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AMV Choir

About the Project 

Singing is so important for young people. The benefits of ensemble singing are well known and powerful. As part of the Australian Music Vault, we would like more young people singing Australian music. Therefor we are arranging Australian songs for performance by singing groups. They don’t have to be an established choir, just a few people who want to have a sing together! There doesn’t have to be a professional conductor, or even a conductor at all. Just put on the backing track and have a sing!

When you request an arrangement of a song, we will discuss with you whether you would like an audio backing track for your group to sing along to, or a notated Soprano / Alto / Bass (or Soprano / Alto only) arrangement with a piano part, two treble lines, and a bass line. Or both!

Ella Hooper discussing the AMV Choir project

BELL PRIMARY SCHOOL SENIOR VOCAL ENSEMBLE DIAMONDS BY SIA

The songs arranged for the Australian Music Vault Choir Project are:

More information about each song is available below. For Auslan translations of each song, see hereTo request an arrangement please use the form below.

Request an arrangement

    SONG ARRANGEMENTS

    WEIR - KILLING HEIDI

    Killing Heidi are Ella and Jesse Hooper, a sibling duo originally from Violet Town, Victoria. They began releasing music twenty years ago after their song Kettle was unearthed by Triple J. The duo soon formed a larger band with a rhythm section that came to include Warren Jenkin on bass and Adam Pedretti on drums. They recorded their debut album Reflector in Melbourne with Paul Kosky in a studio owned by Crowded House. The album was released in 2000 debuting at #1 on the ARIA charts where it stayed for seven weeks, eventually going platinum four times.

    Weir was one of their most successful songs, coming in at #2 in Triple J’s Hottest 100 in 1999. It has been referred to as a “teen anthem” and in the words of songwriter Ella Hooper signifies “friendship, youth, hopefulness, shared dreams, secrets and the unknown”. It was written, recorded and released when she was a teenager and the weir she sings about – a reservoir supplying water to Violet Town – is a place where Hooper spent many afternoons with her best friends. Commenting on its long term success Hooper has said that “maybe Weir holds its own because it was true to a 15-year-old's voice, uncomplicated and naive in a good way.” It combines sweeping melodies with simple lyrics to create a song that reflects on relationships and the passage of time.

    FORGOTTEN YEARS – MIDNIGHT OIL

    Legendary Australian rock band Midnight Oil formed in the 1970s to begin a career that would span over four decades. Uncompromising and deeply rooted in social issues, the band rose to international fame over the course of sixteen albums.

    Their ninth album Blue Sky Mining was released in 1990. Fiercely political, the album was a voice against global environmental degradation as much as it was an exploration of the Australian voice.

    In Forgotten Years front man Peter Garett calls on people to know their national and collective history; the “seasons of war and peace” and the tension that lies beneath Australia’s history. The song is a rousing anthem to remember unacknowledged battles and gather strength in remembering.

    LEAPS AND BOUNDS – PAUL KELLY

    Paul Kelly is an Australian icon, having recorded over 21 studio albums as well as several film soundtracks across his long spanning career. He was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 1997 for his contribution to Australian music. Still, Kelly has said "Song writing is mysterious to me. I still feel like a total beginner." His songs, however, capture Australian life with a clear eye and attention to detail that has led to his lyrics being published as works of art all of their own.

    Leaps and Bounds was released as a single in 1987. Music writer Toby Cresswell writes about the song: "The grand themes of Paul Kelly's work are all there – Melbourne, football, transcendence and memory”. The song is a snap shot of Melbourne, the landmarks, the way memory captures a moment in time and space.

    DIAMONDS – SIA (SUNG BY RIHANNA)

    Adelaide born Sia Furler is a singer-songwriter, record producer and music video director. She began performing and recording in Australia before relocating to the US in 2005. She has since risen to international fame through her distinctive vocals and pop sensibilities.

    In addition to releasing eight studio albums of her own she is also the writer behind many pop gems sung by other artists. Diamonds was written for Barbadian singer Rihanna and released on her album Unapologetic in 2012. The song offered a contrast from Rihanna’s other songs, often focussed on difficult and challenging relationships. It is an uplifting anthem about the positive nature of love and choosing happiness.

    BEAUTIFUL CHILD – ARCHIE ROACH

    Archie Roach is a landmark Australian musician providing a powerful voice for Indigenous Australians. He was born at Framlingham Aboriginal Mission and was taken from his family at the age of three. He started playing music whilst in foster care and continued writing songs and playing throughout a turbulent period of life on the streets. His first album Charcoal Lane was released in 1990, winning him an ARIA award and international acclaim as well as a Human Rights Achievement Award, the first time this award had been given to a songwriter.

    Beautiful Child is taken from the album Creation released in 2013. It was written after rioting in Brewarrina, NSW following an Indigenous man’s death in custody. Roach says "I remember they were talking to his mother on TV. She had a photograph of him [Lloyd Boney] and she was saying, he wasn't a bad boy. Look, he was a beautiful child." The song is a heartfelt tribute acknowledging the tragedy of indigenous deaths in custody.

