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
Jason or (Jase) as he likes to be called is Founder & Creative Director of Melbourne Contemporary Choir (MCCHOIR) and is a passionate musician who wants to bring his love for music to a broader audience.
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