ChoirsThe current list of attending choirs for 2017
Click on choir name for more information
Away From Keyboard (AFK) is an online computer gaming term. It’s also a new Canberra-based, geek-themed choir of about 16 members. We sing a cappella, so singing together involves being away from both computer and piano keyboards. Musical influences are pretty predictable, including computer games, Star Wars, zombies, James Bond (because nobody writes songs about Q), anything by the magnificent Jonathon Coulton, and lots of Beatles, because we want to.
Aqualuna is a community based a cappella choir that was formed in Lane Cove in 2006 by like-minded people who wanted to experience the joy of singing together. Over time the group has grown, shrunk, almost collapsed (!), and totally changed in membership, to now number 20-25 singers. We love to sing a variety of musical styles including modern, pop, gospel, soul, world, musical scores and sometimes a little sacred music too.
We relish the opportunity to perform at community events, choir evenings and to join with other choirs to hold our own concerts. Some of our concerts over the years include singing as support to the Sydney Street Choir (choir for homeless people in Sydney), a concert at the Basement and singing with other voices at the ABC studios. We’re currently led by a fabulous musician and choir maestro, Philip Eames, who is trying very hard to make us sound good. All this, while having enormous fun! We love to hold our annual Christmas concert for family and friends and are happy to join with other choirs for concerts. We especially love our occasional mulled wine evenings in winter! We do not audition and we welcome anyone. We rehearse on Wednesday evenings at Longueville, Sydney.
Blokes Notes have been inflicting their vocal prowess on audiences willing and unwilling throughout the Hastings/Camden Haven areas centred on Port Macquarie, NSW and beyond since 2009. Responses have varied from shock to rapture, but they are yet to face indifference.
Following their performances at the ChOir-tly Loud Festival in 2013 and 2015 the men are planning to return in 2017 with a program that may make you whimsical, nostalgic, inspired, furious, embarrassed and completely at a loss, possibly all in the same song. If you enjoy acapella singing in the base clef, have a secret thing for beards or simply revel in the spectacle of a bunch of blokes all trying to march with the same foot first, then you should come along.
The men of Blokes Notes come from all walks of life. They are drawn together for a weekly rite of song and camaraderie. The Blokes steal songs from any genre that takes their fancy, sometimes singing them in their original form but more often than not they are arranged (manipulated/reworked/mangled) to suit their own irreverent, irrelevant, irrational, irresponsible style. No genre is off limits, Gospel, Georgian, Gregorian, Gothic. They even sing material from genres that don’t start with G.
We welcome new members any time with only one criteria; they must be able to grow a beard (if they wanted to.) Musical experience is not required. If you’re a bloke who’s ready to leave the safety of singing in the shower, we’re looking for you. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Challis Singers is a friendly, non-auditioned community choir located in Sydney’s North Shore that started up in late 2012. Some of us have some previous experience with choral music, but for at least half the group this is their first time singing in a choir. We delight in the joy of singing and have very sociable, fun rehearsals. We enjoy a wide range of different styles of music, and prefer not to limit ourselves to any one style. Consequently, we’ve sung rock, pop, jazz, gospel, country, madrigals, motets, folk music, and contemporary classical music.
We plan to produce two concerts a year and also take part in various choral festivals and community events throughout the year. We arrange some of our own music and have also performed songs written by choristers. We like our concerts to be welcoming and friendly, and to that end we like to involve the audience (through the teaching of rounds etc). Our children are also quite keen to be involved, so the Challis Kids sang two songs in our first concert and will be back again next time, hopefully along with a larger group of children from local schools.
The Cyrenes is an innovative, energetic a cappella choir of women who sing ‘for the love of it’. Canberra-based and founded in 1989, the Cyrenes have always been about creating a supportive and fun environment – both musically and in terms of a warm community where women connect with each other. The Cyrenes sing songs about women’s issues, social justice, human rights, environmental concerns, songs from many cultures, and some just for fun! Whilst the choir strives for excellence in performance, our underlying philosophy is that singing is part of the joy and wellbeing of life, that everyone can sing and has something to contribute. The choir enables women to build confidence, improve existing skills and gain new ones in choral voice and solo performance.
The Divine Divas of Sunbury
The Divine Divas of Sunbury are an excellent, un-auditioned, prize-winning community choir from Sunbury in Victoria.
