New rehearsal video

Hi All,

Hope that you are all safe, healthy and still smiling! I have uploaded another digital rehearsal for you to (hopefully) enjoy – focusing on Prayer of the Children. This is available at the following link –

Do let me know if you have any questions. Missing you all – but lets keep making music practising so that when the time comes that we can be together we are sounding fab!

Lots of love,


VOCE – choir update

Hope this update finds all our choir members well and happily enjoying some home time. Following is the minutes summary.
VOCE Teleconference – 
The following members called Rob to join the group:

Present: Pam Wilson, Marion Elvery, Matt Collins, Rob Sandison,

Minutes: Rob Sandison?

Apologies: Chris Rattray, Michael Murtagh, Gail, & Stewart, Linda Rother, Catherine Dyson. 

Agenda Items:

Financials: Rob Presented the Financials for the first quarter. Hall Hire – Pam advised that the Hall Hire has been cancelled during the current crisis and that no fees will be charged. VOCE is grateful for the offer by DeMoloy House. Membership fees paid to date will enable us to continue to to pay Matt to be our musical director and facilitate singing.

Rehearsals and Performances Schedules

Live Rehearsals and all performances are cancelled until end of Term 2 (June 26th) VOCE will advise members at the earliest possible time of an extension to this date or, resumption of rehearsals. VOCE’s decision is based on Govt./Health advise. Regrettably, no future plans for performances or rehearsals can be made at this time. It is hoped that performances will resume in the 2nd half of 2020.

Proposed alternatives to Rehearsals and Performances – in the mean time ….

1. Matt has gratefully received all Choirbolical members ideas and has had discussions with Astrid and others in teaching/music circles of options.1. Feedback on Matt’s first YouTube practice video was unanimously and enthusiastically positive! VOCE requested that Matt continue creating practice videos to guide mini individual/x2 rehearsals and will include links to other practice YouTube videos. VOCE encourages all Choirbolical members to access practice videos and provide feedback to Matt.

2. Matt advises that connect en-mass via Zoom or other platforms is problematic, requires a lot of work, technical expertise and costs. There may be possibilities of small group ‘Zoom’ groups getting together to rehearse.

3. Matt will explore in consultation with Astrid and others in his field the possibility of some kind of on-line performance medium similar to Couch Choir/ABC Everybody Choir, with perhaps to a YouTube concert thereby providing a motivation goal for Choirbolical members.

4. Matt will outline a plan for the frequency and content/nature of YouTube posts and potential performance platforms before the next VOCE meeting in 3 weeks.

5. VOCE is keen for feedback from Choirbolical participants inAstrid’s ABC Everybody Choir event. Some members have communicated to Astrid their enjoyment of her segment in Australian Story on Monday night and encourage all Choirbolicals to watch.

Director’s Fees

Rob moved the following Proposal: Based on the successful implementation of a variety of strategies approved by VOCE and implemented by Matt …

That Matt be retained on his normal fortnightly rehearsal fee for three months. That VOCE review this arrangement early in June. That Matt’s normal rehearsal fee includes all preparation and posting of music parts in audio/video formats (excluding mass performances) and consultations with his music network colleagues, Choirbolical membersand VOCE. Passed unanimously.

Choir members connecting during isolation Comments can be left on the website. Marion will check if comments can be made private for log-in users only. VOCE will review of Choirbolical Facebook Pages shortly.

Next Meeting: 21 April Rob (0422543804) to join the group

Meeting Closed: 6:53pm.  

Chewsday Check-in

Tomorrow is a fifth Tuesday, so once again we will be missing our usual commitment to Choirbolical and all that that means to us.

Some members of VOCE are planning a conference call meeting to discuss the latest developments.

You may be aware that Astrid and Couch Choir will be part of Australian Story on ABC tonight (Monday). (Not sure if you will receive this before then. Check it out on i-view).

We hope everyone is still well.

We have instructions from Matt to keep practising so KSKS.

Michael M

Choirbolical ‘Check-in’

Hi All,

Hope you are well and still smiling amidst the chaos. I doubt it is a coincidence that the word ‘pandemic’ contains the word ‘panic’!

But this post is a positive one to let you know that I will be working toward creating fortnightly rehearsal videos for you all. It is important to keep spirits high and to keep singing! Whilst you won’t hear your friends voices – hopefully seeing my face will give you enough of a boost to get us through these isolating times (or have you run for the hills… either/or).

