Last Thursday the Melbourne Contemporary Choir met at the "Last Match Recordings" Studio in Richmond to record two original tunes co-written by Jason Simmonds (MCCHOIR Founder & Creative Director) and a very talented Melbourne musician, Jared Hascheck.
It was pretty tricky finding a studio space that could accommodate the choir which has grown to nearly 50 members this year - it's really been like a brand new choir with so many members joining recently. We love to see new faces added to the MCCHOIR family and they are sounding pretty hot!
There was such a buzz of anticipation as members started arriving and getting plugged in with their headphones - for some this was the first time they had done anything like this and everyone did remarkably well. The room was pretty warm as we had to turn off the fans to reduce the noise but we managed to fit is some breaks for a cool drink and a bite to eat.
One of our members wrote about the evening:
"Last night we recorded an EP of original songs co-written by our conductor. It was a blast! But here-in lies the community-choir angle- during a short break, just after 9pm in a stifling hot recording studio, a few of us sat down, or rather, laid down. Another few took arty photos, still others went outside for fresh air and star gazing; There was much laughter, occasional grooving and we drank from plastic cups."
A line from one of the songs we recorded says:
"Find the gold within the heart next door, to bring out each other's best"
There was much prospecting happening this night with "many voices exploring creativity and making music together" we truly did bring out the best in each other.
A recent report on the abc's Catalyst program gave some remarkable insight into the power of music to link memories, emotions, a sense of community and human movement. Even people suffering from debilitating Alzheimer's disease were able to regain fluid movement and dance for the first time in many years when they heard a piece of music. Others with Dimentia were able to hold intelligent conversations after listening to their favourite music. I was reminded too that the human race is the only species which is able to hear the beat and pulse of a piece of music even when a strict beat is not evident in the music. It seems that music is the "soundtrack of life" and unlocks hidden memories in those who appear to hold no hope of cognitive function.
For us at Melbourne Contemporary Choir - we love the buzz we get after a rehearsal together and the social interaction and sense of community that's fostered in the group. Scientific studies have demonstrated a direct link between the production of feel good hormones following group singing and you just have to spend some time at MCCHOIR to feel how great sharing an experience like singing together is.
Some of our members have pretty hectic lives and I often hear from people after a long days work how energised and positive they feel after our weekly rehearsal. That small investment in time brings so much joy and has added benefits to overall wellbeing and wholeness that we are just starting to realise.
I'd encourage you to check out MCCHOIR for yourself one Thursday night from 7.30PM at the Macleod Community Hall. Of course you're first rehearsal is complimentary and is a great way to suss out the choir behind the scenes and join in the fun. Register your interest here.
Finally from our family to yours we want to wish you a safe and enjoyable Easter Break and hope to see you at one of our rehearsals real soon.
Photography Anna Kemp
Melbourne Contemporary Choir
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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