Wired for sound
Founded in 1978, the Esk Community Choir began as an enthusiastic singing group of just six ladies. Situated in the Somerset region, about 100 km west of Brisbane, 2017 marks the 39th year that the now almost 50-member choir has been honing the talents of its members and entertaining audiences. Participating in the choir is so engaging that many of its members travel to weekly practices from as far afield as Brisbane, Toowoomba, Gatton and Laidley.
Since 2006, many of the choir members have formed 'Touring Choirs', a group of 30 having returned in October 2016 from the choir's fifth successful overseas performance tour. Previous tours have encompassed concerts, choral festivals and competitions throughout Ireland, England, Italy, Austria, Czech Republic and Germany.
The choir regularly performs at concerts, fundraising, charity and celebratory performances in the Somerset Region and beyond, however the varying sound systems at different venues was compromising sound quality and therefore, audience enjoyment.
A Caring for Ageing Rural Australians (CARA) grant for $5,710, funded by the Sylvia and Charles Viertel Charitable Foundation, was used to purchase microphones and associated audio equipment for the Esk Community Choir.
The headsets and audio equipment were used at the choir’s opening concert for 2017. The choir’s musical director Alexis Fitzgerald OAM said that from the choir’s perspective, the concerts were a huge success.
“This equipment has been such a wonderful addition to our choir and its performances, which in turn will give so much more pleasure to the many and varied audiences who come to enjoy our performances. Our greatest challenge now will be the training of our sound man in the use of the equipment, in order to achieve the optimum effect for our audiences!”
Choir member Roger Woodman, who has been singing with the Esk Community Choir for the past seven years, said being a member of the Esk Community Choir is both challenging and invigorating.
"I relish the weekly interactions and friendships that I have fostered with my fellow choristers, because singing is a great mental exercise and helps me to remain active and engaged with my community. We make a pretty good sound as a choir, but these new microphones help us sound even better.”