Choir sum­mon­ing up song

Ovens & Murray Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - By CO­RAL COOK­SLEY

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.

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