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Choir hits high note, as grants open

There’s no sheet music as choir members belt out Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody and Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah.

With One Voice community choir members are rehearsing in their new home at Boronia RSL, thanks to a Council Community Development Fund grant.

This year’s fund is now open and accepting applications until 6 May. Community groups and not-for-profit organisations can apply now for grants of up to $20,000.

Last year Council funded the choir’s move to a bigger space as part of the Community Development Fund program for activities and projects that benefit the Knox community. The choir welcomes people up to the age of 90, from all faiths, cultures and backgrounds. There are no auditions and no need to read music.

Musical director Lady Shaula says having a bigger place to sing will enable more people to join in.

"About 20% of our choir is living with a disability or part of minority groups of society," she says.

"The concept behind it is that it is essentially a non-note reading choir so we work from lyrics only – so memorisation rather than reading from scores. This means everybody can join in, whether they can sing yet or not. We teach them to be braver about doing their thing. It has things in common with a pub singalong choir, so you’ve got ABBA songs, Queen songs, Billy Joel, Elton John and heaps of famous songs, plus I add a few of my originals.

"It’s an hour of music and then half an hour supper and socialising, and that is equally as important as the music. Sometimes, it’s more than the music. The social aspect of this choir is wildly important. We’ve seen people’s confidence massively growing. We’re very much like a family."

Over the past five years, Council has supported 297 initiatives and provided more than $1.8 million in funding through the annual Community Development Fund.

If you’re part of a community group or organisation with an idea that meets a community need and benefits residents in Knox, this year it could be you.

Find out more and apply now at

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