“There is a lot to be said for being part of a chorus of 60 or more folk from all walks of life who just love to sing.” Rodney Smith is one of the inspired members of Geelong’s With One Voice (WOV) Community Choir. Watch them perform at the Humans in Geelong Expo on Sunday 6th Oct at 11am Deakin Waterfront.
“Inspiration was natural for me. I was a member of a choir in my previous home in the USA. I moved back home to Australia after suffering 4 debilitating strokes. Not only was choir something I wanted to get back to, but it has been shown to be pivotal in brain development/recovery giving me a double incentive to get back into singing.”
Rodney, along with three others who were formally part of the Stroke-a-Note Choir, joined WOV last year.
“I soon found out about With One Voice Geelong and attended a rehearsal. WOV is an all-abilities community choir, so I figured that the shortcomings I had due to the strokes should be OK there. Such was the magic of the conductor/accompanist Kym Dillon, and his ability to make everyone feel comfortable that I did not feel out of place at all.”
WOV Choir is perfect for anyone who wants to sing, but has added benefits for Rodney.
“For me, singing has meant that I can speak with confidence and project my voice when necessary. I have been very fortunate to recover much of my cognitive ability and my ability to organise my thinking process. It is hard to know how big a part music has had in this recovery, but improvement continues, and so does singing.”
The Choir have regular ‘gigs’ scheduled throughout the year, however, while it’s not compulsory, performance is encouraged.
Rodney had the privilege of attending the 10 year celebration of WOV and Creativity Australia at the Melbourne Town Hall.
“This gave me a sense for just how diverse the WOV movement is and just how many people with all sorts of disabilities are brought together by their mutual love for singing.”
“The important thing to remember about WOV is that all a person needs is to love to sing. They do not have to be good at it (choral work is very forgiving on that front) and any contribution is welcomed as part of the diversity which makes us all human. ”
For more information contact With One Voice Community Choir
ph: 03 8679 6088
Watch them perform at the Humans in Geelong Expo on Sunday 6th Oct. They’ll be on the stage in the courtyard at 11am, Deakin Waterfront. More info. on our website.
Story and photo: Sarah Treacy