"Jonathon is not only compassionate, warm and friendly but is also extremely brave. Not because he has worked with people who are in need but because of the demons of his own that he shows to the world — his own frailty, his own fears and his own dreams. I think this is what makes him a special person. When I look at him, I see someone who is like me and someone who I'd like to be."
"I have just finished reading your book, and it was absolutely brilliant. I thoroughly enjoyed every page. I am also a bagpipe player, and I can remember the Moorabin pipe band, and have seen the Clayton RSL band at competitions. Congratulations on your book again. I have no doubt it will be on my re-read list!!"
"Read your book in 2 sessions – brilliant. Hard to put down. What an amazing journey. I hope the choir comes to Launceston – I for one would not miss it. Congratulations!"
Jonathon Welch’s public face is well known: he is the founding musical director of the award-winning Choir of Hard Knocks made up of the homeless and the disadvantaged, a TV celebrity and one of Australia’s finest tenors. But what about Jonathon’s own story – what were the forces and experiences that shaped him?
In his warm and candid memoir, Jonathon tells in his own words how he developed a passion for social justice, and speaks of the events that led him to walk away from a stellar career in opera and theatre, at the height of its success.
Jonathon says, "Somehow I just knew that it was time for me to move on from my career with Australian Opera, even though I had spent my entire life working towards this goal. I knew that I had learnt what I needed to from the wonderful opportunities I had been given, and that my musical gifts would somehow be of better service to the community at large, and following my gut instincts and intuition, music was my best friend as it was constantly there during the darkest hours of my life."
Moving from Jonathon’s modest beginnings in suburban Melbourne where he exhibited early ‘theatrical’ tendencies, his life at the centre of a family falling apart, coming to terms with his sexuality and the discovery of his singing talent, Choir Man is both inspirational and entertaining.
Together with Jimmy Barnes, Jonathon has created the School of Hard Knocks Foundation, dedicated to assisting those who are homeless and disadvantaged with further support and educational opportunities through music, arts and cultural programs as part of the Play It Forward™ program. A percentage of the profits from all sales of Choir Man will go to this organisation.
ISBN: 9780732287627 | Publication date: 1 April 2009 | $35.00 (including shipping)