exclusive access to the singer’s estate, making it the more official option and giving us a glimpse into her life that no other film has offered.
For a hint of what that might be, watch the trailer below:
I was in Boston recently and saw a Broadway Show "Born For This" about the story of BeBe and CeCe Winnans with original music by BeBe Winnans. BeBe and CeCe were close friends of Whitney and she helped them establish their careers even going as far as crossing studio lines to record with them. The musical features appearances from Whitney and gives some insight into the behind stage Whitney. I'm so looking forward to seeing this latest documentary that promises to reveal a little more about the 'queen of pop'.
Recently a follower on Face Book commented that they would like to request MCCHOIR to cover one of Whitney's songs and so this Term we plan to tackle "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" which will be our spin on this hit tune.
In fact we are going one better and we are giving away 10 free double passes to a special PREVIEW SCREENING of WHITNEY
6.15pm, 19 July at CINEMA NOVA
380 Lygon St, Carlton
If you are free Thursday 19th July and can get to Cinema Nova, you and a friend could be amongst the first to see this groundbreaking new documentary.
To be in the running to win one of 10 double passes simply register here:
If you love Whitney and love to sing, why not come along to a free session at MCCHOIR. Term 3 starts Monday 16th July in Carlton. Just click the link in the footer of this page.
Melbourne Contemporary Choir
1 Friendship and Fun Times
When we floated the idea of starting another MCCHOIR campus in Carlton - I don’t think any of us expected such a tremendous response. With a new resurgence in community singing springing up across Australia, MCCHOIR is certainly fulfulilling an unmet need. Making contemporary music accessible to every day Aussies has been a driver of this group since its inception in 2015. Just two years in and the choir now has two campuses and the youth choir - MCYOUTH for teenagers. Our foundation Campus in Macleod also saw an influx of 14 new members this week who got an opportunity to meet with some of our returning members.
One of our new members Sharyn writes “Attended the tryout last night and fell in love with this group of beautiful welcoming, friendly people who really know how to have fun!! Signed up immediately and looking forwad to the ride!!”
As a new member Sharyn will recieve our 2018 music book and access to the accompanying on-line resources including backing tracks and demo vocals of her part to learn at her pace at home before rehearsals.
Sharyn and all new members get a new 2018 editon MCCHOIR water bottle to keep those vocal cords hydrated. And a swish branded lanyard.
Every year at MCCHOIR we run with a theme that speaks to where we are headed as a group and this year we launched our ‘Ready For More’ theme. You’ll notice the #Ready4More hashtag popping up on our socials and it’s also the title of our latest single that the choir will debut at our Spring Concert latter in the year. This year MCCHOIR is ready for more of what brings out our ‘Creative Best’ as singers and performers.
2. Develop Your Creativity
At MCCHOIR we’re really interested in you developing as an artist and getting the most out of life. One of our new members this week was visibly moved as we sang the hit song “This is Me” from the latest blockbuster movie “The Greatest Showman”. It’s such a powerful song and to hear our Carlton and Macleod campuses singing it with such conviction and passion was awe inspiring. I can’t wait until we get both campuses to sing this one - it’s going to raise the roof. The same lady who was moved to tears as we sang, came up to me after the session and thanked me for such an uplifting experience. It never ceases to amaze me the impact of group singing on a person who has never experienced it or who has had a break from it for a while. Our societies and communities were built on this shared experience and it’s something that we need more of for a cohesive culture.
Cathy writes of her experience at MCCHOIR this week
“I was waaaaaaay out of my comfort zone last night attending on my own, the free tryout session at Melbourne Contemporary Choir (MCCHOIR) in Macleod. I nearly wasn't going to go in but, I'm so glad I did. I too signed up last night. Felt like the right fit, like I'm meant to be there. There’s such a wonderful bunch of people in this group. I look forward to getting to know them and looking forward to the experience with like minded people who have a passion for music and to sing while having fun.” 😊. 🎶🎼🎤❤️
3. Create Something Unique and Original
One of the things that sets MCCHOIR apart from other singing groups is that we write, produce and record our own original songs enjoyed by contemporary choirs the world over. 2018 is no exception as we hit the studio this term to record 3 tried and true songs that we performed as part of our reoertoire last year. Our new members are already starting to learn these songs in preparation for our studio recording session in March. We’re definitely placing renewed emphasis on creating new works for the choir with two great tunes already written for this year. I love the line in one of the songs that says “The artist in me will create a sound as we join here in song together resound” That lyric really sums up beautifully the story of MCCHOIR. A group of people from diverse backgrounds, different ages and abilities uniting in a common passion for song.
