About Vocally Wild

Profile


Vocally Wild is a successful, long-standing, independent mixed community choir where the love and joy of music is experienced by a friendly, cohesive group of singers who create delightful harmony in a supportive environment.

We are privileged to be led by Music Director, Bill Miles and accompanied by pianist, Patrice Marshall. Please see Bill and Patrice’s profiles below.

Vocally Wild rehearses at 7.30 p.m. on Tuesday evenings during school term time, at the hall attached to Beaumaris Library in the Bayside suburb of Cheltenham, Victoria.  The choir sings in three, four and five part harmony, Soprano (first and second), Alto, Tenor and Bass. Newcomers to the choir usually find it easy to find the part to suit their voices.

In 2012, and again in 2015 Vocally Wild joined with our sister choir, Mosaic to form Viva Melbourne that travelled to northern Italy to sing with more than 80 other choirs in an international choral festival.  These events were a wonderful experience and an outstanding success. We are hoping to do more overseas trips.

VOCALLY WILD CHOIR MISSION STATEMENT

Vocally Wild's mission is to gather as a non-sectarian, non-auditioned singing community for the joy of singing, social interaction and musical appreciation.

AIMS:
  1. To improve our choral abilities, individually and as a group, under the guidance of an experienced choir director.
  2. To provide a safe environment, free of harassment of any kind for all attendees at all times.
OBJECTIVES:
  1. To gather for social occasions, singing rehearsals, performances and events.
  2. To support each other in an inclusive, nurturing environment.
  3. To welcome new members when opportunities arise, regardless of ability.
  4. To stay financially viable through the collection of fees, and payment for performances when appropriate.
VOCALLY WILD CHOIR CODE OF CONDUCT
  1. Vocally Wild members will be respectful, accepting and supportive of all other members.
  2. Vocally Wild members will support and contribute to creating a positive culture.
  3. Vocally Wild members will be inclusive and accepting of all others by:
  • treating everyone as equals
  • not engaging in behaviour of a bullying or harassing nature
  • speaking respectfully and being mindful to use appropriate language in an appropriate context which does not discriminate on a racist, gender, sexual or religious basis.
  1. Vocally Wild members will listen to others’ opinions and reserve judgement.
At Vocally Wild we also aim to:
  • Bring the joy of singing to the wider community in many and varied ways, including annual performances at the widely popular Bayside Carols in the Park, singing at community days, Rotary celebrations, the annual RSL Beaumaris ANZAC Day Parade, bi-annual Kingston Town Hall combined concert with Mosaic and the Southern Area Concert Band, residential aged care facilities and other venues.
  • Accept all singers regardless of age, gender, ability, religion or ethnicity.  No audition is required.
  • Enjoy the challenge of singing a variety of music.  Vocally Wild’s repertoire ranges from musical numbers, classical, (e.g. Handel’s “Halleluiah Chorus”), world music, retro and modern popular, (e.g. Abba,The Eagles, Coldplay and Adele), to Christmas carols and seasonal songs! 
  • Encourage choristers to experience new music and if they desire, have the opportunity to learn to read music, sing solo or take part in small group singing.

Why join a choir?

A community choir brings people together giving them a sense of belonging and achievement. It is well known that community singing is a powerful force that has positive effects on the body and mind.  There is evidence (University of Oxford research) supporting the physical and psychological benefits of singing in a choir, including strengthening a feeling of togetherness and friendship, decreasing stress and depression, and increasing happiness and well-being. Singing exercises the brain and body, and is particularly beneficial in the improvement of breathing, posture and muscle tension.

People join a choir primarily to sing. What they may not be expecting is that magical, better than chocolate (well, pretty darn close) feeling you experience when you are part of a group of people, singing a song in beautiful harmony. The music swells, and then as it changes mood, voices reduce to a soft, almost ethereal cloud of sound, and you know you’ve found your tribe. Our choir is un-auditioned choir and our Musical Director, Diana Clark de Vries supports an inclusive group singing experience, where people are free to vocally blend, step forward and lead or perform solo, according to their experience and abilities. Diana’s strong background as a choral leader, singing teacher and performer both in Australia and overseas (including Brazil) makes her an ideal leader for our community choir.

