Maroondah-based choir Stroke a Chord is celebrating its first birthday by launching a website and announcing its first public performance.
Maroondah Councillor Alex Makin said the choir started in 2010 to allow people with limited or no speech to experience something positive and joyful with their voice in a social and understanding environment.
“Imagine not being able to speak but having the ability to sing perfectly. This is the reality experienced by a number of people living with aphasia,” Cr Makin said.
“The idea for the choir was first raised during Stroke Week 2008. After hearing that several people in Maroondah were living with aphasia, Council took the first tentative steps towards the formation of a choir,” Cr Makin said.
“With the help of a number of external organisations, the choir has gone from strength to strength, with more than 20 members now meeting every week at Maroondah Family Church in Ringwood East,” Cr Makin said.
“Thanks to a $15,000 grant from the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust the choir has a qualified music therapist working alongside the participants to ensure they are getting the most out of the experience,” Cr Makin said.
“After a trial performance in front of a group of family and friends the choir are now ready to perform publicly, with their first performance to be held at Karralyka Theatre during Stroke Week in September,” Cr Makin said.
Last month Stroke a Chord launched its own website, www.strokeachord.com, to raise awareness of aphasia and the choir in the community.
“Having a website allows the choir to expand their network and hopefully increase its profile, so more people know what they do and how people can become involved,” Cr Makin said.
“The site provides a background on the choir, information on aphasia, and links to resources which are available to people who have aphasia,” Cr Makin said.
Stroke a Chord will perform publicly for the first time at 2pm, Saturday September 17 at Karralyka Theatre, Ringwood East. For more information www.strokeachord.com
The Stroke a Chord initiative is a partnership between Maroondah City Council, Yooralla, Royal Talbot Hospital, University of Queensland, Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre, Croydon Stroke Support Group and Melbourne University.
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