The Divine Divas of Sunbury started 11 years ago when Musical Director Adam Przewlocki created a small female choir with 6 of his singing students. Since then, the Divine Divas have grown into a choir of 50 members and developed into an outstanding, award winning show choir, arguably one of the best in Australia. In May 2008, the Divine Divas were selected from over 200 choirs to be one of 16 choirs selected to appear in Channel7/Granada production’s “Battle of the Choirs”. In 2009, the Divine Divas competed in the National Eisteddfod in Canberra and won 1st Prize in the Open Popular Championship. It also became one of the first choirs to perform at a Prison facility, performing for the inmates at Dame Phyllis Frost Women’s Prison. In 2010, the Divine Divas came home with a Silver Medal from the World Choir Games in the People’s Republic of China. The Divine Divas were the only un-auditioned choir in the competition. In 2012, the Divine Divas reached the semi-finals of “Australia’s Got Talent”. In 2013, the Divine Divas again won 1st Prize in the Open Popular Championship at the Australian National Eisteddfod in Canberra. In 2014, the Divine Divas became once again the only un-auditioned community choir to win 1st Prize at the prestigious Australian National Eisteddfod. In 2015, the Divine Divas achieved their ultimate success by becoming the first community choir and first un-auditioned choir to win 1st prize in the top competition, the Choral Challenge, at the Australian National Eisteddfod in Canberra.
The Divine Divas of Sunbury are now working towards again attending the World Choir Games in Calgary, Canada in 2020.
Food Of Love
Since April 1998 , we have been gathering on Monday nights , under the direction of Joy Sharpe . We have always welcomed new members to join us regardless of experience to learn a wide variety of songs from many different cultures and traditions , and enjoy the thrill of singing in harmony.
Our song list has over 100 titles and the number of people who have participated in the choir or in workshops is well over 300. No one ever auditioned and no one was ever turned away. Currently we have 30 members, both men and women.
Our philosophy is that everyone can sing and can improve on their skills in a warm and welcoming environment. We love a cappella singing but we also include some accompanied songs with Julie Emery Sexton on the piano.
We regularly perform at Nowra’s phenomenal fundraising event the Relay for Life, Kangaroo Valley Folk Festival, Cambewarra Christmas Carols and Shoalhaven Palliative Care Memorial Service. Recently we have performed at a wedding, made a video, and are preparing for the Festival of Choirs in Berry and Nowra in September.
Frankston Ladies Choir
THE most versatile choir on the Mornington Peninsula, the Frankston Ladies Choir will impress you with their dynamic range of repertoire; from the beautiful and haunting Va Pensiero through to original jazzy arrangements, “All That Jazz” witty musical theatre songs and even rock and disco (Queen & more) – much in glorious 3 part harmony.
We’re very proud to have performed at the Alta Pusteria Festival in Italy, at the “The Espy” (The Esplanade Hotel, St Kilda), The Brunswick Hotel, Frankston Festival of Lights, Montsalvat Choral Festival (Heidelberg) and alongside the highly regarded Melbourne Welsh and Australian Welsh Male choirs. You can be assured of entertainment to surprise and delight you, once seen we’re never forgotten!
Vocalocal (Goulburn Community Choir)
Vocalocal (the Goulburn Community Choir) began in October 2015. They are an “all comers” ensemble and comprise members of all ages and levels of experience. VOCALOCAL explore a wide range of musical styles from pop, rock, jazz, music theatre, world and classical genres – something for everyone! In September 2016, VOCALOCAL came into their own presenting a landmark concert at the beautiful St. Saviours Cathedral titled “Spiritual” in which they explored all kinds of music that could be considered uplifting of the soul. Since then they have gone from strength to strength, performing at the recent Festival of Voices in Hobart, the “ Harmonic Resonance” concert at St Saviours Cathedral and a range of community events. Best of all, they have been embraced by the community for their positive performance style and the joy they bring to their singing! VOCALOCAL now comprise over 60 members and are the largest ensemble at the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium. They are led by Conservatorium CEO and Artistic Director Paul Scott-Williams, and accompanied by Jenny McCarthy.
Men In Suits
Men in Suits has, at its roots, a semi-clandestine gathering of mere males looking for an excuse to escape life’s routines one evening a week to sing. That group still gets together most Thursday nights of the year for a couple of hours of musical magic and a little mayhem. If we convince ourselves that we are again magnificent, we are rewarded with a beverage or two at the “local”, where we share tales of how we’ve each managed, in our own ways, to save the world that day.