    ARRANGERS

    CHARMAINE JONES-DEVASAGAYAM (SA and SAB arrangements of Weir)

    Charmaine Jones-Devasagayam is a highly sought after educator in vocal/choral and performance techniques nationwide. She has had the pleasure of working with; Paul Grabowsky, Paul Kelly, Michael Bublè, Naturally 7, Darlene Love, James Morrison, Leo Sayer, Jonathon Welch AM, to name just a few. She is the producer of critically acclaimed ensemble Gospo Collective and also conducts St Mary’s College and Pembroke School jazz choirs. Jones-Devasagayam sees no barrier to achieving goals, growing new skills and building relationships through music, creating a generation of people confident in the expression of their art, despite their age. Testaments are The Jones Commentary and The Jones Juniors (both of which are educational offshoots from her music, events and entertainment company, Gospo Enterprises) and The Big Black Caftans with chef, Maggie Beer.

    MARK PUDDY (SA and SAB arrangements of Leaps and Bounds and Diamonds)

    Mark has worked in music education for the past thirty-two years and is in demand as a writer and arranger of choral works. He is regularly commissioned to write works for schools and community choirs around Australia. Mark is the resident arranger and composer for the Australian Girls Choir and this organisation regularly performs his works for children ranging from 5 to 18 years of age. He has published many choral pieces and his works are performed regularly in Australia and overseas.

    Mark conducts and tutors with The Australian Girls Choir, and has been a regular conducting tutor at ACCET (Australian Choral Conductors’ Education and Training) for the last 5 years, teaching conducting to choral directors from around Australia.

    Mark has taught classroom music for 26 years and has been Associate Head of Music at Firbank Grammar School and Wesley College’s Elsternwick Campus in Melbourne. He was on the staff of Marryatville High School’s Special Interest Music Centre in SA.

    JOSHUA COWIE (SA and SAB arrangements of Forgotten Years)

    Joshua Cowie is a Melbourne based composer, audio producer, typesetter and educator.

    Leaps and Bounds was released as a single in 1987. Music writer Toby Cresswell writes about the song: "The grand themes of Paul Kelly's work are all there – Melbourne, football, transcendence and memory”. The song is a snap shot of Melbourne, the landmarks, the way memory captures a moment in time and space.

    DIAMONDS – SIA (SUNG BY RIHANNA)

    Adelaide born Sia Furler is a singer-songwriter, record producer and music video director. She began performing and recording in Australia before relocating to the US in 2005. She has since risen to international fame through her distinctive vocals and pop sensibilities.

    With the theory of music running through his veins, he is able to combine his extensive knowledge and experience to produce music in any style. Composing to a brief, creating a ‘sound-a-like’ or answering the question “I don’t know what I want!” Joshua will deliver a piece of music that perfectly sets the tone you require.

    For the last few years he’s been responsible for Arts Centre Melbourne’s recording studio output, including music and/or audio production for Television and Radio Commercials, Corporate Films, Gallery Media and various sections of their Online Learning Space.

    KATHRYN SADLER (SA and SAB arrangements of Beautiful Child)

    Kate has had rich experience conducting and composing and arranging for vocal groups and leading voice and choral masterclasses. In this capacity she has a national and international profile working with many pre-eminent choirs, Tertiary institutions and High schools. She founded the prize winning Mac.Robertson Chamber Voices; was Choral Director at Melbourne Girls Grammar School and directed Cantabella of Canterbury, including the much praised album, 'Gorgeous Girls.' She has conducted ensembles at Melbourne University and the Victorian College of the Arts. Kate currently directs Sounds of Southgate.

    Media Gallery

    Please send us any photos or videos you take of your singing group rehearsing or performing these arrangements. We would love to put them up on our website! Remember to hold the camera steady and film or take your photo in landscape mode. You can request an image release form at schools@artscentremelbourne.com.au

    The Jones Juniors singing the AMV Choir arrangement of Weir by Killing Heidi.

    BELL PRIMARY SCHOOL SENIOR VOCAL ENSEMBLE DIAMONDS BY SIA

    FAQs

    Q) There isn’t a choir at my school, can I still request an arrangement?
    A) Absolutely! Perhaps you could start with the backing track and all the students singing the melody. You don’t even have to sing for long, starting off the morning with a song for just 5 minutes can be a real joy.

    Q) I’ve never conducted a choir before, how do I do this?
    A) No problem! Have a listen to the song first, then slowly get the students to sing along. Eventually you can switch to the backing track and the students will take over, you don’t even need to do anything! Perhaps you can help them with things like when to sing softly and loudly, or when a new section is coming up. Or give them a reminder of the lyrics if they forget. Or just sing along with them!

    Q) How many copies can I print of the choir parts?
    A) There is a limit overall to how many copies we can print of these arrangements. Bearing this in mind please keep copies to only the strict number necessary, and let us know how many you have made.

    Q) Will there be a performance involving these songs, getting a group of school choirs together?
    A) We definitely hope to do this in the future. Stay tuned!

    Q) How many songs will there be in total?
    A) There will be 5 songs to being with, but we will add to these each year. Stay tuned!

    Q) Can I suggest songs to be arranged?
    A) Absolutely! Email us on schools@artscentremelbourne.com.au. Please bear in mind there are quite a few considerations when choosing the songs.

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