Profile: Dr Maria Markoulli: I’ve been singing in a choir since 2012. At that time, I’d just finished my PhD and really craved a musical group environment. Attending my first rehearsal was a bit nerve wracking. Part of me was worried that I would embarrass myself and never come back. But on the contrary, choir turned out to be an amazing experience. I was struck by how inspiring it was to watch a group of people come together and create such beautiful music. They sang so effortlessly and yes, harmoniously. I haven’t looked back – every time, I leave choir rehearsal feeling invigorated, singing in the car all the way home. I keep the windows up.
Our choir group is called ‘Jonah and the Wailers.’ We’ve got three groups of around fifteen people who practice together in different parts of Sydney. Our choir master, Ian Laurence, has this really relaxed style where he caters for all skill levels. You don’t even need to be able to read music to sing with us!
When we get together in this huge group of about forty-five singers the sound is phenomenal. We’ll sing a range of repertoires from African-American gospel to popular contemporary songs like Pharrell Williams’ “Happy.” Its also an amazing experience being able to perform in venues like the Basement in Circular Quay or Camelot in Marrickville.
Dr Maria Markoulli is an Optometrist and Senior Lecturer at the School of Optometry and Vision Science - https://research.unsw.edu.au/people/dr-maria-markoulli