Nelson’s Voice Collective rises up BY LISA MORLEY | PHOTOS SUPPLIED
anya Nock and Ryan Beehre’s Voice Collective has not only survived the lockdown, but it has transformed into a virtual community group that has helped to inspire and motivate people in this difficult time. The Facebook live stream that the pair set up has reached more than 5000 people over four weekly sessions. It has been a way that the local Nelson core group can share its experience with a wider audience, reaching as far afield as Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. Tanya and Ryan hadn’t realised how successful the concept would be when they put together the first online session. The first Above: Sahara Morley-Gray taking part in an online Voice Collective session Opposite page: Clockwise from top - Online singing lessons; Nico Morley-Gray joins in 14
choir activity was met with such enthusiasm and reached a much wider audience than anticipated. Tanya says they had people asking if they could “please do this again”. So, they decided to make it a regular occurrence during the lockdown. Tanya describes how the online format of the group “has made it quite accessible, as people are at home”. She says that the “initial plan was for the Nelson Voice Collective community. We then realised that we’ve had people doing it that haven’t been able to come to Voice Collective for various reasons. One person from the other side of Riwaka said how it’s taken a pandemic for them to get to Voice Collective.”
Deliberate song choices
There is a lot of thought and effort that goes into the singing lessons. The pair deliberately choose songs that will uplift and inspire. The first week’s song choice ‘I can’t feel my face’ by The Weekend, was chosen for its light-hearted, comical connection to washing hands. Ryan explains how ‘I can’t feel my face’ was kind of a typical Kiwi’s approach to a dire situation. The second song, Fat Boy Slim’s ‘Praise You’ was to honour essential workers and the third song ‘Home’ by Avicii, was chosen to help look at home positively, when people may be going a little stircrazy inside their bubbles. The last session featured ‘Garden’ by Fly My Pretties, with the theme Soup, Slippers and Sparkles. To bring fun and joy to each event, Tanya encourages people to take pictures and videos of themselves while performing the songs. Once again, the response is overwhelming. The videos and photos pour in.