Prom Coast Singers History

In November 1997, FAMDA staged a highly successful production of the Broadway musical, Annie, with Neil Goodwin as director and Paddy Broberg as the musical director. The next year several of the Annie cast members found they really missed the fun and camaraderie of the rehearsal and performance process. Their frustration got the better of them and they besieged Paddy with requests to let them sing again and, one evening in April 1998, eight former members of the Annie cast and crew met at Foster Primary School for the first sing-along of what was to become the Prom Coast Singers.

Under the umbrella of FAMDA with the guidance of Paddy Broberg, the Singers’ initial performances were in conjunction with community carols in Foster and Toora and singing for the residents of Banksia Lodge and Rose Lodge, Wonthaggi. It was not until Sunday 15 October 2000 that the choir presented its first paid performance in the form of a benefit concert held at the Foster War Memorial Arts Centre (FWMAC) in aid of the South Gippsland Hospital and Toora Nursing Home Auxiliaries.

The Singers’ December 2001 project was an impressive performance of Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols in Christ Church, Foster.

In July 2003 the choir combined with the South Gippsland Wind Orchestra to present mid-winter concerts at the Dakers Centre in Leongatha as well as the FWMAC, with the Singers performing exerpts from Carmina Burana. This dramatic work was revisited in October when the South Gippsland Singers combined with Prom Coast Singers for a concert in Mesley Hall Leongatha as part of the world-wide choral phenomenon, Voices for Hospices, and it was on the program again for the very special 10th Anniversary Concert on 17 August 2008.

Essence of Folk was the title for the program presented by the Singers in 2004. The choir performed in Poowong and Glen Alvie, and on 27 June they shared the stage with the Bec Bone Singers at the FWMAC.

Fauré’s Requiem and Borodin’s Polovtsienne Dances were on the bill when the choir sang in the Foster Anglican Church on 15 May 2005. The following weekend they sang those works in concerts with the South Gippsland Singers and the Korumburra Primary School Choir at Mesley Hall Leongatha and the Inverloch Community Centre.

The 2005 Voices for Hospices concert had Prom Coast Singers combining with the South Gippsland Singers and the Warragul Chorale for a concert showcasing each choir and featuring music specially composed by Larry Hills for all three choirs.

In the 2007 SeaChange Festival, the Prom Coast Singers demonstrated the diversity of their repertoire in a concert billed as From Pop to Op(era) and performed Paddy Broberg’s original music in the exciting multi-media Fire Up! project. The Singers also performed at the Mossvale Park Music for the People concert.

2008 saw members taking part in FAMDA’s widely acclaimed production of The Producers with Pamela Coad as Chorus Mistress and other members providing the offstage chorus.

2009 projects included the multi-arts spectacular, Promontory Dreaming, and the choir contributing to FAMDA’s production of Into the Woods and in community carols at Christmas.

2010 activities included involvement in the Anzac Day ceremony.

Preparations for hosting the Sing South Gippsland Choral Festival dominated 2011. The Prom Coast Singers sang Stephen Leek’s Island Songs and traditional songs arranged by John Rutter.

The Singers went into recess for a time but reformed as a reunion choir to perform in two concerts associated with FAMDA’s 60th birthday celebrations in 2013.

The choir was reborn in 2014 with Claudene-Marie Adams as the choral director. The immediate project was preparation for a major work composed by Larry Hills to commemorate the centenary in April 2015 of the ANZAC landing at Gallipoli. The Prom Coast Singers sang the cantata, entitled They Went With Songs, together with the Bass Coast Chorale (Wonthaggi), the South Gippsland Singers (Leongatha) and a ‘soldiers chorus’  accompanied by an orchestra conducted by Larry.

In 2016 the Prom Coast Singers hosted an exciting choral workshop called Sing South Gippsland 2 for Gippsland choirs with Richard Gill as the keynote presenter.

The Prom Coast Singers performed at the Fish Creek Tea Cosy Festival on 21 May 2016, singing songs by Cole Porter, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and John Kander and Fred Ebb.

The Prom Coast Singers are currently in recess but there are many memories of happy nights of rehearsals with the challenge of learning to sing the right notes and the right words, whether they be in English, African, French, German, Italian or Latin, and recollections of performances at community carol services, funerals and in FAMDA musicals with performances in Foster, Glen Alvie, Inverloch, Korumburra, Leongatha, Mossvale Park, Poowong, Toora, Warragul and Wonthaggi.

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