Choir works its magic

North Coast Weekender - - News - Tyler Brown

PADBURY’S Tina Smith first saw the Spirit of the Streets Choir at Wan­neroo Cen­tral shop­ping cen­tre five years ago.

“They sang some lovely songs and I was smit­ten; they made me happy and I de­cided I would join them,” she said.

For the past two years, Mrs Smith has been part of the WA choir that aims to im­prove lives and break down so­cial bar­ri­ers.

“It’s a most un­usual choir, with mem­bers from 35 years of age to 85 years,” she said.

“Ev­ery­one is wel­come and we sup­port each other.

“Our in­di­vid­ual dif­fer­ences dis­ap­pear when we start to sing; it’s like magic.”

She said the choir was “very ther­a­peu­tic”.

“It has helped me with dif­fer­ent things in my life,” she said.

“I lost my hus­band and I was very sad. Some days I’d think ‘I can’t get out of bed’ but then I’d think ‘hang on, it’s choir day, I’ve got to go’.

“I’ve been in choirs all my life but this is unique.”

Fel­low cho­ris­ter Lor­raine Frendin, of Marangaroo, has been a mem­ber for al­most six years.

“Just be­fore I re­tired, I thought I had bet­ter plan some­thing to do,” she said.

“I suf­fer from anx­i­ety and de­pres­sion and thought I could go down the slip­pery slope if I don’t have an in­ter­est.

“I saw the Spirit of the Streets Choir on TV and thought that would be some­thing I’d like to do and I’ve been with them ever since.”

She agreed with Mrs Smith’s sentiments of it be­ing a “unique choir”.

“Most peo­ple have had chal­lenges in their lives in one way or an­other,” she said.

“We ac­cept any­body, you don’t have to au­di­tion. We just ask that you come in fun and friend­ship. For peo­ple with men­tal health is­sues, dis­abil­ity, un­em­ploy­ment, they find the sup­port re­ally pos­i­tive.”

This year, the choir cel­e­brates its 10th an­niver­sary, go­ing from a hand­ful of mem­bers in 2007 to now hav­ing 85 voices. To mark the oc­ca­sion, the choir will kick off Sing for Health Week (May 6-13) with a spe­cial per­for­mance at Perth Con­cert Hall from 3pm on Satur­day, May 6.

Also tak­ing part is the Bu­rundi Peace Band, Harry’s Anony­mous, Starlight Ho­tel and WA Deaf Arts, with the en­tire con­cert be­ing in­ter­preted in Aus­lan.

Tick­ets from www.perth­con­certhall.com.au or call 9231 9999.

Spirit of the Streets Choir re­hearses Tues­days 2-3.30pm at St Al­ban’s Angli­can Church in High­gate. Visit www.spir­itofthestreetschoir.org.au.

Pic­ture: Martin Ken­nealey www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d468365

Lor­raine Frendin and Tina Smith, from Spirit of the Streets Choir.

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