Our choir director Yvonne has returned from another "inspiring, humbling, exciting, exhausting and heartfelt" visit to Uganda.
"We sanded and painted school walls in the slums and the training academy, held zumba sessions in 18 workshops and 3 school demonstrations, delivered bags of knitted sweaters and rugs to Sanu babies home, bought new bunk beds and linen for the dormitory, sang at a gospel church and school concert, competed in a game of soccer, visited families in the villages," she said.
"We hugged, laughed, danced, smiled and cried with all the beautiful children. I'm feeling enriched and grateful for such an experience."
Yvonne and members of the KwaYa
group also met the African Children's Choir kids (pictured below)
who will be visiting Australia from July-August, including seven days on the Sunshine Coast.
In addition to singing at the Marcoola celebrations, some of our members also showcased their artistic talents outside of choir. Photos: Hari Kotrotsios
Peregian Beach Knit & Crochet Group members have donated 415 hand-knitted items for orphan children in Uganda.
Choir director Yvonne Corstorphin will feel like Santa when she delivers a bagful of locally-knitted clothes and toys to orphan children in Uganda in April.
Since mid-last year Peregian Beach Knitting Group members have been passionately clicking their needles to create beautifully crafted beanies, jumpers, rugs and toys, using wool donated by the Peregian Lions Club.
“This wonderful collaboration between three local community groups will once again bring smiles to the faces of many children,” said Yvonne, who is travelling to Uganda in April as part of the 2013 Kwaya Australia singing tour.
“We are very excited about this project as it’s the second year in a row that members of our choir can personally deliver these hand-knitted items. We can see for ourselves what a difference it makes, and it’s equally rewarding for the knitters.”
Yvonne said the hand-knitted items would be passed on to children in poor villages and orphanages in and around Kampala, Uganda’s capital city.
“The visit involves working closely with the African Children’s Choir, with many of the children coming from very impoverished backgrounds. We are also able to donate a number of these hand-crafted pieces to the children’s families, providing them with much needed support.”
Yvonne said the Kwaya group would meet the children who will tour Australia later this year, with Cool Harmonies hosting the African Children’s Choir from 26 August-1 September. While here, they will participate in a music workshop with local primary school children and perform two public concerts in Coolum.
Yvonne with May and Maureen
Karen, Eileen & fellow choir member Judy
Lorey, Sharron and Larissa
Lyn, Gwen and Leanne
These beautifully hand-knitted toys will find new homes with Ugandan children
Photos: Hari Kotrotsios
Chris, Holly, Kay, Sally and Julia with the donation bucket which raised $150 from members' donations, to supplement the $100 from our community chest.
Inspired by a request to support indigenous singers from remote Central desert communities to attend the Big Sing in the Desert 2013 event, Cool Harmonies is sending a $250 donation, raised through a bucket collection over the past three weeks.
The donation will contribute towards the costs of transport, accommodation, food and workshop fees for Indigenous singers, with some travelling more than 700km to attend the workshop at Ross River Resort, an original homestead near Alice Springs.
Choir members generously contributed additional funds to top up the initial $100 donation from our community chest
, which sits at the front door. Each week the chest is filled with donations from the choir, their friends and family, members of the public, local businesses and paid performances.
"Money raised through this community chest, along with money we make at fundraising events throughout the year, allows us to donate to a variety of community projects, both locally and further afield," said choir director Yvonne Corstorphin.
In 2012 choir members raised $9,078.70 through various fundraising activities, just up from $7,740.50 in 2011.
"Our members are equally passionate about spreading harmony throughout the community; with a generosity of spirit in everything we do, we enjoy sharing our gift of song with others, as well as our friendship, support, care, kindness and time."
What amazing workshop sessions with Dr Jonathon Welch AM, director of the Choir of Hope & Inspiration
(formerly Choir of Hard Knocks). Jonathon was in Coolum Beach on Sunday to run a master class session for our choir, followed by a public workshop, with money raised going towards the African Children’s Choir Tour 2013
. Cool Harmonies is hosting the Sunshine Coast visit from 26 August – 1 September. Photos: Chris Whitton.
Our Bass member and Master Artist Clive Holden has unveiled his portrait entry into this year's prestigious Archibald Prize. Clive began the massive painting last year after watching a rehearsal by Jonathon Welch’s Choir of Hope and Inspiration (formerly the Choir of Hard Knocks) in Melbourne’s Federation Square. “I was blown away by the choir’s enthusiasm and energy,” he said. “I was so inspired I asked Jonathon if I could paint him and the choir for the Archibald.” The portrait is Clive’s second entry into the Archibald Prize. Last year he submitted a controversial portrait of Julian Assange, titled ‘Everyday Hero’. Jonathon viewed the portrait during his visit to Coolum Beach at the weekend where he conducting two music workshops at the Coolum Civic Centre on 17 February. Photos: Hari Kotrotsios
About 60 people gathered at Mt Emu in Coolum for a wonderful sunset hour of song and chant on the Summer Solstice, 21 December. They joined many others from around the world on this day, singing Ise Oluwa
in appreciation of our beautiful home, planet Earth. The project was initiated by Shyla and the Good Earth Singers www.oneearth-onevoice.org
. Photos: Hari Kotrotsios, Gaye Bolton & Rosalie Hall.
Choir members finished our last session on a festive note, adjourning to My Place Cafe for lunch an an impromptu singing performance. We also sang farewell to two of our founding members, Pat and Rita. Merry Christmas to all, and a safe, happy New Year. Photos: Chris Whitton and Hari Kotrotsios.
We love to surprise people with a burst of song! A few choir members arrived at the Coolum Community Centre on Thursday morning to sing to an exclusive audience of two - Karen and John who are leaving the centre. We originally held our choir sessions at the community centre but had to find another venue when our membership grew and we just couldn't fit everyone in there! Much love to you Karen and John and best of luck on your new adventures.
Choir members lit up the festive season with carols in Tickle Park to celebrate the lighting of the Christmas Tree in Coolum on 1 December.