MUSIC DIRECTOR - Dr. William E. (Bill) Miles

Bill holds a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Colorado at Boulder (1975), a Master of Arts, Preliminary (1982) from LaTrobe University majoring in music composition and analysis, and a PhD in Music Education (2006) from Monash University, where he was a lecturer and teaching
fellow from 1997-99. He has lectured at Melbourne, Monash and RMIT Universities and the Australian Catholic University (ACU).

From 1998-2004 Bill developed and lectured a unit in multimedia and new media production for Monash’s Faculty of Information Technology at Monash–Clayton. At RMIT University (2000-04) Bill was Acting Program Director of the Bachelor of Music Industry Studies, the Graduate Certificate & Graduate Diploma of Visual and Performing Arts and the GradCert, GradDip and Master of Arts Administration courses and lectured units within each ofthose programs. At the Australian Catholic University – Melbourne (2007-15) he was the lecturer-in-charge of the Graduate Diploma in Education (Music) and Master of Teaching–Secondary (Music) courses and from 2012-18 he lectured in music pedagogy at the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music,Monash University.

Bill studied choral pedagogy, conducting and repertoire with Charles Byers and Dr R. Lynn Whitten (past president of the American Choral Directors Association), band conducting and wind pedagogy
with Hugh E. McMillen (past president of the American Bandmasters Association), and orchestral
conducting with Maestro Abraham Chavez (former conductor of the El Paso Symphony Orchestra).
Bill was Chairperson of the Examination Setting Panels and one of the Chief Assessors for the
Victorian Certificate of Education Music Performance (Solo & Group) study designs (1995-2010)
and for the Music: History & Styles study design (1995-2003) and has been a performance assessor
for the various VCE and VCE-VET music performance subjects from 1992 to the present.

He was also a member of the curriculum design panels for each of the VCE music study designs and a
principal author for three of their iterations. From 1996 to 2008 he was engaged as an examiner and
since 2010 has been the external advisor and examination scrutineer for the International
Baccalaureate (IB) music subjects (HL & SL) of the IB Diploma Programme.

Bill has published numerous musical analyses and teaching guides for the Melbourne Symphony
Orchestra & Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s ‘Symphony at 7’, ‘Discovery’ and ‘Encounter’
Series’. He has been published in the Victorian Journal of Music Education (VJME), the Australian
Journal of Music Education (AJME) and the journal of the Australian Association for Research in
Music Education (AARME) and was a contributing author to the Currency Companion to Music and
Dance in Australia (Currency House, 2003).

Bill has had a long and varied career as a performing musician. Since arriving in Australia from the
USA in 1975, he has been primarily a performer of contemporary music and jazz.  As a multi-
instrumentalist and vocalist, he was in demand as a session musician in the 1980s and ‘90s and was a
casual/sessional percussionist with Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in the late 1970s. From the mid-
70s to the late-90s Bill was involved with amateur and semi-professional musical theatre, both as
musical director and drummer/percussionist, and has conducted/directed numerous tertiary,
secondary and community-based instrumental and choral ensembles throughout his career.

Currently he is a committee member of Kids’ Conference (https://kidsconference.online/) and the Monash Youth Music Festival/Waverley Music Eisteddfod Inc. (https://www.monashyouthmusicfestival.com.au/)
and he presents Sunday Night Late (from 10 ‘til midnight) every week on 3MBS, Fine Music
Melbourne (https://3mbs.org.au/).



ACCOMPANIST - Patrice Marshall
Patrice graduated from Melbourne University with Mus.Bac., Dip.Ed., majoring in piano. She also obtained a Bandmaster's Diploma and enjoyed playing in brass bands.
She worked for many years in secondary education including instrumental teaching and accompanying choirs and musicals. She was also an accompanist for AMEB examinations and for many years, conducted a church choir.
Having retired from full time work, Patrice now enjoys accompanying work with choirs.

 
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