Alchemy Chorus brings together people living with dementia, their relative or close friend, volunteer musicians and singers for a morning of music-making, story-sharing, laughter and fun.
Founded in Canberra Australia in 2016 by Brian Triglone, inspired by the Giving Voice Chorus in Minnesota USA, Alchemy Chorus now bursts at the seams on Thursdays, with up to 90 participants who swing through a variety of well-known songs from Doris Day classics to The Seekers and The Beatles. While the effect which music can have on the brain, especially for those with dementia, is well publicized, one of the important flow-on effects of the chorus is the opportunity it affords the carers of those living with dementia to interact with other carers and importantly, to share an activity with their partner. Thursday brings a morning of ‘glorious ordinariness’, as everyone is encouraged to ‘let it go‘.
Every voice is important to Alchemy Chorus. Some voices are golden from a lifetime of singing, some are revived after a recess, others are new to singing in a choir. Solos and duets can happen spontaneously. For some, particularly the participants with more advanced dementia, the morning is an opportunity to let the music wash over. And everybody shares a love of music.
Our target group
Alchemy Chorus welcomes people living with dementia who are able to gain from and participate in singing and performance, along with a relative or close friend. Because the focus is on providing a shared experience for couples (namely a partner, relative or close friend) Alchemy Chorus is not suitable for paid carers.
Interested? Our Manager, Jill Sheppard is the person to contact if you think Alchemy Chorus might be for you. 0413 439 381 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to play an excerpt from story about the choir on the ABC’s Australia Wide program in 2017.
Video thanks to ABC
Brian Triglone, OAM. Brian has been a tireless volunteer leader of many community causes through his love of music: individually, as a member of a group and as a leader and conductor of community-based choirs, including The Treble Folk, Betty and Brian Folk Duo, The Rugby Choir, The Gospel Folk and Credo. He is the founder and conductor of Alchemy Chorus.
Brendan O’Loghlin, AO. After an early career as an RAAF pilot, Brendan moved into international relations and strategic policy. He served in Malaysia, Singapore, UK and USA, enjoying various musical activities in the local communities.
Chris Hopman. Clean Living Chris, the Sri Lanka Connexion, from Colombo to Canberra.
We are delighted and honoured that Soprano Louise Page OAM is our Patron.
Although we spend lots of time singing old favourites that stir the memory Alchemy Chorus is a performing choir and has appeared at events at the National Portrait Gallery, the National Museum, the Botanic Gardens, at Wesley’s Wednesday Lunchtime concert series (joining with The Gospel Folk), at The Australian War Memorial and at the Woden Library. The chorus gives public performances at Weston Creek Uniting Church each year (see our Events page). At the end of each term the chorus conducts a small concert where anyone who feels inclined can come forward and perform. To encourage performance standards, Brian gently and good-humouredly works on the musical skills of phrasing, articulation, movement and simple harmonies. We have a very talented band with Chris Hopman on double bass and Brendan O’Loghlin on keyboard, flute, guitar, mandolin (almost anything really), with Brian occasionally on guitar.
Thursdays with Alchemy Chorus are not just about voices and music. They are a time for sharing stories and laughter and celebrating birthdays. Each week there is a member spotlight session when a life-story is told. There have been stories from and about scientists, business people, teachers, accountants, public servants, taxi drivers, artists, military personnel, and diplomats, and the ongoing work of carers is ever-present and affirmed.
Publicity and Development. We are keen to see other Alchemy Chorus choirs established in Australia. If you are interested, please call our performance and development manager, Trish Cran on 0438 422 737 or email@example.com.
Alchemy Chorus meets every Thursday in school terms from 10.00 to 12.00 at the Council on the Ageing (COTA) hall at Hughes Community Centre, Wisdom St, Hughes.
The charge is $5 per person. Please note that all those with dementia are required to have a carer with them at all times.
Alchemy Chorus is a not for profit incorporated association run entirely by volunteers. All volunteers have a Working with Vulnerable People certificate.
Alchemy Chorus is now on Facebook at facebook.com/alchemychoruscanberra
Find us on Google Maps
We are pleased to use Kwik Kopy Phillip for our printing and thank them for their support.
Get In Touch
- Brian Triglone
- 0402 095 592
Publicity and Gig Manager
- Trish Cran
- 0438 422 737
Manager and Membership enquiries
- Jill Sheppard
- 0413 439 381