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Ice Buckets, Moustaches... and Choir Singing?



Leading Australian charity calls for people to impact local communities through singing

Melbourne, Australia - Leading Australian social innovation and charity, Creativity Australia, is calling for Australians to look beyond ice-buckets and moustaches and discover a more creative way to impact their local communities through singing.

Creativity Australia’s network of 15 With One Voice social inclusion choirs operate across three states and enables diverse local people to connect and unleash their creative potential; empowering individuals and creating supportive communities through song.

Creativity Australia Founder and Chair Tania de Jong AM said that the while the Ice Bucket Challenge and Movember are amazing fundraising initiatives it's important to develop programs that people from all walks of life can participate in as a community, such as Creativity Australia’s weekly social inclusion choirs and national community singing project Sing for Spring.

“There are so many amazing not-for-profit programs driving awareness and engagement in the community. But we have a responsibility as fundraisers and community members to develop interwoven connections between donors, the community, the cause, and those in need,” de Jong said

With One Voice programs are not your average choirs. Our groups unite and inspire people of all ages and from all walks of life. Singing together helps us beat stress, mental illness, loneliness and isolation, unemployment, cultural tension, homelessness and more,” de Jong added.

INTERNATIONAL PILOT PROGRAMS & LOCAL CAPACITY BUILDING

The With One Voice program continues to scale new heights with requests for new choirs flooding in from around Australia, and pilot programs in The Netherlands and the United States. A distribution model and ‘how-to’ guide are now under development to enable new With One Voice choirs to be launched and managed locally.

The capacity-building model will support local communities and provide resources, conductor development, promotion and more for local groups. This will allow Creativity Australia and the With One Voice program to drive forward with its goal to reinvigorate a global culture of singing.

SINGING AND NEUROSCIENCE

The cornerstone of the With One Voice program is the neuroscience of singing. International research is proving that singing, especially as a group, connects the neural pathways in the brain differently and releases endorphins, making people healthier, happier, smarter and more creative.

Creativity Australia iscurrently running an exciting initiative called Sing for Spring to demonstrate the wide-ranging benefits of group singing. The project encourages people from all walks of life to gather a group and sing a song, to not only raise awareness of the impact that singing can have on the human psyche, but to upload a recording of their video for a national people’s choice award competition.

“National community singing project Sing for Spring celebrates the impact singing in a group can have on our brains, hearts and minds. Funds raised will support the future of With One Voice, a program that helps people in need find their voice, new skills, networks, jobs and happiness,” de Jong added.

Find out more about How Singing Together Changes The Brain in Tania de Jong AM’s TEDx Talk here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_HOBr8H9EM

NEIGHBOURS STAR ALAN FLETCHER JOINS THE PROGRAM 

Ten Network’s Neighbours star, Alan Fletcher (Dr Karl Kennedy) joined the Sing for Spring project by submitting his entry with The Pacific Belles and the talented children and parents of the Ukulele Family Orchestra (U.F.O.).

“Singing and performing music communally remains one of life’s greatest joys. Raising our voices together is an uplifting experience that enriches and improves our minds and spirits. Our contribution to Sing for Spring celebrates the wonderful commitment the Uke Group has to bring the joy of music to their community. The divine Pacific Belles and I have had a ball working with them,” said Fletcher.

MARTY RHONE SUPPORTS THE PROGRAM AS AMBASSADOR 

Marty Rhone, internationally-acclaimed actor/singer, star of Australia’s ‘The King & I’, and ‘Sing for Spring’ Ambassador, said that music is the universal language.

“It [music] crosses all boundaries and is an ambassador of goodwill. Singing is at the heart and soul of music. It inspires, it uplifts. To be part of something that provides so much positive karma can only bring great enjoyment and encouragement to all who participate.”

National community singing project ‘Sing for Spring’ is part of Creativity Australia’s vision to deliver inclusive, creative programs that result in positive social and economic outcomes for individuals, organisations, and communities. Former Victorian Premier, Ted Baillieu, supports this project and will announce the winners at the With One BIG Voice gala concert at Melbourne Town Hall on 12 October 2014.

The concert will feature songs and stories from 400 diverse voices from 13 choirs and popular numbers such as Pharrell Williams’ Happy, Let It Go from Frozen and favourites from Queen, ABBA, The Carpenters and more.

For more information about the concert and online bookings visit www.creativityaustralia.org.au/wobv

Sing for Spring entries will also be broadcast on the big screen at Federation Square from 1.30pm on 4 October.

You can find out more on the With One Voice program at www.creativityaustralia.org.au and more on the Sing for Spring initiative atwww.singforspring.com

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About the With One Voice program

The With One Voice program was recently named one of Australia’s top social innovations for the second year in a row. The program aims to empower individuals and build supportive communities through the joy of song across Australia. The program operates across three states in Australia, with pilot programs in Arizona (USA) and Holland. With One Voice employs professional conductors and has over 50 volunteers. Through ‘The Wish List’, participants grant fellow choir members wishes from mentoring and work experience to free music lessons. With One Voice has been operating for five years. All donations are fully tax-deductible.

Join your local choir: http://www.creativityaustralia.org.au/join/join-a-choir/

About Creativity Australia www.creativityaustralia.org.au

Creativity Australia is a not-for-profit charity and social enterprise founded in 2008 by Tania de Jong AM. Creativity Australia’s flagship initiative is With One Voice - a social inclusion program involving 600 participants across 15 locations. Every week, With One Voice choirs inspire people from 40 nationalities, aged 9 to 90, to sing side-by-side. Age, race, language, religion, disability and disadvantage fade away. Everyone is welcome. Creativity Australia advocates creativity as a means to effect transformational change and enhance individual and community wellbeing.