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General choir news

Choir & Coronavirus

Choir is in recess for the duration

– a letter from Wendy

Dear lovely Mainesong,

There will be NO rehearsal this Monday and onwards until further notice.

I am taking it upon myself to officially call Mainesong to recess for the period of time we need to get through this crisis.

We were heartened and very positive last Monday when we made an attempt to set some temporary measures in place while we proposed to meet for the next 4 weeks. Thankyou David, for your communication summary. This was optimistic and I have really appreciated your sentiment of loyalty with each other, our choir as a whole, and, of course, to me.

We are a group of wonderful people, who love getting together and singing. Every week, I am uplifted by it also. We know that it’s the ultimate nourishment for our souls and also for our health and well-being. So, it is very important, not only that we look after ourselves in our ‘distancing’, but remain as in touch as possible via other means, over this critical period of time.

I have some ideas, that I am hoping to implement concerning staying in touch, over the next few months. Fun, of course! Surely, there is no end to the creative imagination in dealing with communication. I will also have plenty of time to arrange music for our choir and you never know, perhaps I could compose a piece…the sky is the limit. I remain positive.

Please take very good care of yourselves and others around if you can and/or need to. There are also good things to come as a result of this unprecedented time. Please email me for a chat now and then. I would love that.

– Wendy

Wendy Returns & Concert 26th January

Hello lovely Mainesong Choir

Some of you may know that I have already returned to Australia, and am settling back into Castlemaine to begin the new year. I am home earlier than expected but have had an amazing time, and perhaps fortuitously AS….

We (Mainesong) have been asked to sing with Corker Orchestra,
on Australia Day, 26th January!

I’m sorry it’s come up so quickly, but I have said yes, and will now gather available voices for the choir. This event is the yearly ceremony to officially welcome new citizens in this country.

I know that you have been having a wonderful time with Scott again, while I’ve been away. I can’t wait to hear what you’ve been doing. Scott and I have spoken and, given this event is coming up, he is happy for me to resume taking the choir for rehearsals on 13th/20th January, as you were expecting, and then early Feb. as we originally planned.

This event which is taking place with much respect to positive changes in respectful attitudes towards our First Nation history. I feel that the inclusion of our community musical groups will be a wonderful spirit to add to the occasion and continue to build bridges for these these positive changes. We have a powerful voice. It was lovely to be asked.

Janey has been liaising with the council and has written this for us, on my request, to help describe the morning’s occassion.

‘The celebration of Australia Day has long been one of contention with the early Europeans claiming ownership in 1788 of “Terra nullius” – nobody’s land. In fact Australia has been occupied by indigenous people for some 65,000 years which predates human settlement of Europe and the Americas.

The Australia Day event held here in Castlemaine celebrates the induction of new Australian citizens but also includes traditions which are and always have been very important to our First Nation people. These include “Welcome to Country” where custodians invite other groups onto their traditional land. This ceremony is lead by an elder, in our case Uncle Rick Nelson who is a Jaara Jaara man from the Dja Djawurrung language group. A smoking ceremony then follows which has cleansing properties and the ability to ward off bad spirits.

The song which will be sung by the MaineSong choir and accompanied by Corker Orchestra is “I am Australian”. This song acknowledges so much about Australia from our First Nation people to convicts, pioneer women, poets and artists and the diversity of our climate, geography and of course cultures.’

I have been working hard on an arrangement for the song, ‘I am Australian’, which was requested by the organisers, to be performed by the choir and orchestra. We will also sing another song, which I’m still contemplating. We will need to learn the words off by heart if possible, so check out one of the recordings available on utube. Perhaps Simon might put it online. I will send lyrics. There is an extra verse to most recordings, I have decided to include.

By the way, I would be happy to expand the choir for this performance if you would like to invite anyone who is interested. They will need to attend both rehearsals though, if possible.

I will need to confirm voices asap. The music will not be difficult and learnable by reading the lyrics.

