Sing Australia at its very best
The National Gathering in Canberra on 6,7 & 8 October was a first-rate exhibition of Sing Australia at its very best. It was a massive credit to all involved. It hasn’t been all that long since the big COVID lockdowns and let’s face it, the virus is still around. Sing Australia was on show in Canberra to let everyone know that we had come through the challenges in flying colours and that we are well and truly open for business. Our business is to show the world that singing is indeed for everyone. It is about connection, inclusion, fun and it’s about tapping into the great social and health benefits of singing. The songs we sing largely celebrate life in all its complexities, joys and sorrows. They are not overly complicated. Everyone can sing them. We try to reach out to our listening audience to become involved. For some of our activities they are more ‘in house’ only and are about celebrating as a network and enjoying the friendships we have made around the country. In that sense our National Gatherings can be very much a reunion for many members. We had 53 of our 72 groups represented at the Gathering with 530 participants all up. This was a remarkable show of support for the organisation. Our public display at the Gathering was a magnificent performance at Stage 88 in Commonwealth Park where we sang a range of songs that we felt would be well known by the public. To add to our sense of fun and to the theme of Floriade ‘Floral wonderland’, each of our members made a flower mask to hold up in front of their face at various times or wave them above their heads. It was spectacular. I will be amazed if Floriade don’t use a photograph of that for their 2024 Floriade. We had two other big singing events – Our opening night in the Royal Theatre of the National Convention Centre and our closing event at the Playhouse Theatre of the Canberra Theatre Centre. The singing at these events was nothing short of inspirational. It was super wonderful to have all the various conductors and accompanists, who registered for the Gathering, to lead the singing on the opening night. So special. It was also so good to have Gian Slater, Christopher Hale, Nathan Slater and Tamra McDonald lead the music on the Sunday morning. Many participants at the Gathering would have followed Gian on our Facebook weekly programs through COVID. It was great having Tamra playing all the songs for Floriade as well. It was encouraging to see a good many ‘blokes’ at the Gathering. Their voices always add enormous depth to the sound. Mind you we could always do with more men. All men can sing – and sing well. it’s just a pity that they don’t seem to appreciate the importance of it for their well -being and for positive social contact. We can but persevere. We have amazing male role models in Sing Australia that’s for sure.
As I said Sing Australia could not have shown more successfully at the National Gathering how singing can be so important for us all. We were at our best. Congratulations everyone.
Anyone reading this who would like to be a part of our adventure please check out the nearest group and try it out. Colin Slater OAM CF, Founder and National Director.