The numbers of people involved in choirs throughout Australia has increased dramatically over the past decade and is possibly the fastest growing and largest sector within the music community.
“Choir illustrates how the collaborative nature of singing together can create something extraordinary. It’s informal and there’s always a comfortable feeling of safety in numbers. The sense of being involved in something bigger than ourselves, which both validates and challenges each of us, is what keeps people coming back” says OMM Musical Director Louise Brown.
Established in March 2012, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Marsh (OMM) has currently more than 300 members. “Our goal is to engage whole towns in musical performance that both inspires and rewards. Each project has the ability to link individuals, Community Groups and even whole towns. Our aim is also to provide a platform to showcase local talent and create some good old-fashioned entertainment”.
So far OMM has performed 14 shows with a further three events planned, including a project featuring Colac’s Refugees in March next year.
In the beginning, OMM was primarily a Children’s Choir which then led to an adult version being offered with the help of a Federal Grant through Festivals Australia in 2012.
Currently, the team is working with seniors from all across the Colac Otway Shire in preparation for a Performance booked at COPACC during Seniors Week in Oct. “This is a very rewarding project for all of us as it allows our older generations to make a contribution whilst satisfying a deep need within us for being worthwhile.
Most people can be taught to sing or play drums. It’s our own mental barriers that withhold us. With music, anyone can aspire to be involved either as a performer or a Spectator. It is not about how good you are at Singing but how it makes you feel and how it makes the audience feel!”
OMMs’ Song choices tend to re-interpret classic rock anthems (rather than traditional choral songs) making each performance fun, modern and memorable. The beauty of projects such as this is its ability to link people of all ages…thus uniting individuals in the pursuit of a common, creative goal.