Under the guidance of Suitmeister Stephen Taberner, we eventually ventured forth to give voice to the masses. And in disguise. In time, our uninvited appearances in unexpected places at unscheduled times to an unsuspecting public gave rise to an identity. And a name. And a reputation. We had evolved – and they called us Men in Suits!
Today we are directed by Chris Blain (yes, that’s him, he’s from Suade). So be prepared for an unabashed, even irreverent performance of deadpan originals, revolutionary anthems, Georgian lullabies and classic pop songs (with a twist) by this group of Melbourne suits.
Mudlarks are a group of women who have been singing together for over sixteen years, in various configurations. For some years their repertoire has been exploratory, eclectic, ranging broadly across cultures and styles. In recent years their song selection has been thematic: songs from Australia; songs from the Seventies; a just-for-fun set called Mudlarks’ Relationship Tips; and a few home-growns.
Musical Director Alison Jones enjoys exploring harmonies, and considers it a privilege to bounce beautiful sound off the walls of Faulconbridge Hall (great bathroom acoustics but no one gets wet) every Friday morning, with these women. It’s all about the singing! Contact Alison at email@example.com
Out Of The Blue Singers
Out of the Blue Singers is a women’s a cappella choir that has been entertaining audiences in the Illawarra for 15 years (have a look at us at www.outofthebluesingers.org.au). Under the direction of Vonny Winning and Janette Green, we have a rich repertoire of songs including retro pop, famous movie songs, and folk and jazz tunes. We love to stage our own shows, and our very proud that our latest, Cabernet and Cabaret dinner show was sold out, a week before the event! We are also great friends who celebrate the highs in each other’s lives and support each other through the tough stuff too.
In early 2012 a few of us were crazy enough to believe that we could run a choral festival that would celebrate the glorious, melodious, sometimes whacky and occasionally wicked phenomenon of choral music in the community. And, it was typical of our members that every one of
them – and their family members
and friends – came on board as enthusiastic, committed supporters of the project. When 20+ choirs gave us resounding confirmation that we had achieved our aims in 2013, the experience was one of momentary disbelief soon replaced by surreal excitement. We repeated the experience in 2015, and now we are doing it again in 2017 – just for fun!
Raised Voices is a community choir that started in 1994 in the Shoalhaven area. We have sung at many events and festivals over the years and participated with success numerous times at the Shoalhaven Eisteddfod. We are still going strong as an ever- changing group of people who love to get together and sing music from many styles and countries.
In 2015 Olivia Corish took on the mantle of musical director and that year we also hosted and performed with the African Children’s Choir during their Australian tour. In 2016 we were excited to record a new CD. More recently we have enjoyed singing at the See Change Festival, One Voice Shoalhaven and Festival of Choirs. Raised Voices is always happy to welcome new members and we look forward to sharing our love of music with you.
You can tell by the place they practise that the Sea # Singers are devoted to song. From 2010 they have been meeting on Thursday nights … rain, hail or shine at the Austinmer changing sheds. Yes they practise outdoors with a million dollar view of the beach! At times it’s a testing venue especially in winter but it’s the camaraderie and love of singing that keeps them coming back.
The members give various reasons for their participation: an escape from the everyday pressures, better than meditation, an informal community and cheaper than therapy! They can best be described as a laid back collaborative a cappella group in tune with their beach culture.
SingGongGo have been singing together for six years, a community choir that ebbs and flows at around 30 people. Always looking for more male singers to join our mob, we come from a wide range of backgrounds yet sound gloriously as one, whether singing cheeky pop songs, gospel and African songs and our ever broadening selection of songs from other cultures.
We perform regularly at the Bulli Folk Festival and are part of Stuart Davis’ SingUp phenomenon. We’ve wowed innocent bypassers in huge flash mobs at Sydney’s Central Station (singing Leonard Cohen’s ‘Dance Me to the End of Love’) and outside the MCA at Circular Quay (singing Gotye’s ‘Somebody I used to Know’). Check them out on youtube!
Swing Out Mama
Swing Out Mama is a group of 15 women who cherish singing for the joy of it. Under the expert guidance of Rob Maxwell-Jones, the choir is now in its 12th year. We sing an eclectic international mix of a cappella music from traditional tunes to modern classics, coming from Africa, Europe, Eastern Europe, Central America and all over.
Singing for fun and friendship is what Swing out Mama does best; Wollongong will be treated to a rare public outing by this vibrant community choir.