Singing their way to confidence By Kate Sears

Carrie Marrs is in a choir with heart. She’s part of The Voices of Frankston, which is an inclusive community-based choir in Frankston. More than 40 members from a variety of backgrounds come together to unite through the magic of music. The joy associated with singing in this choir is very powerful, so much so that it has helped build confidence and self-belief in every member from all walks of life. 

Carrie, inset, has been a member in the choir since its inception five years ago. She adores singing and enjoys the company of people of all abilities. The choir was inspired by the Choir of Hard Knocks and Jailbirds. A community movement emerged to support the vision of founding chairwoman Janet McCahon to provide a similar opportunity for the people of Frankston. In the past five years, singing in this choir has provided a ‘voice’ and given a new sense of purpose to dozens of marginalised people. 

“This choir ticked all of the boxes for me,” Carrie said. “My most memorable moment was performing This Is The Greatest Show from The Greatest Showman in the Melbourne Convention Centre. Our choir shared the stage with prominent soloists, dancers and Circus Oz performers. It was such a thrill for us all.” 

Carrie Mars.jpeg

Anyone living on the Mornington Peninsula is able to join this not-for-profit group, which focuses on encouraging and increasing its members so that more disengaged members of the community can benefit from its inclusive environment. It’s a musical and social group that provides a supportive and safe space for the singers to be ‘real’. It’s all about social inclusion, where everyone is invited to come together and unite through their life challenges, whatever they may be, and of course their love of singing. Nurtured mutual respect enables members to develop new strengths to face adversity, meet new challenges and of course create lasting friendships. 

With skilful nurturing and encouragement, their experienced choir leader, Kerry Gerraty, is able to bring out the very best in each of the singers, regardless of their singing abilities. Past performances include shopping centres, schools, the Frankston RSL, the Mornington Choral Festival, Melbourne International Singers Festival and the 2019 Rotary Conference in the Melbourne Convention Centre. 

High Street Uniting Church in Frankston has generously provided a home for rehearsals where members meet at 9.30am every Wednesday during school terms. Carrie encourages anyone to visit and join the fun. Any inquiries about joining, booking or financially supporting the choir should be directed to the secretary, Trudi, on 0406 678 261.

“For me, singing True Colours really sums up the purpose of the choir — where we can all show our true colours,” Carrie said. 

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