Sutherland Shire Choral Society - Choir Profile

In 1973, Paul Curtis, then Principal Flautist with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, decided it would be a good idea to bring some music to the Sutherland Shire. Drawing musicians from the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and singers from Church Choirs and small groups, a concert was put together and performed in Gymea School Auditorium.

This was so well received and the singers so enthusiastic, they asked for a permanent choir to be formed.

Paul approached Ian Sappay, who agreed to take over as Conductor, and in 1974 the Sutherland Shire Choral Society gave its first performance of “Messiah” with 80 singers.

With his wife Ruth as rehearsal pianist, Ian directed the Choir for seven years before retiring in 1981. Both have sadly died in recent years. Since 1981 there have been nine musical directors, and the Choir introduced to many different works, composers and styles of music.

There are still a few of the early members singing with the choir.

Our current conductor is James Paul.

Over the years membership numbers have fluctuated but currently there are now around 70 singers.

It is a very friendly group and quite a few family members are involved: husbands and wives, and friends who have sung together for many years. Everyone is welcome. There are no auditions, although we like to maintain as high a standard as we can for a community choir. Music is provided, and practice CDs are available free of charge.

Noortje Tromp is our rehearsal pianist.

There is real joy in singing and learning new music and then presenting a polished performance. We usually perform three concerts each year – two of these are a more classical style and the other consists of lighter music. In recent years, we have been able to have an instrumental ensemble or orchestra, as well as piano or organ, to accompany us. Also, for some of our concerts we engage professional vocal soloists where the repertoire chosen calls for it.