Jonathon Welch | Founding Artistic Director, Play It Forward Aust Ltd

Jonathon Welch recently moved to Redlands Coast and we are excited to welcome him to RPAC for a number of projects this year, including Redland Sings

Check out what he has to say about the project in this interview below.

We’re excited that you’re now considered a Redlands Coast local. What made you decide to relocate to this neck of the woods?
I lived in Brisbane in the ‘80s when I was studying at Queensland Conservatorium and performing with Lyric Opera of Queensland at QPAC back when it first opened. I always dreamt of returning one day and I knew Redlands would be the perfect location, with its beautiful coastal breezes and scenery, relaxed lifestyle, easy access to the airport and city, the most wonderful cultural centre in RPAC and an amazing creative community.

You’ve had such a marvellously full and rewarding career, how would you best describe your experience with music and singing over the years?
I have been very blessed to have an incredibly diverse career in the music industry and so many amazing opportunities for over four decades now, and every experience has been unique and totally rewarding in its own way. For me, music and singing is how I’ve been able to make sense of the world – it’s how I feel that I can make a valuable contribution and in return, feel valued. I still wake up every day feeling excited about the opportunities I have to be involved in the creative process of making music and sharing my joy of singing.

What are the most fulfilling aspects of your work with Play It Forward?
Play It Forward has been all about creating as many opportunities to involve as many people in our inclusive arts projects, programs and events. Our mission has been to bridge the gap between the professional music and community arts sectors, collaborating with government, the private sector, education, welfare and health organisations. It’s so exciting to see what can be achieved when we all work together and bring our strengths to help deliver high quality music and arts programs alongside highly skilled practitioners that everyone can learn from. I just love seeing everyone having musical experiences and doing things they thought they could never or would ever do!

Redland Sings! isn’t quite Pub Choir but it’s close. What is it about community singing that people get excited about?
Redland Sings! is all about access and inclusion and involving people of all ages and abilities to come and have fun singing, not just adults. We humans love to feel we are part of a ‘team’ and Redland Sings! is going to create a new ‘musical family’ in our ‘music village’ at RPAC – where everyone, young and old, can come and just have fun being ‘in the moment’ for an hour and sing!

Among your classical selections, what are some of your favourite songs from other genres?
Can you give us a slice of what’s to come for Redland Sings!I have very eclectic musical tastes, and love everything from music theatre to pop, rock, gospel, country  music and beyond. We won’t be doing any classical repertoire, so you’ll just have to come along and be surprised. Every session is going to be totally different!