Singing together for 30 years - Meet Don and Jeanette
Husband and wife, Don and Jeanette Box have been with the Yarra Valley Singers for 30 years! Isn’t that amazing. They joined the year the choir began on the encouragement of a friend and have been consistent members for three decades, Don serving as president for a time (now the librarian) and Jeanette choir manager for several years.
Although neither Jeanette nor Don were singers when they started in choir, the opportunity to grow in their skills as the choir grew has been hugely rewarding. When they joined choir, their business was all consuming and Wednesday night rehearsal was a way of winding down and sharing something together. Don says when you sing it’s easy to forget about everything else and that has always been a wonderful thing about their participation.
Don’s most memorable choir moments are the ‘huge’ performances with the Maroondah Symphony Orchestra. His favourites have been Verdi’s Requiem (which he hints might be part of the Yarra Valley Singers programming in 2019) and has also enjoyed doing Mozart, the Messiah, Opera Highlights and Gilbert & Sullivan.
Now in her 80s, Jeanette is delighted to say age is no barrier to being part of a choir and even if she does forget something, the other members of the choir carry her. She’s not sure how she’s maintained coming to rehearsal week after week for such a long time, but thinks it has a lot to do with the fact that when she gets there she’s “just so happy”.
“Belinda the choir leader is such a gem, she puts in so much, and we all shine with her. I’ve made such good friends and it’s been a lovely thing to do with my husband that we both enjoy.”
Don says, “Give choir a go and persevere. Singing is a skill to develop just like many other skills, and it takes some practice but there are so many benefits. Singing teaches you lessons for life, and being in a choir teaches you about teamwork and harmony in a group. And it exercises your whole brain, so it’s a wonderful learning tool that supports a good life. Look at us!”