By Jesse Graham
Women with a passion for singing and a free couple of hours up their sleeves are being called on to join the ranks of the Badger Creek Women’s Choir, which is starting up its fifth year.
Badger Creek Primary School music teacher Jenny Legg said she started the choir to fill a need in the area, after being asked by students’ parents about groups in the area.
“My background was in singing – I was a singer before I was a music teacher for many, many years, and so I thought, ‘Well, I’ll give that a go’,” Ms Legg said.
“We’re beginning our fifth year – I was just thinking … I didn’t really set out to make something that would keep going, but it’s quite organic, it’s growing, so we’ll see after the five years what happens then.”
In the four years that followed, the choir has amassed 25 members, all with varying ages and singing experience, and has performed at Healesville’s Music Festival and Carols by Candlelight, among other events.
Though the name choir often evokes an image of a church group, the women’s choir has a repertoire that includes Taylor Swift, Patti Smith, The Beatles, as well as Celtic and African music.
As far as criteria for choir songs goes, Ms Legg said the song just has to be “really good”.
“I think choosing great songs is the important thing,” she said.
“There are great songs in every genre – I like it to be challenging, but not too difficult, so it’s accessible for community members.”
Ms Legg said most of the people who have come through the choir – which she estimates to be about 40 people – have come with no experience, though some people have musical backgrounds.
“It’s varied,” she said.
“It’s not highbrow – it’s accessible and it’s fun, that’s one of the main things.”
The group is often backed by Melbourne band The Black Harrys, which includes former Badger Creek Primary School student, Angus Radley.
The choir also performs with the Badger Creek Children’s Choir, with the two choirs teaming up at last year’s Healesville Music Festival.
Ms Legg said the choir rehearses for about an hour each Wednesday evening, with a $7 fee per session – $5 per session for concession holders. The choir also performs about three times a year.
“If someone can’t pay, then they can still come – it’s just getting people in, really,” she said.
“It’s not a money-making exercise.”
She said the group had already been asked to perform at this year’s music festival, although she hoped to organise another performance before then.
The choir’s first rehearsal for the year will start at 7.30pm on Wednesday 15 February, at Badger Creek Primary School.
For more information, call the school on 5962 4019 or visit Facebook.com/badgercreekwomenschoir