Choir on song for 600th performance

Demand for their musical service is high among northern suburbs nursing homes, retirement villages and other community events, with the volunteers also popular for their festive Christmas program.

�We are a very busy group of women actually,� musical director Alison Major said.

�We usually do one performance a week on average and sometimes, when we get to our Christmas program, we have to cut out our practices and do about three performances a week.

�We are putting the (600th) concert on at Bethanie Aged Care in Warwick on June 11.�

Mrs Major, who accompanies on the piano, said next year the close-knit choir would turn 20, having kicked off in February 1996.

�Three of us have been involved since that time (a spin-off of the Civic Wanneroo Choir) and there are about 30 of us altogether� she said.

�We are pretty ancient, our oldest lady, Marjorie, is going to be 95 in August and our youngest one would be 64 so our average age is fairly high.

�Quite a lot of us are older than the people we go and sing to.�

She said the group was looking forward to reaching their milestone performance and while they all loved singing, providing a valuable community service also drove them.

�We do find people who can�t talk, for example, in nursing homes, many of them can sing along with us,� she said.

�We have a little song book we take with us with very large print and we let them pick old-time songs.

�We might sing a couple of items and then have three or four community songs and they get some input. We always finish our program with We�ll Meet Again which usually the audience joins in.�

She said it�s a wonderful feeling to know they have cheered up, entertained, or even �caused a little tear� with their work.

�We used to get a bit upset when we first started and we�d sing something like Home Sweet Home and it�s perhaps a little sad but we asked the doctors and the staff and they said �no, you must do this sort of thing�.

�It�s not actually upsetting them, it�s just a gentle catharsis looking back and thinking �oh, my husband used to sing that with me or I remember when� but they�re not really distressed.

�They say it�s good because it causes emotion to flow.�

The Wandoo Singers practise 1-3pm on Fridays at 29 Wandoo Road, Duncraig.

Those interested in joining can call 9305 2558 or 9447 0475.