Canberra’s Alchemy Chorus sings with Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley
Linda Hurley, wife of Governor General David Hurley, recently joined dementia-inclusive community choir, Alchemy Chorus Canberra, as special guest at one of their Thursday morning choir sessions.
Mrs Hurley sang with the choir, stepped in as conductor and was a great reminder the gift of music can be shared each and every day.
Alchemy Chorus Canberra is a community choir that welcomes people living with dementia who, along with a relative or close friend, contribute to and benefit from group singing and performances.
Alchemy Chorus recognises the well documented fact that musical ability is one of the last to be lost to dementia.
Choir founder and conductor Brian Triglone said Alchemy Chorus was a place without prejudice, where those living with dementia and their partners were welcomed among supportive friends to have fun, share stories and concerns and to experience the joys and benefits of community singing.
“Some voices may be golden from a lifetime of singing, some are finding their voice again and others are new to singing but no matter where members are in their singing journey, all types of voices are welcome at Alchemy Chorus,” Brian said.
COVID-19 hasn’t stopped the choir either, with Alchemy stepping into the Zoom world.
Alchemy is very new to this medium and has held three online sessions during this year's lockdown. While Zoom does not lend itself easily to sharing music, it has been welcomed as a way of bringing members together to chat and have a few laughs, providing valuable social connection at a time when loneliness and isolation are very real for many.
But the Zoom sessions haven’t been just for chatting. A few daring choir members have sung live without accompaniment, and others have sung along with video files.
The online format is not without its challenges. A certain level of technological skill is required within the chorus, and occasionally connection issues can be a disruption.
Nonetheless, the ability to use the video conferencing technology has been a plus for the group at this time. Alchemy celebrated its fifth birthday in October and hosted a get-together on Zoom.
Throughout the year the group hosts performances, concerts and welcomes special guests to their weekly sessions.
Alchemy Chorus Canberra was proud to become a Dementia-Friendly Community inclusive group in 2018 and continues to welcome new members to share the benefits of music.
For more information about Alchemy Chorus or starting one in your community, visit https://alchemychorus.com/ or talk with Trish Cran, Alchemy Chorus’ Publicity and Development officer on 0438 422 737.
Are you interested in what this could look like in your community?
The first step is to become a Dementia Friend. Find out more at dementiafriendly.org.au or call our National Dementia Helpline 1800 100 500.