By Kendrea Rhodes
Singing makes you happy; and singing for 90 minutes makes you even happier! But singing aloud — with others — is pure bliss. It used to be part of what we did. A big part of life before TV and technology; a big part of social, church and school life. Singing is still very important in many cultures and The Sing Sessions are here to claim back some of that magical feeling.
Almost seventy people joined in the fun of the inaugural Sing Sessions Pub Choir at the Uraidla Hotel in August. It proved so popular that even more turned up in September. The Sing Sessions are monthly events run by Stirling vocal coach, Jennifer DeGrassi who stated, unequivocally: ‘It doesn’t matter if you think you can’t sing — in a group it finds a natural level. It’s more about community and fun.’
Jennifer runs the 90-minute sessions with an eye to creating an experience and a special glow for everyone. She said that singing is therapeutic, resulting in a release of the natural happiness chemicals in your brain. This is one of those moments where the act of creating has greater benefit than the result. Although, after watching the final performances on the Uraidla Hotel’s Facebook page, it’s astounding that within 90 minutes, a group of strangers could be singing Adele’s ‘Rolling In The Deep’ so well.
Doors open at 6.30pm and the sessions starts at 7pm with vocal warmups. Jennifer asks people to divide into groups of low, medium and high vocal ranges. The words for each section are projected onto a screen and Jennifer directs each group from the front. She said it’s all about managing yourself, ‘it’s not complex, we’re all here to have fun and mix up a bit of left and right brain activity.’ Alain Valodze accompanies them on guitar and by 8.30pm everything comes together. If you don’t believe us, checkout the videos on The Sing Session Facebook page.
Traditionally the pub is the community’s living room and these singing sessions bring the public back into the public house — community spirit grows when people enjoy working together. These types of public singing sessions are a world-wide phenomenon where, in some parts of the world, 800-1000 people have gathered together to sing. These are not organized choirs with reams of experience; they are ordinary people who just want to sing.
The sessions run at the Uraidla Hotel on the first Wednesday of the month. Book your tickets online via Eventbright ($12.64) as soon as possible for Wednesday 2 October and watch out for the 6 November bookings too. Or you can chance a ticket at the door for $10.
Jennifer DeGrassi is an experienced vocal coach, professional actor, singer and performer. She runs a coaching studio in Stirling and is currently recording a world-life music album with guitarist, Alain Valodze. For more information, call 0403 711 626, visit website www.thesingsessions.com.au or find The Sing Sessions on Facebook.