When Nowra’s Food of Love community choir held its first rehearsal on a chilly Monday night in 1998, musical director Joy Sharpe never dreamed the choir would still be singing strong twenty years later.
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From those first tentative voices, the choir has become a fixture in the Shoalhaven, singing at community events, fundraisers and festivals.
Some 800 rehearsals later, Food of Love has recorded two CDs, and made two videos including a recording of the National Anthem that is played before Shoalhaven council meetings.
Ms Sharpe said she wanted to start a choir that was accessible to anyone, regardless of musical experience.
“I wanted to create a group that welcomed people who wanted to sing, even if they had been discouraged from singing by teachers or family members in the past,” she said.
“I try to choose songs that can easily translate into harmony and have an uplifting theme drawing from different traditions.”
Original members of the choir are Margaret Perkins and Julie Magee who have been there from the start, and there are many more who have attended for more than 10 years. The choir also collaborates with local accompanists Jessie Irvine and Julie Emery-Sexton.
“Our rehearsals always include time for a chat and a laugh,” Ms Sharpe said.
To celebrate this anniversary Food of Love will hold a concert, “Thank You For the Music,” in the Meroo Union Church on Saturday 22 September at 2pm.
“Meroo Union Church is one of our local treasures,” Ms Sharpe said. “High on a hill in Boxsells Lane this small church has a perfect acoustic for the voice.”
The concert will showcase a variety of songs from the choir, with performances by guests, soprano Sarah Turvey and Trilogy.
Entry is $10 and proceeds will go to drought relief and to the upkeep of the church.
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