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The following story is part of a presentation made at our 15th anniversary celebration dinner in 2012.
The NBC story begins with the 1995/1996 Sweet Adelines Regional Management (RMT) establishing that there could be a very good opportunity for singers in the Northern Beaches area to form a group and enjoy the experiences that many other new groups were having around Australia. Sweet Adelines was growing in Australia and the RMT was an integral part of the early establishment of many choruses around the country.
RMT member Ruth Williams, also a member of Sydney Town Chorus called on her chorus buddies for some assistance and the result of that was a big-sister kind of relationship and the kick off of a prospective chorus by Ruth, Val Gardiner and the NBC’s first President, Jaclyn Lloyd. A call-out in the local press resulted in 23 ladies arriving at Thomas Vickers Hall in Curl Curl to hear about Sweet Adelines. A one-time Sydney Town Chorus music director David Coburn helped get things started, leading us in our evaluation performance at the 1996 Regional Sweet Adelines Convention and achieving our Prospective status. Northern Beaches Chorus was “chartered” formally on 16th May 1997 with 32 members and 10 are still members of the chorus today.
Wilma Folmer, a former principal with the Australian Opera, became the NBC music director in 1996 and the chorus has much gratitude for her hard work and dedication to the group over the ensuing 8 years under her leadership. When an accident prevented her from taking the chorus to the Adelaide Convention in 2004, our ‘working coach’ at the time Linda Wareham, came to the rescue. As fate would have it, when Wilma decided to retire in 2005, the chorus invited Linda to take on the music director role.
Linda was born and bred on the Northern Beaches but was living and singing with a Chorus on the Central Coast of NSW as well as working on the Regional Management Team. Her late mother Carol Richmond was part of NBC’s initial creation and charter group so naturally she had an early connection with the Chorus she was eventually to lead.
A special tradition in Carol’s honour was introduced by Linda, in the regular passing of a coveted crystal star pendant from member to member, each recognising the other’s contribution to Chorus life and documenting the story in a book.
After benefiting from the generosity of Sydney Town Chorus members at the outset, Northern Beaches Chorus benefited again in 2010 when 5 of their members became NBC members after STC made the difficult decision to disband.
From the first rehearsal of 2015, Northern Beaches Chorus has a new ‘home’ at The Sydney Japanese International School in Terrey Hills.
The Northern Beaches Chorus History Team has lovingly documented our history in a set of photo albums containing pictures, stories, clippings, programs, souvenirs and other ephemera. This tradition was established by one of our first Presidents, Nola Davidson who died in 2007. Nola was awarded a certificate of achievement by the Regional Management Team in 1998 for her preservation of Chorus history.
If you are interested in viewing this collection, please contact the Team Coordinator – details on our Contact page, or send a message via the contact form.
Click on the image to see a larger version.
2010 Regional convention – 5th place & Most Improved Chorus!