We are also really excited about our choir for teenagers: MCYOUTH. This ‘New Breed of Choir’ for todays generation is pushing the boundaries of the definition of what a choir is. Led by the phenominally talented Alinta Burnell (www.alintamusic.com.au) this growing group of talented young people are really going places. It’s so inspiring hearing a new generation of singers and performers doing their thing every week and enjoying all the benefits a love of music brings.
If you havn’t already taken the plunge definitely give group singing a shot. A choir like MCCHOIR will provide you with performance opporunities, studio experience and you will meet some great people and built some lasting frienships. If you’re not happy with the status quo and you’re ready for more, register for a free tryout session today at our Carlton or Macleod campus.
One of the ways that Melbourne Contemporary Choir (MCCHOIR) is different from most choirs out there is that we are truley creative and we believe that music needs to be shared - that’s why we write and record our own original songs. Sure we love singing covers of songs from artists and bands like Justin Timberlake, Queen, FRANCES, P!NK and more but our members really resonate with the songs that have been home grown from within the group.
As a creative I love teaming up with other like minded people with similar passions and creating music that touches singers and audiences alike. Way back in 2015, I reached out to a very talented song writer, musician, recording artist and arranger, Jared Haschek who I knew through a family member who played in the band ‘Compliments of Gus’ with Jared. Well the timing was perfect and a collaborative partnership between Jarred and the newly established MCCHOIR began. I guess the reason I was initially interested in collabing with Jared was an album release for ‘The Black and White of It’ which in my opinion is Compliments if Gus’s best album amongst their discography. Here’s a little clip from that album with Jarred on Keys.
Anyway with a new Contemporary Choir to launch I had in mind to work with Jarred, who is also a brilliant pianist to work with the choir and I have learnt so much from this talented musician since that day. It was in the second year of the choir after a very successful sold out debut concert that we started talking about writing together. Being primarily a lyricist myself, I thought that the partnership would be a winning combination. Jared has a way of taking my lyrical ideas and forming contemporary tunes that are catchy, singable and bring out the best in our singers. So the “Time To Shine” project was initiated and our first EP was produced and released. Our choir members really rose to the challenge of learning and refining the pieces to a point where we were ready to hit the studio. Being all original music of course we drew on some of Melbourne’s top musicians to record the music beds for the two tunes. We had masterclasses with the amazingly takented Marty Visser, Music Director at Wantirna College and Creative Director of the CHIME Choir in Melbourne to help us take our singing up a notch. Here’s a lyric video of the title song on that EP “Time to Shine” from that project available on iTunes and Spotify.
We started getting some interest in our music from choirs around the world who wanted to use the songs and so we decided we wanted to make the charts and backing tracks available to choirs who resonated with our music. I love the idea of instant access, so I’ve made all of our charts including piano, SATB, horn charts and lead sheets available on our online shop. Sales from the music go towards helping us produce more original Australian, truley contemporary works. Both of our first original songs are available now for download and your purchase entitles you to unlimited copies of the music for the life of your choir.
Other resources include high quality backing tracks as well as demo tracks of individual SATB parts so you can teach your choir the parts - this is really useful for singers who learn aurally. For those of us who work with live bands we offer the original horn charts (Trumpet, Trombone, Tenor Sax and Alto Sax) as well as individual stems of all instruments recorded on the album. This means you can suppliment your live band or accomopanist with instruments on the recording and muting instruments you are playing live. This gives you huge power to get a very full sound like the recording, but with that ‘live’ feel. Many popular groups and bands use this technology for live performances. All you need is a program like Garage Band, Logic Pro X, Pro Tools or Ableton and your set. This resource is also great for musician who want to rehearse their isolated part at home. Want to replicate that soaring guitar solo by Glenn Cannon? Have a listen to his isolated part and you’ll sound just like him.