First video is available at the following link –

For now – keep listening to the tracks and rehearse along with the ‘full’ versions of the recordings. Feel free to leave comments/email me at [email protected] if you have any suggestions or there are sections of pieces you would like more assistance on.

Stay safe and well and look forward to the next (but hopefully temporary) chapter of choirbolical ONLINE!!!

Much love, Matt xx

Good morning, Tuesday

Sharing some thoughts – please contribute

We hope everyone is keeping safe and well.

Just thought I’d check in. From previous post I can only see my own (3) replies. If you have replied, even if just to acknowledge receipt, can you please email me at [email protected] That way I might find out if this is working.

This morning I had a Skype call with five friends in Scotland who have been meeting on a Monday night at a pub for years. So as they enjoyed a beer in lockdown in their lounge rooms I had my morning cuppa. Four of us were in the same class right through high school (late 1960s early 70s, I am talking about). Sharing this as this may be a way of connecting for those on Skype – I only signed up yesterday.

Curious to know how many participated in Couch Choir? Have you seen Astrid on ABC & Today Show (this morning)? For those not fans of FaceBook, it is an excellent way to keep up to date. I missed Today (on Skype call) but whole interview is featured on Pub Choir, FaceBook page. How lucky were we to have Astrid come to Toowoomba for all those years? And how unfortunate is Matt to have taken over in these challenging times?

Anyway, KSKS – Keep Safe Keep Singing

Michael M



Great response to the late notice on the weekend – no one turned up! Thanks Matt for being there just in case anyone had missed the emails. So the system seems to be working well.

Since then an email group, loosely under the VOCE label has exchanged quite a few emails and ideas, ranging from some kind of Skype/Facetime link up for practice, to small group (SATB) practices, to meeting in a park.

We think it is important that these “discussions” be opened up to the larger Choirbolical community. I am not sure how this is best done. Someone else may be able to answer this. Can you simply “reply all” to this email or can you reply to this post so the discussions/conversations will be on this forum? Would Whatsapp be a better format to set up group discussions? Maybe someone tech savier can advise on the best way to go about this.

Some of those who wrote thoughts and ideas already may like to copy and paste them for all members to see. Kent expressed some ideas particularly well and I think that should be shared, as did a number of others. e.g. Eileen pointed out that the Met Opera has begun streaming operas for free at starting at 7.30 each evening and available for 20 hours.

Has anyone participated in Astrid’s Couch Choir? Recordings due by 7pm tomorrow so probably too short notice for some small groups to get together?

Finally Keep Well and Keep Singing

Michael for VOCE


After some discussions via email between VOCE members and following advise from a member of the medical profession, it has been decided that there will be NO CHOIRBOLICAL REHEARSALS  until further notice. This includes TOMORROW (17th MARCH).

I guess it is difficult to maintain social distancing in the context of our singing practices. Matt put it more eloquently  ” putting rehearsals on hold because of all the spitting, heavy breathing and ‘gas-bagging’ that’s involved, as well as the close proximity”. 
Perhaps prophetic that I put “as normal” in inverted commas in the last post. Times are certainly not normal and call for even this small sacrifice. Some members are not so much worried for themselves but for more elderly or vulnerable family members at home. 
Maybe we can join in Astrid’s Pub Choir “Couch Choir” – check out posts tonight on Facebook.
Our May Concert has also been postponed. We will keep you as informed as possible and in the meantime keep practising with the wonderful parts Matt recorded which can be found in our repertoire section.
Keep well and keep singing.


Welcome to March

Tuesday, being the first Tuesday of the month, we will have our rehearsal as usual at DeMolay House. 6.45 for 7pm start, until 8.30.

I should say, see you there, but apologies from me for this week as friends from Brisbane have arranged dinner with mutual friends in Toowoomba. How rude!

Please email me: [email protected] if you have any information or donations re raffle for concert in May.

Part recordings are up!

Hi All,

I have completed parts for Baraka Na Wewe, Connected, Africa and Prayer of the Children. These can be found under the ‘Repertoire’ tab. Feel free to download your respective part to rehearse and then the ‘FULL’ version to see how you go holding your part against the other parts. Happy practising and see you Tuesday next week!

Matt ^_^