Virtually as good as real thing
IF YOU have a song in your heart, nothing (not even COVID-19 regulations) will stop you getting it out there, according to The Joy Project's Hayley-Jane Langwith.
Long-time performer and singing teacher Hayley, whose credits include performing Priscilla in London's West End, started The Joy Project, a community choir in Terrigal, three years ago. Since then, she says about 400 people have taken part, with a solid base of 40-odd singers each fortnight.
With the choir unable to meet due to the gathering restrictions, Hayley organised a virtual performance, "something uplifting". The result, however, was worth it, with about 36 choir members of all ages seemingly singing, as one, British pop sensation The Real Thing's 1976 classic You to Me Are Everything.
Each person was sent their part and, singing along with Hayley's audio track, recorded it to camera in their own home.
This was mixed and edited together with the help of choir member, film graduate and editing sensation Yanni Markovina.
Within two weeks, the song had attracted 2800 views on Facebook.
"It was great fun, harder than you think recording and singing with no music, so just wonderful to see and hear it all come together," said one participant.
Others, "amazed" by how good they sounded, said they had "loved every minute of it", wondered "when can we do it again?" and hailed Hayley "the bee's blinking knees!".
The Joy Project is a casual choir - no auditions, no reading music, no pressure, just the joy of getting together each fortnight (or whenever you can make it) to "sing your head off" with other like-minded songsters.
It's an adult choir, with the oldest member in her 90s, but Hayley said people sometimes brought children and grandchildren as young as 12 along.
"The line-up changes every single week," Hayley said. "I don't think age or experience come into it.
"I think anyone who comes gets something out of it - there's no judgment, just a really fun, friendly vibe."
One thing they are missing is a few extra guys, so gents, if you feel like joining in, you'd be very welcome.
The Joy Project meets at the CWA Hall Terrigal on alternate Thursdays from 7.30pm, and you can find their virtual performance at www.facebook.com/thejoyprojectchoir/videos/ 2432953953681697/.
For more information, go to @thejoyproject on Facebook, call Hayley on 0411 873 910 or email thejoyprojectchoir@gmail .com.