Times & Dates

Event: Sunday, January 26th
Time: 9.00am, for 9.45am performance
Place: Victory Park
Rehearsals: 13th and 20th January, 7.45-9.45pm,
Rehearsal Venue: Campbell’s Creek Community Centre

Please confirm your participation with an email to me, thanks.

Vocal Jump Start!

An afternoon of gorgeous singing and song, in the Gospel and World Music traditions

The workshop, led by Melbourne-based Annemarie Sharry (South Of The River Choir) and Tracey Miller (Victorian College of the Arts and The Dusty Millers), will include basic vocal technique, fun warm games and rounds, soundscapes, improvisation and 3-4 part harmony World Music repertoire for mixed voices of all ages and abilities!


  • Annemarie Sharry is offering a singing workshop in Castlemaine, which should be terrific.
  • Some of us have seen the dynamic, groovy choir, South Of The River, at Daylesford Singers’ Festival.
  • At this stage Saturday August 17 (probably 2.00 – 4.00 or 4.30) is the most likely date – to be confirmed, when we see how many people would like to come along.
  • The cost wd be $20/$15.

Could you please let me know as soon as possible (pref straight away) if you are interested.

Thanks, Judy


Message from Wendy …

Hi Everyone,

We are on the count down for our concert now. I’m am very pleased that ‘Allan’ (Eric) is going very well. I heard that you had a great session with Fay last wed. even though she wasn’t well, and we will sing the Walking song for our concert too. My sister (Jenny) and brother (David) are coming up for our concert to fill in for Rob on piano. I’ll ask Jen to accompany us on the choir pieces, which will give me the chance to give you my undivided attention!

CANCELLED: Just letting you know that Sue has had to apologise that the Choir Extravaganza gathering for Mental Health Week has been cancelled for Oct 10th.

Corker/Mainesong Annual Concert

  • Sunday Oct 28th. . 2.00(?) for concert around 4.00 (Times not defined yet)
  • Unwind at at the Criterion hotel, as last year!


If any of you were available on Mons. 15th/22nd Oct to join with Corker rehearsal at the South School for our joint pieces for 20 mins … either at 6.30 or 7.00. Let’s discuss.


We will sing with Corker:

  • Algunas Bestias
  • Steam Heat
  • Satie Gymnopede (not started yet)
  • Isn’t she lovely
  • Moonlight Swing (to be decided)

On our own:

  • Panis angelicas
  • Walking song
  • Sweet Kate
  • Pastime with Good Company
  • Caledonia
  • Bogoroditse
  • Andorinha
  • Gotingha da Agua, ….


I am thinking that we will break around the second week of December.


  • I want to ask your thoughts about a possible change of rehearsal evening for next year.
  • I wondered if a Monday evening (after Corker rehearsal), could be considered, as I seem to be becoming more involved with teaching at Little Yarra (miles away) with Weds. occasionally tricky with their schedules. Not set in concrete! Just a thought at present.
  • and … letting you know that next year, Mainesong attendance will be $12/$10cc (instead of $8). This also covers hall hire each week, music writing and copying costs.

Thankyou for your always generous considerations with the (your) choir on so many levels. You are an amazing group and I value the loyalty that abides, despite the comings and goings, with world travel and warmer climates, etc., and those interesting lives you lead!

I get such joy from your singing and I know it’s mutual.

Yours in musical service

Scott’s Xlnt New Gig

The Mathy Matt Show

Scott Sanders

Scott Sanders, composer, singer, teacher, entertainer, musician, mathematician and much loved stand-in choir meister, is working on a maths/musical/education show for Primary School students. This one-man extravaganza, The Mathy Matt Show is a stage show that travels from school to school, takes place in the classroom, and is designed to get essential maths education and mathematical inspiration into the heads of primary school kids at Just The Right Time.

Over the next year Scotty will be developing his material as he takes his show on the road,  presenting it to as many young students in as many places as he possibly can.

It takes time, care and huge effort to make something like this happen, so if you would like to help Scott get this astoundingly worthy venture up and running you can send him a micro seed-funding donation through his GoFundMe page.

Good luck Scott, and thanks for taking care of the choir over the break.