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13 May 2013 | Press Release

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A sing along at Griffith

Human Interest

People's mouths are Steve Griffin's life. During the week he teaches prosthodontics to Griffith Dentistry and Oral Health students, helping to create healthy smiles for people whose teeth are holding them back.

At weekends he creates healthy smiles by singing at the top of his voice.

'A capella' is his speciality and over time he has noticed a growing number of Griffith medicine and dental students with serious talent, whose lack of an outlet is preventing them from expressing it.

A capella is a style of singing without any musical accompaniment which is enjoying a resurgence in young people though hip hop and movies such as Pitch Perfect.

Now Griffin has teamed up with musical director Johnno Albertini to create Griffith Health's first choir, Serotonin. The group performed their first show of contemporary pop as part of the Voices in Paradise concert recently held on the Gold Coast.

"The original concept came from me observing a large number of very musically talented students in my Dental Science lecture groups who showed real excitement when I mentioned the possibility of starting a choir," said Mr Griffin.

The twenty voice choir performed a selection of modern pop hits at a packed G17 lecture theatre on the Gold Coast Campus. Griffin is a long-term member of Gold Coast vocal group The Blenders who have toured internationally and regularly perform at public events around SE Queensland.

"It was a fantastic experience for an early gig. You can practice and practice, but ultimately you have to get out there and see how people gel under the lights and eyes of an audience, and they were very good," he said.

"This is the beginning of a long term project where The Blenders, my home chorus, is providing the musical directing, organisational, community engagement and managerial support for an ongoing choir of excellence at Griffith.

"As more talent is identified we will be using vocal percussion and beat boxing along with soloists to add interest to our performances. We may even add in instrumental variation."

The group is open to all students, past and present, under the age of 30 and Griffin is hoping the choir establishes itself as a permanent part of Griffith's Health Group and acts as a catalyst for a growing appreciation of a capella.

Griffin's next challenge is to respond to the howls of protest from staff at his "under 30" rule and start a choir for all ages.



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