Get social with us!
  • › Sono Forte 2020: Community Project to Honour the Arts Workers


    A lockdown community singing project pioneered by Jeannie Marsh and Nancy Atkin involving over 80 people was launched in February.

    Sono Forte is a choral work composed by Irine Vela. The words, in Turkish, Italian and Greek, mean: “I am strong, we are strong. The most difficult moments await us; it doesn’t finish here.” 

    The aim of the project which included a virtual choir of 65 voices with 9 soloists and 15 performers and band members, is to honour perfromers, artists, writers, film-makers, and all arts workers for their help in supporting us all to get through lockdown and hard times.


    The video is accompanied by the following message:

    Please help our arts workers stay strong during these dark times by lobbying your politicians to truly support the arts, and by donating to

    Sono Forte was originally composed by Irine Vela for 1989 Melbourne Workers Theatre (MWT) production The Aftermath. In 1995 Irine extended this 3 minute song to become a 12 minute piece commissioned by community choir Canto Coro. The song became a coda to the larger piece. It was then incorporated as the finale into Little City – a choral opera – a 1996 coproduction between MWT and Canto Coro. Many "Little City" singers joined our 2021 virtual choir from around Australia and overseas, with singers rehearsing on Zoom and recording their performances on their phones.

    Artistic Director – Jeannie Marsh
    Project Administrator – Nancy Atkin
    Composer – Irine Vela
    Sound Engineer – James Hodson

    Virtual Choir – Angelo Delsante, Ann Taket, Anna Dehne, Annette Barker, Arimbi Winoto, Carmen Attel, Charmian Eckersley, Chris Boek, Christine Pinniger, Clive Skilton, Craig Barrie, David Cramond, Deb Carveth, Delia Bohler, Emily Hayes, Gavin Turnbull, Gianni Montalto, Helen Birkett, Helen Jarvis, Helen Van Der Nagel, Jane Crouch, Jane Touzeau, Janette Collier, Janine Rizzetti, Janna Hilbrink, Jeannie Marsh, Jennifer Trethowan, John Fisher, Judy Pile, Kari, Katherine Kelly, Kay Cooper, Kerrie Woodrow, Laurie Niven, Louise Hughes, Marcus Brazil, Margreta Kuijper, Maria Camila Mejia Torres, Marie Riley, Mark Dunbar, Mary Caruana, Mary Stringer, Maureen O'Shaughnessy, Michael Roper, Mike Puleston, Mitzi Tuke, Nancy Atkin, Nicki Johnson, Penelope Glass, Philippa Carthew, Rita Hach, Sarah Brown, Sumitra Phoenix, Suzanne Coburn, Ursula Harrison

    Soloists and Band – Craig Barrie, Angelo Delsante, Nicki Johnson, Jeannie Marsh; Mark Dunbar (flute), Ernie Gruner (violin), James Hodson (trumpet), Loz Irwin-Ray (djembe, double bass), Irine Vela (guitar)

    Language coaches – Maryanne Pilkington (Turkish), Angelo Delsante (Italian), Irine Vela (Greek)

    Film Team:
    ​Videographers – Terry Melvin and Laura Brearley
    Editor – Terry Melvin
    Animator – Nick Simpson

    Performers – Nancy Atkin, Craig Barrie, Chris Boek, Kay Cooper, Dave Evans, Ernie Gruner, Nicki Johnson, Glenda Lasslett, Jeannie Marsh, Bridget Roberts, Michael Roper, Daniel Sullivan, Nick Thieberger, Mitzi Took

    Special thanks – Savannah Boyd, Laura Brearley, Mark Dunbar, Glenda Lasslett, Terry Melvin, Irine Vela. And all the generous donors, performers, and volunteers who made this project possible We acknowledge the traditional custodians of Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung country on which this film was made.