Ten years on from the award winning television series that captured the hearts of a nation, the Choir of Hard Knocks is once again set to take centre stage in the Australian psyche as the inspiration for a new generation of community choirs.
Founding artistic director, Dr Jonathon Welch AM, says this is a fantastic step for the Choir, and is looking forward to showcasing the profound effect the Choir has had on its members at the Hamer Hall Melbourne gala performance this week, which follows on from the recent performance at the Sydney Opera House,
“It is well documented through scientific research that music brings about extraordinary physical and psychological changes in our body and brain, not to mention the spiritual, social and emotional benefits that are experienced with participation in group arts and cultural activities. The Choir is about this, and so much more,” says Welch.
“Over the last ten years we have rehearsed and performed week in, week out, with all our members drawing so much hope and inspiration from their involvement, and many finding the choir the catalyst they needed to begin the process of rebuilding their lives. Our plan, in many ways, is to spread the love.”
The Choir of Hard Knocks has inspired an international movement of hundreds of street choirs along with formal research that is inspiring people to return to looking at singing and music making as a way of building positive physical and mental wellbeing and promoting supportive inclusive communities.
“Having been the original springboard for so many street choirs around the world, the Choir of Hard Knocks will be helping to bring together, work with and mentor a number of community choirs for marginalised and disadvantaged people from all around the country,” says Welch.
As part of the 10th anniversary celebrations the Choir of Hard Knocks will perform at Melbourne’s Hamer Hall on Sunday 14 August 2016. Laugh, sing along and be inspired by their joyous music making under the direction of Dr Jonathon Welch AM and special guests, David Hobson, Deborah Cheetham AO, Bruce Woodley AO, Mark Holden and Danielle Matthews, and the School of Hard Knocks ‘Absolutely Everybody’ 250-voice massed choir.
The Hope and Inspiration Concert will celebrate the musical achievements and personal journey of many of the choir members, and will include original new material alongside their signature song, Leonard Cohen’s masterpiece Hallelujah.
“This really is a special way to celebrate our tenth anniversary,” says Welch. “The Choir of Hard Knocks has achieved so much, both in the limelight and away from it since 2006, and this is our way of giving back. Whenever the Choir takes to the stage, you can literally feel the love, and it is such a powerful force.”
“If we can use that force to develop other choirs, to provide a continuing source of hope and inspiration for homeless and marginalised Australians, it could well be our crowning achievement.”
Choir of Hard Knocks 10th Anniversary Hope and Inspiration Concert
Hamer Hall – Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St. Kilda Road, Melbourne
Performance: Sunday 14 August 2016 – 3.00pm
Bookings: 1300 182 183 or online at: www.artscentremelbourne.com.au
For more information, visit: www.hopeandinspirationtour.com for details.
Image: The Choir of Hard Knocks (supplied)