Glenn Cannon at our Time To Shine EP Launch
But wait ... there’s more! At MCCHOIR this year our theme is Ready for More #R4M2018. Every year the choir likes to run with a theme which informs our repertoire selection, our focus and our annual Concert Event. “Ready for More” is also the title of a new song that Jared and I have been working on. I’d let you have a listen to the demo, but that will be a members only benefit for the time being. But before that, MCCHOIR has three original tunes we will be recording in 2018 - “Others”, “Watch Me Fly” and “Friends”. Jared and I have been hard at work in the studio, together with our featured artist Rod Davies who will appear in the track “Others”.
Jared Haschek, Jason Simmonds and Rod Davies at The Bass Recording Studios, South Melbourne.
So Jared has been really busy with Phil Threlfall from The Bass Recording Studio comping an amazing 8 piece string section and some highly talented musicians to produce the backing tracks for the next EP. We thought about using synth strings or horns but there’s nothing quite like the rich tones of authentic strings. We are so excited about this new project and can’t wait to hit the studio’s in the early part if the year.
Our 8 piece string section tracking “Others”
But wait ... There’s more. You too can have the opportunity to be a part of this unique and exciting recording project. The choir will be hitting Oaklands Production Studio’s Saturday 17th March 2018
We’re looking for talented contemporary singers (particularly Tenors and Bases) to be part of our Studio Recording Session Event and photo/Video shoot.
Participants will receive a day in a world-class studio, recording 3 original tunes and recieve two physical copies of the EP with your name on the credits, which will be released worldwide.
This informally auditioned opportunity is open to 2018 members and it’s not too late to get on board with our launch dates this year: Jan 29 (Carlton) and FEB 1st (Macleod). Just click on the button below to reserve your spot at the studio recording.
Hope to see you at one of our kick-off sessions in Macleod or Carlton!
The Greatest Showman starring Australia's own Acadamy Award winner Hugh Jackman is a spectacular original musical that celebrates the birth of show bizz. MCCHOIR resonates with the sense of wonder when dreams come to life and our focus on creating a space where singers can realise their creative potential is at the center of everything we do. Our weekly sessions, powerful performances and studio recording experiences help to release the artist that is within each of us.
Jared Haschek and I have been working on an original tune called "The Artist in Me" and picks up on the underlying themes of performance in the movie the greatest showman. The lyric we have penned for this Chorus of this song is so powerful.
"The artist in me will
Create a sound
As we join here in song
Hear our voices unite
We are one,
We are safe and alive
The artist in me."
The chorus speaks of the priority we place on group performance over the individual contributions of any one member. What we can create as a group goes far beyond anything that any one person could achieve on their own. This collaborative approach to singing has seen MCCHOIRs reputation and commercial appeal explode.
At MCCHOIR over the Christmas break we have been overwhelmed with the response to our invitation to check out the choir for a first free tryout session and maybe get involved with our next studio recording, so you won't be alone if you register this year. A lot of the singers that have expressed an interest are people who have had some sort of musical experience, they have sung in a choir at school or they have learned an instrument or sung in a band. They tell us that they are ready to reignite that passion for music and reintroduce song back into their life.
“The Greatest Showman” tells the story of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a mesmerizing spectacle that became a worldwide sensation." MCCHOIR shares a similar humble beginning with a group of people who share a love of song joining together to create some very memorable moments both in a live setting and in the studio.
Just this week, I have been in the studio working with the incredibly talented Rod Davies who works with names like John Farnham, Olivia Newton John and Delta Goodrum. It was such a privilege to produce an original track "Others" that Rod features in with Jared Haschek. Rods command of the studio space, creative edge and ability to deliver take after take of absolute gold was amazing. In the early part of this year the choir will be hitting the studio to lay down the vocals for this and other original tunes written just for the choir. We are planning an EP launch latter in the year and are really excited about releasing more of our original songs to the market.
MCCHOIR may not be a world wide sensation just yet but we are very excited about our 2018 repertoire which is fresh contemporary and a mixture of the types of songs we love singing. One of those songs which is gaining a lot of traction is from the movie #greatestshowman called "This is Me". The choir will learn this pop anthem at our kick-off on MON JAN 29 (Carlton) and THU FEB 1 (Macleod). The great part about the choir is that the music is very accessible, so every day Aussies can pick up the melodies and sing with confidence within the ensemble. We provide our members with guide vocals of every part right from the get go so that singers have everything they need at their fingertips to be the best version of themselves they can be.
