WE NEED 40 SINGERS !
with Fay White
8pm, Saturday 28 April
Fay White has been doing extraordinary work in Victoria bringing people
together to sing. Eastside Arts is making it easy for you to experience the
joy of a Vocal Nosh by bringing Fay White to Sydney! We are looking for
around 40 singers to take part in this event - to sing and eat together for
the sheer pleasure of it, for community, for connection, for the joy of
making music rather than observing others doing it.
The songs are strong, simple, taught by ear (no written music) and no-one is
put on the spot. People come tired and go away energised! The idea is
really not new but as people hear about it they realize that communities
singing and eating together is something they have lost somehow and want to
So whether you are a choir-a-holic, a shower singer, or a community worker,
Vocal Nosh is music for the ears, the stomach and the heart!
Limited places book early!
(Fay is also running a singing workshop in the church on Tuesday 1 May 7-9pm
- $15/$12. Bookings now open)
Stone Gallery on oxford (Paddington Uniting Church)
395 Oxford St Paddington
Nosh (home-made soup & bread. Vegies ok) available at interval!
$20 / $15 (concession & Folk Fed members) Bookings: 9331 2646
Free car parking Gordon Street church car park.
Eastside Arts gratefully acknowledges the financial support of Arts NSW
and the City of Sydney
What is ³Vocal Nosh¹ - an open letter of explanation from Fay White
Hello there! If you are interested in getting your community singing, a new
form of community singing known as ³Vocal Nosh¹ may interest you.
What exactly is it? Vocal Nosh a community event where people gather to
sing and eat together for the sheer pleasure of it, for community, for
connection, for the joy of making music rather than observing others doing
Each session stands alone and people can come once or occasionally or every
time. The songs are strong, simple, taught by ear (no written music) and
there are no auditions or solos and no-one is put on the spot. It usually
starts with a warm-up of stretches and vocal play and ends with lots of
harmonies. People come tired and go away energised!
The idea is really not new but as people hear about it they realize that
communities singing and eating together is something they have lost somehow
and want to re-discover. Every group is different and has its own flavour
and name. The name "Vocal Nosh' is my invention but it's not a trade name
or a copyrighted title and I'm completely happy for anyone to use it if they
are singing to build community. Sessions have been named Local Vocals,
Singing for Fun, Harmony Soup and Sing for your Supper etc.
Where did it start? In Victoria it began in the little town of Newstead in
1999 near Castlemaine and is still going strong. We have between 30 and 50
people gather once a month and I lead the singing in this session. Several
other folk make soups and we get crusty bread and fruit to make a nice
healthy meal. We sing for a hour, then eat, then sing for another hour and
go home. It's a buzz.
Help to get it going A couple of years ago a person who attended Vocal Nosh
at Newstead approached me and said "This is good stuff - we need to train
other people to lead sessions like this". She happened to be a community
developer with heaps of experience in that field and we devised a course of
training. Her name is Anne-Marie Holley. Simultaneously, VicHealth came to
the party and funded the training which has now been attended by over 150
people who make up a network of singing leaders across the state. Since
then, this work of training and resourcing communities and singing leaders
has been done through Community Music Victoria (CMV) with full Training
Weekends and Gathering Days for leaders to learn new songs and skills that
work with this kind of singing.
Session or choir? So as you can see, Vocal Nosh is singing for the fun of
it, not a rehearsal for performance. However, once people get the singing
bug they often want to join a choir. These are also great fun and a terrific
source of friendship. Choirs encourage the practise of the everyday arts
that keep our spirits healthy and alive, and these choirs often sing at
local community events, adding colour to a local community.
Vocal Nosh Philosophy
Vocal Nosh describes a community singing (and eating) together. It is
really the semi-formal organisation of a community behaviour we've indulged
in since long before we could write. Unfortunately, in these days of
atomisation and alienation, it is a behaviour that has become more and more
Singing with¹, not to¹. Groups gather together to experience the
immediate joy and fulfilment of singing together rather than to rehearse for
a future public event.
Creative participation. We can all sing AND we can all write songs
Safe places. We make a physical and emotional environment in which
participants feel free, fearless and secure.
Working together. We come together in a spirit of co-operation and
celebration, rather than competition and judgement. There are no losers.
Respect and inclusiveness. We can all be involved and we can all make a
creative contribution. Difference is expected and valued; it is an
advantage, not a problem.
Care and encouragement. No one is left out or ignored; all feedback is
Learning. We can all improve.
Nourishment. Of the spirit with music and of the body with food.
Health. There is a profound connection between making music together and
individual and community wellbeing.
Empowerment. Having a voice is the first step towards having a say.
Initiative/confidence. Through these processes we can all learn to step
forward when the time is right for us.
Meaningful relationships between art and people. Art is not only the
product of artists that can be celebrated by the rest of us; it is also the
results of the creativity we all have within us. In the exercise of our
creativity we become fully human.