Sing Australia Glenelg 15th Birthday celebration ...

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Sing Australia Glenelg
15th Birthday Celebration
23 November.

Sing Australia Glenelg has been a model Sing Australia group. It was therefore no surprise that their 15th Birthday party would be nothing less than superb. In keeping with how the group is run it wasn’t a big ritzy party. The party was held on the group’s normal weekly practice night. Other South Australia groups were invited and given that it was held on a Thursday night the representation from other groups was wonderful. Members came from Port Lincoln, Kadina, Orroroo, Jamestown, Magill, Gawler, Goolwa, Riverland (Berri) and a bus load from Lameroo (3 hours drive). The total number attending was around 200 with 110 of those coming from the Glenelg group. It was lovely to see some previous members of Glenelg coming back for the night of fun. The evening was devised by Colleen Penny, Leader of Glenelg with the support of a big leadership team and many very keen and loyal members. The evening started with a light buffet meal in the adjoining room. Lots of catching up and happy chatter. Colleen gave a warm welcome to everyone. Every group attending, the conductors and accompanists were asked to select a song prior to the event. The night was segmented into 4 parts. Each part had a different accompanist and conductor and each segment was introduced by a member of the Glenelg Leadership Team.(Carmel Hyland, Bronte Prescott, Heather Ryan, Pam Priadko). The person or group selecting the song was acknowledged.The conducting was shared between Chris Bills, Kim Clark and me. The accompanying was brilliantly provided by Bernadette Dempsey, Angela Turner and Emma Knights. We sang 20 songs from a range of our songbooks. It was a real joy to hear the room filled with such wonderful singing. Glenelg even had a Ukulele group.

In my segment of conducting I had the pleasure of presenting National Director Awards to a great many people who had made very big contributions to the group. Rosemary Trzcinski, Glen Rankine, Bob Gentle, Carmel Hyland, Sue Robinson, Chris Davies, Deirdre Simcock and a posthumous award to her husband, John. Both Deirdre and John hardly ever missed a gig and together assisted in all sorts of ways.) I also presented an award to two accompanists who have been accompanying the group since 2002 – Bernadette Dempsey and Angela Turner. I then presented Chris Bills with our highest award – Life membership for conducting the group for more than 11 years. He not only provides the weekly conducting but has conducted most of their gigs which this year numbered 42. He has assisted the group in other ways as well as being very caring of the members. He has attended many National and Regional Gatherings. Congratulations Chris and all the other awardees for your very valued and enormous contribution. Although Bernie and Colleen have already each received a Life Member Award a number of years ago I presented them with a Special National Director Award for their distinguished contribution to Sing Australia. Their support has gone beyond the Glenelg group.

You can imagine how good the singing sounded. It was big and beautiful. It was quite a family occasion as well with many husband and wife teams. Not far from our hearts were the ones no longer with us. The evening finished as it started - back in the adjoining room for supper. Lots of very happy people. HAPPY BIRTHDAY.

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Yet another wonderful event for Sing Australia this past week.

Last Thursday, 23 members from across our Sydney groups came together as a combined Sydney choir to join 18 other community choirs at this year’s Sing Out Sydney event hosted by ABC Radio Sydney as part of Ausmusic month. The event was held in the rather grand Pitt St Uniting Church in the city, and compered by Robbie Buck and Wendy Harmer of ABC Radio.

The ABC were overwhelmed with applications to participate and so we were very lucky to be selected. Alas, Sing Australia were not chosen to perform on this occasion but we witnessed an amazing variety of performances from singers and conductors from eight of the choirs attending. The event culminated with all 500+ singers joining in for the first time to perform a memorable rendition of Nick Cave's The Ship Song in four parts….and the result was amazing!

For all attending, it was a fabulous experience and we hope that we can participate once again in future events planned. A special thank you to the ABC, and Sarah Penicka-Smith for the song arrangement and brilliant conducting.


Steve Openshaw
Co-Leader / Sing Australia Gordon

Comment: Thanks for the terrific article and photos Steve. What a wonderful event to experience and to sing a work of Nick Cave. What fun! Well done to all involved.

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