Choir turns 10

THE Spirit of the Streets Choir will celebrate its 10th birthday with a huge show at Perth Concert Hall.

The not-for-profit group is an inclusive choir, inviting people who’ve experienced social disadvantage, isolation and other personal issues.

Bernard Carney and Big Issue vendors formed the choir in 2007.

They started life as “the Big Issue Choir”, made up from the homeless and unemployed, but soon other disadvantaged people joined and one of the long-termers came up with “Spirit of the Streets” as their membership diversified.

• The Spirit of the Streets choir in action.

The first time they performed at Perth Concert Hall in 2008 it was a sell-out show, and they’re heading back to the venue to mark their 10th birthday.

This time round they’ll be joined by the Burundi Peace Choir (a Perth-based gospel group that was formed in a refugee camp in Tanzania), Harry’s Anonymous (a recovery group living a drug and alcohol free-lifestyle), Starlight Hotel from Freo, and WA Deaf Arts members who’ll be singing the songs in Auslan.

It’s part of “Sing or Health” week, which aims to unite the state with a song called “Pass The Song Along” and spread the word about the health benefits of singing — from the heart and lungs getting a workout to improvements in self-esteem and brain function.

There’s info at singforhealth.org.au and tickets to the May 6 show can be purchased at perthconcerthall.com.au.

by DAVID BELL

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