It  was reliably reported to me recently (by a 10 year old) that a primary school on Sydney’s Lower North Shore was auditioning children for a place in the school choir. Not only were they being auditioned, they were being auditioned individually – standing in front of everyone, legs quivering with fear, having to sing Mary Had a Little Lambsolo to get a spot. My little friend was bitterly disappointed he didn’t get in, despite having been part of the School Spectacular Choir a few years running. He doesn’t play an instrument, his only access to performance is through the choir, and yet that avenue of pleasure was suddenly closed down.

We’re not talking the Vienna Boys Choir here, folks, we’re talking a small primary school in the public system that should be falling over themselves to admit everyone, whether they have the voice of an angel or honk like a Cape Barren Goose. What is this nonsense? The purpose of a school choir is to invite everyone in, to make music together with the human voice. You don’t have to buy an expensive violin or tuba, or learn how to scrape oboe reeds, you just open your mouth...

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