Spirit of the Streets celebrates all walks of life at Leslie Street Centre

Singing can often be a competitive hobby or profession, with much focus put on the experience and skill of a performer.

The Spirit of the Streets choir is different, though; the non-profit group is focused on providing opportunity to people from all walks of life, and will bring that positivity to the Leslie Street Centre stage on September 20.

It’s a special year for the choir, as well, which is celebrating it’s tenth anniversary.

“It’s just been great,” choir coordinator Irene Lightenall said.

“It’s really powerful to see how far we’ve come.”

The Spirit of the Streets choir formed over a discussion of creating something exciting and new for the WA community.

“The discussion was had at The Big Issue office, I believe, and it was just around the time the Choir of Hard Knocks had started and the documentary had been released,” Ms Lightenall said.

“We basically wanted the same thing: a group where anyone can come along at any time and feel like they have a place where they belong.

“Jonathan Welch, who lead the Choir of Hard Knocks, is actually our patron, so there’s a strong connection there.”

Originally called the Big Issue choir, as the magazine’s vendors served as its bulk, it eventually changed names after enticing more and more people from a wide variety of backgrounds to join.

Spirit of the Streets is basically for anyone and everyone; there’s no limit or prerequisite, and perhaps most importantly no judgement.

“We have people recovering from mental illness, people recovering from drug addiction and people who have been homeless. But we also have academics in the group. It’s for anyone who wants or needs to feel the joy of singing in their lives,” Ms Lightenall said. 

There’s also the obvious benefit of social interaction.

“You can’t count on the ability of interaction to help with these sorts of issues until you see people from such disparate backgrounds getting to know one another,” Ms Lightenall said.

“There’s friendships that continue outside of the choir, which is fantastic.”

The Spirit of the Streets choir will perform at the Leslie Street Centre on September 20 from 1pm.

The Leslie Street Centre is located at 7A Leslie Street.