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Screenshot of a composite video showing musicians alongside singer Casey Donovan.
Photograph: Supplied

Aussie performers have formed an “isolation orchestra” to help the live music industry

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A stack of major names in Australia’s live music and theatre industries have come together, remotely, to form an isolation orchestra.

Performers like Dami Im, Courtney Act, Casey Donovan, Lucy Durack, Isaiah Firebrace, Rhonda Burchmore and Bert and Patti Newton (among many others) have joined forces with the Aussie Pops Orchestra for a performance of ‘What a Wonderful World’ by Louis Armstrong. They've also slightly changed the lyrics so that they now sing "I see friends not shaking hands". Apt.

Take a look at the performance below. 

Unlike a similar celebrity-laden video that shall not be named, this video has a higher purpose. The Aussie Pops Orchestra released the song to help raise awareness of Support Act, Australia’s only charity that provides crisis relief to artists, crew and music workers.

The charity has had a busy start to 2020, having first supported workers affected by the summer bushfires and now Covid-19. If you’re able, donating to Support Act is a great way to help artists, roadies, backstage crews and more during a time when a collective $100 million has already been lost from cancelled tours and events. Support Act has even set up a Covid-19 appeal, with some donors contributing the value of cancelled tickets to the fund. 

The Aussie Pops Orchestra is a private orchestra managed by John Foreman. The orchestra has been performing for over three decades and has shared the stage with the likes of Luciano Pavarotti, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Ray Charles, Peter Allen, Dame Joan Sutherland, Andrea Bocelli and Sir Cliff Richards.

Or you can listen to Melburnians screaming out their windows.

The 2020 Helpmann Awards have been cancelled

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