Choir summoning up song
IT was more than beer that flowed at a packed Beechworth pub last week as around 80 harmonious voices sang under the lead of a talented vocalist and the strums of a guitar.
The Empire Hotel’s second pub choir drew people from around the Indigo Shire and beyond and was led by well-known local singer, songwriter and guitarist Marissa Quigley.
The first gathering was held last month after hotel operations manager Scott Daintry said he was struck with the idea after seeing a social media post about a pub choir that began in Brisbane last year.
“For me it’s about creating something that’s going to bring people together in a pub who wouldn’t come together otherwise,” Mr Daintry said.
With much fun and laughter on the night, the crowd mastered a three-part harmony to the song ‘Drift Away’ written by American producer-songwriter Mentor Williams that became singer Dobie Gray’s biggest hit in 1973.
Beechworth’s Libby Day who has sung in choirs and the chorus of musicals all her life, said she put her hand up to help and support the event.
“I love the fact that this is embracing, inclusive and brings so much joy to people in the room,” Ms Day said.
She said years ago people would stand around the piano and sing, with many communities in countries around the world singing as part of their culture.
“The pub choir is a lovely community for people from all walks of life,” she said.
Bowman Forest’s Margery Wiltshire said she enjoyed being part of such an enthusiastic crowd.
“I like singing and will keep coming as it’s friendly and a lot of fun.”
The Brisbane pub choir movement started by the city’s Astrid Jorgensen and friends last year attracted 80 people and now has a massive following of about 500.
Ms Quigley said the next pub choir at the Empire Hotel will be held on the September 13 from 6.30pm for a 7pm start.
IN HARMONY: (from left) Beechworth’s Chris Calthorpe, Debbie Tully, Bron Cunnington and Stanley’s Terri Stanfield were among those at the Empire Hotel’s second pub choir held last week.