The movie is truley spectacular and I'd encourage you to check it out if you haven't already done so. And if you want to discover the performer inside you - get along to one of our MCCHOIR sessions this year an release your full creative potential.
Creative Director MCCHOIR
The MCCHOIR Empire is about to break new ground on our Carlton campus in 2018 which will give busy people who work in and around the city an opportunity to release their creative potential. The new Campus will rehearse at the Kathleen Syme library and Community Centre in Carlton on a Monday night at the earlier time of 6.45PM.
A $15.5 million restoration has transformed the 1870s Kathleen Syme building in into the area’s newest creative, learning and community space. The building is home to some great community activity spaces, Wild Timor Cafe and also equiped with its own recording studio. Behind the stunning Victorian-era facade is a modern welcoming and accessible centre where the choir will be able to connect, learn and create.
Each Monday night during school terms session will run at the earlier time of 6.30PM to catch the after work crowd - 251 Faraday Street, Carlton. Located a short walk from Melbourne University/ Swanston Street tram stop (routes 1, 3, 4, 5, 16 and 72) and the Rathdowne Street/ Elgin Street bus stop (routes 200 and 207) and with ample free off-street parking around, there a plenty of options for getting to our rehearsal venue.
The MCCHOIR Empire will work like a gym membership where membership at one Campus will give you access to all campus rehearsals. You may have a home base where you attend most of your rehearsals but because the same program will be repeated each week at the different Campuses - if you miss a week you can attend at the other location - if you’re really keen and need a bit extra love you can go to both rehearsal all for the same price as a single session.
Members of the new Carlton Campus will also have the opportunity to join the Macleod Campus and MCYOUTH to be involved in our 2018 Studio Recording Sessions. We will be tracking at the beautifully appointed state of the art Oaklands Productions Studio A. This is the main tracking space and is purpose designed for recording large ensembles. The kitchen and lounge areas will make for a fun and relaxing experience and produce a product that is world-class. The studio also has a permanent video lighting set-up, a boom crane jib and green screen for video compositing. This will be great for our music video planned.
The Recording Project is already underway with backing tracks for three original tunes now ready to go. On two of the tunes “Friends" and "Others" we have 24 piece string section. Already the tracks are sounding amazing and we have guest artist Rod Davies coming into the studio shortly who will feature on one of the songs.
At MCCHOIR we’re all about re-connecting people with their Creative Best - in fact MCCHOIR members tell us that they leave rehearsal and events on a "musical high”. All those tired, worn out after work feelings, are soon replaced with fun times and a sense of achievement when we create musical experiences together that are influencing audiences across Melbourne and now around the globe. With all of these great options - MON 6.30PM in Carlton from 2018, THUR 7.30PM in Macleod and THUR 6.30PM for teenagers interested in MCYOUTH, there’s never been a better time to claim your first free try-out session with MCC and check out the choir behind the scenes. We’re so sure that you’ll just love it, meeting new friendly people who will actually talk to you and involve you in their conversation. People who share a passion for singing and have formed such a great bond. From day one we have always welcomed new members at any time throughout the year and I think this is key to the culture we have nurtured. There are no exclusive groups - you’ll find a place to belong and people that genuinely care about you as a person outside of rehearsal time. If you want to know more about what to expect at a first session with MCCHOIR check out our frequently asked question page.
Just this week some of our members participated in the MCG Boxing Day Cricket match as part of the Barbie Army, a collaboration between sporting satirist Denis Carnahan, Mastercard and Cricket Australia. It was heaps of fun joining with competition winners, cheering on the Australian Cricketers. This is just one of the many opportunities open to our members. Free tickets to the Cricket on both days, Prepaid Mastercard vouchers for food and fun times - what more could you ask for?
As a member of MCCHOIR there are many benefits apart from the social and emotional benefits that group singing brings. Our singers do not need to auditions, at your first rehearsal you’ll be buddied up with someone who sings your part and if your not sure what part you should sing we’ll help you there too. You’ll get access to our members only Facebook page to keep up with all the latest internal happenings of the choir and keep you informed as to what’s coming up. You’ll also be given access to the members only resource page - this is a brilliant resource for members to help them learn songs at home before rehearsal and to lock in songs to their memory as they become part of the repertoire of the choir. Each part is individually highlighted so you can listen and follow along with the music or lyric sheets to learn the songs. Most of our music is split into three or four parts and printed music generally has your part on one line and works from the start of the music to the end with no jumping back and forth through the music. You’ll also be able to hear the backing tracks with no vocals and the mix of all the parts so you can practice singing your part in the context of other parts. Then there’s the studio sessions of original tunes, music video production, live events like Run Melbourne, MCG Cricket Event and Manningham Carols by Candlelight. We also have one or two performances that we put on as a choir which are always sold-out, high energy, electrifying experiences for the choir and audience alike.
