Shortis and Simpson run a world music choir, Worldly Goods.
WORLDLY GOODS is a 60-voice community choir open to all comers. The repertoire is world music. No music reading skills or previous experience required. The joy of singing is the important ingredient.
Worldly Goods was formed in 1998, and has performed at conferences, as part of festivals, in large community arts projects, and at their own concerts. After a pause due to COVID, they had their first performance for some time for the Women’s International Club at the Hellenic Club in Phillip, ACT, in March 2021.
An active workshop program is part of the Worldly Goods calendar, and workshop leaders have included Tony Backhouse, Frankie Armstrong, Margret RoadKnight, Nino Tsitsishnili and Joseph Jordanian, Jeannie Lewis, and Rachel Hoare.
The choir meets each Monday during school terms at Gorman House Arts Centre, Ainslie Avenue, Braddon, ACT. All welcome.
Moya Simpson’s voice workshops create a joyous, humorous and safe environment for vocal exploration ,harmony and improvisation. Participants experience the delight of singing with others, using calls, chants and songs from a variety of cultures around the world. They can be for advanced singers or those who sing secretly in the shower. She also works regularly with established groups and choirs on their vocal sound and repertoire development.
SONGWRITING and MUSIC THEORY WORKSHOPS
John Shortis has much experience in group songwriting, especially on community projects. He also runs courses that encourage people to find their own voice as songwriters. He hopes to announce one of these later in 2021.
Music in the Key of Shortis is the title of his music theory course. He is passionate about the topic, probably because he discovered all he knows as a result of his own exploration, and from learning on the job, after 50 years as a professional songwriter/ composer/ musician/ arranger. He says ‘what better way to learn about music theory than from someone who has never had a music theory lesson.’ Next course is for beginners, four consecutive Wednesdays from April 28.
Shortis and Simpson perform at many conferences in the ACT and interstate. From their enormous repertoire they tailor their performance to suit the needs of the conference. They usually do between 20 and 40 minutes in a situation like conference dinner, exhibition opening etc. They have often created a song specially for the occasion.
Their act is lyric based and requires audience attention.
Past performances have been at conferences related to politics, education, history, law, financial planning, engineering, food and wine, and at launches of exhibitions, festivals etc.
Shortis and Simpson have directed numerous community arts projects including The Outback Children’s Spectacular in Dubbo in 1988 in which 3000 school students from outback NSW wrote and performed their own show in front of an audience of 30 000. Other projects include Candid Canberra (2001), a federation Centenary project based on Canberra’s history, and Changes in the Ranges for Dandenong Ranges Music Council (2003), and Bells Of Peace also for Dandenong Ranges Music Council, a centenary of Anzac project, that was performed in April 2015.