In the beginning...
Southern Sounds Chorus has been singing since 1991. They first formed as "The Mornington Bay Chorus", under musical director, Lauris Clota. They were based and rehearsed in Mornington, Victoria. In 1996, there was a change of name to reflect a wider geographical membership and audience, to "Southern Sounds Chorus" and a new director, Marian Reinsch. Marian took the chorus to national competitions in Adelaide and Perth. The chorus was based in Frankston and sang to audiences across the Mornington Peninsula and the southern suburbs.
Lorraine Stackpoole took over the directing reins in 2001, taking the chorus to competitions in Wollongong, Adelaide and Brisbane. Still based in Frankston, the Chorus attracted members from as far away as Mentone, Narre Warren and Red Hill, as well as more local areas of Mt. Eliza, Mornington and Frankston.
2007 and beyond...
In 2007, Southern Sounds gained a new director, Catherine Bechaz. Catherine led the chorus to competitions in Hobart, Newcastle and Canberra. The Hobart convention in 2009 was particularly memorable, with the chorus achieving the most improved score. This has provided a foundation to continue to develop and grow in musical skills. In 2010 the Chorus entertained with a lively show 'Chase the Dream'. In 2014 "A Sprintime Musicale" a war time love story, was performed at the George Jenkins theatre.
In May 2015, Catherine led the chorus to competition in Hobart, where we were delighted to achieve our highest ever score of 513 points!
In 2017, Catherine decided to step down as director to spend some more quality time with her family and enjoy some sunshine up North, and we were delighted to welcome Karen Dawson, a long standing member of the chorus, as our new director, assisted by Lorraine Bulwyn.
Karen had lots of directing experience, being a previous assistant director in the chorus, and tenor section leader for many years, as well as completing a large component of the arrangers program.
2021 and beyond...
In 2021, Karen relinquished her position as music director to focus on work and family. We greatly appreciated Karen's dedication to her role as director, and are delighted that she is still singing with the chorus.
Lorraine Bulwyn took the reins as our new music director in 2021. Lorraine's musical experience as assistant director, section leader for baritones, and choir director at Lifestyle Hastings has meant she brings a wealth of musical knowledge to our chorus.
We are always keen to welcome new members to join us, and the chorus is always looking for chances to improve and learn from external coaches, when the opportunities arise.
Based in Langwarrin, the chorus rehearses weekly. Our performances have included Memory Lane Concerts for Alzheimer's Australia, Carol singing at various shopping centres, Frankston Waterfront Festival, Mornington Peninsula Choral Festival, Eisteddfodd by the Bay and Waverly Eisteddfodd. We have also performed for family and friends, run fund-raising events such as fashion parades, shopping tours, sausage sizzles and finished each year with a WOW of a Christmas party!