SeaSide Singers celebrate 10th anniversary with concert to delight Port Stephens audiences

DECADE OF SONG: The SeaSide Singers are preparing to hold a 10th anniversary concert at Soldiers Point Bowling Club on July 21.
DECADE OF SONG: The SeaSide Singers are preparing to hold a 10th anniversary concert at Soldiers Point Bowling Club on July 21.

The next concert on SeaSide Singers’ calendar will truly be a special one.

It will be the community choir’s 10th concert, coming just shy of the 10th anniversary of when the group first formed.

“It’s a big, exciting milestone for us,” original member and president Jeanette Antrum said. “We feel a though we’re really well established now. We’ve been fortunate and lucky over the years but we’ve also put in a lot of work to make the choir successful and viable.”

The theme of the choir’s 10th anniversary concert is Looking Back… Looking Forward.

The first half of the concert, which will he held at Soldiers Point Bowling Club from 2pm on July 21, will be songs that audiences have enjoyed in the past while the second half will be a taste of the new direction the choir will be going in musically, led by music director Ellery Durrant.

The choir appointed Durrant as the music director in 2017, a move Antrum said had been a highlight in group’s nine year history.

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Diana Souter, who is still involved with the choir today, kick-started the group in 2009.

She placed an ad in the Examiner looking to form a singing group. Antrum, looking to get back into singing, was one of the first people to respond.

By the time the SeaSide Singers held their first concert at the Uniting Church in Salamander Bay in October 2009 they had about 15 to 20 members.

Now the established choir has a consistent 40 members, including a strong contingent of male singers.

“It’s very pleasing to say that we have a strong men’s group in the choir,” Antrum said. “We have about 12 men, which is not something a lot of choirs can say they have. We must be doing something right.”

In addition to a core group of men, the choir also has an eight member ensemble. The smaller group of SeaSide Singers are available for small engagements.

In addition to providing an outlet for singers, the choir perform for the community and provide development opportunities. 

The SeaSide Singers hold a number of concerts each year, including one for NSW Seniors Week, run choral festivals every second year and singing workshops.

The full choir performs in Nelson Bay for Anzac Day each year and at Tastes at the Bay.

The second half of the July 21 concert feature Australian songs that choir members will sing in Japan in October when they tour Port Stephens’ three sister cities, Kushiro, Tateyama and Yugawara.

Tickets to the July 21 concert cost $25 per adult, $20 concession, and are available from the club or at the door on the day. Children under 12 are free to attend.