Our last recording project "Time 2 Shine" has already picked up a lot of interest from other choirs who want to perform our original music. Our original tunes are fresh, contemporary, uplifting and have a real story that people can relate to. The arrangements are beautifully constructed by Jared Haschek who is a founding collaborator with the choir and musical director at our live events. He has also orchestrated all of the musical charts including string and horn section which will all be available on this new project for other contemporary choirs. We are also going to make available the individual stems and loops for the backing tracks so that you can get the same vibe as the album when your choir or ensemble performs the songs and drop out the individual tracks where you have a live player. For example a choir with an accompanist can play along with the studio track minus the piano part for a live feel but with the atmosphere of a live recording.
MCCHOIR is truly Melbourne’s Choir of Choice. Maybe you’ve sung in a choir before at school or done back up vocals in a band and found that life got in the way of your creative side. I see this all the time - people have kids, careers and the business of life squeezes out their creative selves. For me personally - singing and creating music is intrinsically who I am and brings me such joy - I would never substitute it for anything. It’s always been my philosophy that a musical outlet, reduces stress, gets the feel-good hormones pumping and means that I function better as a person. That small investment of time in me, means that I function better the rest of the time. A stressed out tense Jason is of no use to anyone, but give me some music in my week and I’m a happy camper. My mum loves to tell the story of how much pleasure it bought her to hear me playing the family piano in the morning before school. I have always and will always love music, as a listener, audience member, performer or part of MCCHOIR - I decided a long time ago that it’s too important for me as a person to loose.
If you're ready to give yourself some time to nurture your creative best contact us at MCCHOIR for a free tryout session at our Macleod or Carlton campus and see what a difference music can make to your week.
Melbourne Contemporary Choir
MCCHOIR may be in recess for the Spring School Holidays but it's all systems go on the back of our very successful live concert to a packed audience - it was a spectacular show featuring some great music. Some of our guests made a point of mentioning that our soloists from the choir were exceptional and without sounding biased, I think our soloists this year really raised the bar in terms of musical performance and their stage presence.
The show was recorded in multitrack digital and is now in the hands of producer Jared Haschek and Mix Engineer Phil Threlfall from the Base Recording Studio, South Melbourne - to mix down our first ever live album of popular songs and original tunes entitled "Watch me Fly". You're just going to be thrilled to re-live all the magic of that electrifying event including three original songs. One showstopper was the inspired new song by Jared, Jason and Melody entitled "Others" featuring the ridiculously talented Rod Davies.
The Base Recording Studios, Melbourne, Australia
Look out for the album expected to be released later this year in time for Christmas featuring songs made popular by artists like Justin Timberlake, Michael Jackson, FRANCES, Cold Play and Survivor to name a few.
Speaking of Christmas, MCCHOIR is delighted to be invited back by the City of Manningham to perform at the annual Carols by Candelight again this year at Ruffey Park Friday Dec 15, 6-10PM. Last year was an amazing experience - performing in front of 10,000 carolers. This year is set to be bigger and better with new repertoire as well as some old favourites. It was a joy working with Musical Director Michael Thompson and the band last year and the choir is really looking forward to seeing the year out with a bang (literally - the fireworks are amazing).
MCCHOIR will celebrate the festive season at Manningham Carols by Candlelight with traditional carols and musical entertainment for the whole family. You can enjoy this family festival with free children’s activities, stage entertainment with a special visit from Santa and the grand finale fireworks display.
The MCC can offer you one better however - as you can experience all of the festive celebrations right on the stage as part of the MCCHRISTMASCHOIR!
Just click on the Elf Panda below to register your interest in joining the Christmas choir and join in all of the festive celebrations from this very unique viewpoint.
elf PANDA i want a first free mcchristmaschoir session
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