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Singing group to help town forget

Sing Australia Emerald may be making a comeback in the community.
Sing Australia Emerald may be making a comeback in the community.

EMERALD residents have been invited to warm up their vocal chords as Sing Australia’s national director Colin Slater makes a visit to the town next week.

With the aim to revive the Sing Australia Emerald group, Mr Slater will be holding a workshop on Wednesday night to help reconnect the community after the January floods.

Sing Australia first came to Emerald in 2008, following severe flooding and drought to offer friendship, support and an overall good time.

Mr Slater said the group had made a valuable contribution to the community over the past two years and was looking forward to bringing it back to Emerald.

Former leader and conductor of the Emerald group, Sue Wood, said she would love to see Sing Australia Emerald get back up and running.

“People had a lot of fun, made new friends and benefited from the social connection of the group,” Mrs Wood said.

“It’s just a really invigorating experience.”

And the best thing about Sing Australia groups is there are no auditions, no pressure, and they are open to all age groups and musical levels.

Mrs Wood said Sing Australia first came to Emerald in flood-recovery mode and helped people to forget about other aspects of their lives.

“Singing is a tool which we use to help us in harsh circumstances,” she said.

“I really would encourage everyone to take part in the group.”

The group stopped meeting last year after Mrs Wood left Emerald to live in Yeppoon.

“I knew it was only a matter of time before the group was resurrected,” Mrs Wood said.

Sing Australia was devastated with the loss of their Emerald leader and conductor, but Mr Slater said he was certain there would be someone who could take on Mrs Wood’s role.

“I am sure there are people in this vibrant community that can either take on the leadership or conduct or accompany us on the piano,” Mr Slater said.

“It would be a great pity to see it fold for lack of someone to take over the reins.”

Sing Australia assistant director Margaret Nicolson said the groups provided a great alternative to traditional choirs.

“It’s a more relaxed kind of a way to get together and have some fun,” Mrs Nicolson said.

“Because Emerald is pretty isolated, it’s a way to connect with other people and forget about some of the things the town has been through recently.”

Mrs Nicolson said Sing Australia was looking forward to getting a lot more people involved in the Emerald group this year.

With active Sing Australia groups within hours of Emerald, in Barcaldine, Blackall, Rockhampton and Biloela, Mr Slater said there were also plans to hold major gatherings in Emerald that would attract members from all around Australia.

“Gatherings are fun and they develop important connections in other towns,” he said.

“They also bring significant economic benefits.”

All are invited to join Colin Slater’s workshop on Wednesday at the Emerald Town Hall supper room from 7.30pm to 9.30pm. Entry is $10.


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