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United through singing

Think Local

Pam Grover and daughter Kylie relish the chance to bond while taking part in a weekly activity, which they say lifts their spirits and releases positive energy.

The dedicated and musically gifted mother and daughter have ( been an integral part of the Satsang Choir, based in Willoughby for the past seven years.

"We have both loved singing for many years - from our childhood - but we decided to rekindle the passion after watching Battle of the Choirs a few years ago and soon after we met choirmaster and director Gillian Meadow and joined her Satsang Choir," Kylie tells North Shore Living.

The pair has been actively involved in social and competition singing since then in the 'a capella' style, which involves gospel, pop, classical and jazz and many other slants, which involve singing 'with heart'.

"I love that we are 'a capella'," says Gillian Meadow.

"It means we are exclusively using our bodies and voices as instruments in our performances, although sometimes we may also incorporate a drum or recorder. I am passionate about creating awareness in the singers around how the voice works and how to control this and nurturing a voice that is healthy, flexible and sustainable. It is a unique vehicle for self-expression," she adds.

She says choir members really enjoyed their experience in being with the group when she started to teach singing technique in combination with the musical arrangements. "I think they like to know they are making an artistic contribution and many of my favourite moments in this choir come when we are singing high, soft passages - something that takes a lot of skill."

"Something magical happens when you no longer need to project your voice, but it becomes like a Tibetan singing bowl where the most exquisite tone is just radiating out and drawing the audience into the space of the heart," she smiles.

Kylie Grover says as a director, Gillian is "passionate and dedicated and also a beautiful singer". "We are very lucky, she has so much experience and she has a great knowledge of the anatomy of the voice."

Pam Grover echoes her daughter's sentiments and says she loves being in the choir and especially so when they perform.

"My daughter Kylie teaches me a lot," she laughs. "She is a very good soprano and it's been wonderful to see her voice mature over the years now that she is 20. Gillian says we sing well together - apparently our voices match because we are related and sometimes we do duets."

For American born Gillian, singing and gospel music holds a special place in her heart.

"I was raised by an African-American woman in the United States who brought me up listening to James Brown and Aretha Franklin and snuck me off to the Gospel Church when Mum wasn't looking," she smiles.

"Getting lost in that raw, soulful, captivating sound of gospel music opened my whole voice and my whole being and completely thrilled a 10-year-old white girl."

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