Port Harmony Community Choir Welcomes New Musical Director

Musical Director Dr Chris Hawkins.

 

SINGING and immersing ourselves in music is something that is universal to the human race.

Port Stephens community choir Port Harmony is delighted to report that they are back in the swing of things!

That means these talented singers are tackling new choral scores and developing their repertoire and they have a new Musical Director.

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Joanna Davies, President of Port Harmony told News Of The Area, “Importantly, we would like to introduce you to our new Musical Director whom we are thrilled has joined us.”

Dr Chris Hawkins is a graduate of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

She has an impressive background, having majored in string playing, composition and conducting.

She also has a Masters Degree and two Doctorates.

Chris began her career in the National Youth Orchestra at the age of 12, winning a scholarship to the Sydney Conservatorium of Music at the age of 18.

By the age of 19, Chris had become a well-known conductor, helping to form and conduct new youth orchestras in Sydney.

She has played the pipe organ for several churches and directed their choirs.

Chris taught for 40 years in schools for NSW Education Department and was responsible for the professional development of music teachers across NSW.

She has also played violin and viola in many professional orchestras and chamber groups and founded a professional string quartet which performed successfully for 10 years.

She has written many published vocal works.

In 2010, as a conductor, Chris founded a community orchestra which was invited to perform at the Premiers’ Concert in Darling Harbour for the FIFA Fan Fest.

In 2012, Chris travelled with some opera singers, the NBSO orchestra and combined with a variety of choirs from rural NSW where she conducted a variety of operatic performances at the Prince of Wales Opera House in Gulgong.

Her career has been vast including work in radio and TV, consultancy work and teaching.

“Currently, Chris has moved to the Bay and is the founder and musical director of the Bay String Orchestra and String Quartet.

“It is Chris’s intention to develop a solid musical environment in the Port Stephens area which enables members of the community to participate in a wide variety of musical ensembles,” Joanna said.

“Port Harmony is busily rehearsing at our new rehearsal venue in Salamander Bay (on Wednesdays 4pm to 6pm).

“Port Harmony is actively looking for new members, both men and women, to swell our numbers.

“We sing a variety of music styles including classical, musical/film, jazz/blues and contemporary.

“We have a lot of fun, have regular social get-togethers, and enjoy the considerable benefits that singing brings to our lives.

“The most important attribute is to have a good sense of pitch.

“No audition is required, although a trial period applies for new members,” she said.

For more information, phone 0404 035 634.

 

By Marian SAMPSON

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