Media, entertainment & the arts

Singers come together to spread hope

Gippsland singers and Federation University Australia students and alumni are using the power of song to spread hope to communities continuing to deal with the challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Federation University’s Word of Mouth Chorus has recorded a virtual mash-up of iconic 20th century songs Bridge Over Troubled Water by Paul Simon and Imagine by John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

About 50 students and staff lent their voices to the song with graduates Samantha Stewart and Sam Roberts singing the featured solos and Brad De Vries editing the video. See the video below.

The Word of Mouth Chorus aims to keep people connected and creative during times of physical distancing, with virtual rehearsals attended by community singers from across Gippsland and Ballarat, along with Federation University Arts Academy students and alumni.

The group was launched in Gippsland in July 2020 as a partnership between Federation University and AGL Loy Yang.

“Singing together is about social cohesion and wellbeing and as we continue to face the challenges of the global pandemic, we wanted to send out a powerful message of hope and optimism through this video,” said Federation University Arts Academy Director, Associate Professor Rick Chew.

“I’ve always believed that the arts should be for everyone and through partnerships with AGL Loy Yang and Latrobe City Council, we can bring singers with a range of experience together to explore their voice and make new friends.”

In an effort to further nurture the vocal talents of the Gippsland community, Federation University Arts Academy will host a singing day on Saturday, 10 July from 11am to 4pm at Latrobe Performing Arts Centre, Grey Street Traralgon.

The Big Sky Sing is free and open to all, from those wanting to explore their voice, to established community choir members and teachers.

Participants will have the opportunity to meet fellow vocalists and learn new arrangements in a fun and relaxed environment.

The singing day builds on Federation University’s partnership with Latrobe City Council to work together to develop a thriving performing arts scene in Gippsland.

You can register for the Big Sky Sing here.

For more information about the Word of Mouth Chorus, visit


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