Join the Sydney Street Choir

Anyone who has experienced disadvantage through homelessness, disability, illness or addiction is welcome and new members bring new life to the Choir community.
You don’t need to be able to sing to join this Choir, there are no auditions, and you don’t need any special experience.

Join in at a Choir rehearsal to become a member of the Choir. You’ll be welcomed with open arms (the Choir loves new members!).

Below are some of the key things to keep in mind if you are thinking of joining the Choir.

Health and Social Benefits

According to a recent study in the USA, belonging to a community choir can help you be more successful in your life and work, helping others, becoming involved in the community and learning how to work in a team environment. To download the full report, click on the website link below.

https://www.chorusamerica.org/publications/research-reports/chorus-impact-study

People who are marginalised through their circumstances benefit from joining a supportive community.  Here is some feedback on how the Sydney Street Choir programme has helped residents of a Marrickville Boarding House in Sydney.

..In April last year Boarding House Residents started jamming with the Sydney Street Choir once a week. Weekly choir rehearsals are a highlight and something that these residents look forward to… “this is better than having a party!”.. “this is the best hobby I’ve ever found in my life!”..

Three residents have gone out and purchased guitars to keep the music going in their own back yards. Some residents who barely talked are now singing whole songs solo in the rehearsals!

The opportunity to be ‘heard’ and also ‘valued’ for their input doesn’t come to our folk much, so this is a tremendous new experience for them – and the benefits of it extend into so many areas of their life. Their esteem and confidence have improved so much that we have seen complete transformations in some of our clients. People who have been fairly quiet or introverted, or those reliant on highly structured routines and schedules, or those with the compulsion to always be active, to always be talking are ALL OF THEM learning to become more adventurous, more flexible and more open to silence and stillness. They are learning to LISTEN to each other and to themselves. They are becoming more actively involved in the creation of their own lives and they love it! It’s a pleasure to watch and a privilege to be involved with.
(Leigh Connell & Jodie Catherine, Marrickville Boarding House Project Managers at Newtown Neighbourhood Centre)

Attendance

For many members, managing their time and finances to allow them to get to rehearsals and gigs every week is a major goal that they are striving toward.
Choir members who do attend 80% of all rehearsals and gigs are known as Core Choir members and from time to time those members are given special rewards for their attendance as an incentive to keep coming often.

Rules

New Choir members sign a Code of Conduct where you agree to:

Respect and care for yourself by keeping tidy, maintaining good health

Respect and care for other Choir members, staff and volunteers by not being rude or aggressive

Have Fun and join in whenever possible to be the best you can be, acting with pride and dignity

Be on time to all rehearsals, performances and events

Be clean and sober at all times

Care for each other with kindness and good will

Respect personal space and privacy of others

Respect other’s rights to personal space and privacy

Talk to the Choir Director before talking to any media about the Choir

Conducting myself with pride and dignity at all times

Adhering to the rules

Avoid bring disrepute to the Choir
Talking to a staff member if an issue comes up at a rehearsal or gig with another member
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What Current Members have to say

Alan: "I am in recovery from mental & spiritual health problems. The choir has really helped as my only creative outlet. I can now say I can sing well, and my self-image and esteem has been lifted. It brings me friendship and joy, and I love spreading that joy."
Jane: The Choir is essential to my life. Having just come out of hospital, it's helping me maintain stability, get back into a normal routine and live a normal, happy life. I'd die without the Choir.
Alyks: I came to Choir because I love singing, and there's something really good about being in the middle of a lot of other voices. I like the freedom of having my own voice, and not having to sound a particular way. Singing gives me a chance to let go of stress, and it makes me happier.
Sandra: I'm meeting some nice new people, and enjoying their company, and it's really good, it's helping me to cope with some issues I've had to deal with in my life. I'm very grateful that I have some opportunities coming my way.
Kelvin: "I have been in the choir since 2001. I am a kiss fan as well as a Grand Prix fan. I love being a star."
Charles: "In 2002 I found out about the Sydney Street Choir in the Big Issue Australia magazine. I wanted to learn more about singing and developing as a singer. I feel really great singing with the other choir members. I have lived on the streets for twelve years. I am stolen generation and was taken at 3 years old."

For many members, managing their time and finances to allow them to get to rehearsals and gigs every week is a major goal that they are striving toward.

Choir members who do attend 80% of all rehearsals and gigs are known as Core Choir members and from time to time those members are given special rewards for their attendance as an incentive to keep coming often.