Singing while they weed are Tein McDonald, Olive O’Reilly, Tara Luca and Elvyn Dear: the a cappella bush regenerators.
Singing while they weed are Tein McDonald, Olive O’Reilly, Tara Luca and Elvyn Dear: the a cappella bush regenerators.

Sing up a song at the cemetery

If you happen to be wandering around the Lismore Bushland Cemetery and hear the sound of voices singing, don’t panic. It’s not the sound of a ghostly choir but rather a group of bush regenerators with a passion for a cappella singing.

The group has been founded by Tein McDonald, who was working with another bush regeneration group and had the idea to combine it with her love of harmony singing.

“I’ve been singing ever since I was a child. In the car, doing the washing up and, when you’ve got lots of sisters, you harmonise with them. And there’s no reason to stop as an adult... I think you have a greater appreciation of music when you are making it yourself,” she said. “In the modern world we are in danger of losing these urban areas of bushland and we’re in danger of losing culture and conversation... I love all of those, I find them life enhancing.

“The cemetery is a lovely setting too because it brings out humility and it’s a place where you have to be respectful. It’s a nice context.

“It’s a place for people who have lived and loved and laughed and this is about nature and regeneration.”

The group has only recently started, but it now meets once a month and is open to anybody who enjoys singing and can hold a tune.

Tara Luca did a music degree at Southern Cross University and plays in bands and had her two kids with her at the cemetery. Elvyn Dear also loves to sing and is an experienced regenerator.

The group’s repertoire consists of songs from around the world that each member brings to the group.

On the morning The Echo visited they did a couple of kids’ songs in a round, a song in Latin (Dona Nobis Pacem which means Give Us Peace) and also an Arabic song that was like a meditative chant. And all while pulling out the weed Asian copperleaf from amongst the natives.

For more information on the group or to join, phone Tein on 6682 2885.


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